The Word This Week

1 John 3:1...

Who do you find yourself identifying with?

John encourages our identification with Christ. This may seem impossible, but John tells us of a day when this will be so. When we appear before Christ in His kingdom, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

This is an astounding statement. John has already been there, done that. First on the Mount of Transfiguration, then in his vision recorded for us in The Revelation of Jesus Christ, chapter 1.

What John has seen he promises we all shall see.

Those of us who are truly Christians. Those of us who are born again.

How can we tell whether we are or not?

John does not write to have us question our born-again status, but to verify it. This should be the most important concern of our mortal lives, and we have no idea how much time remains for us to get this right.

Simply put, our desires are either an outworking of the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit in the life of the born-again Christian – or the outworking of our own heart, which is deceitful and wicked above all things – and who can know it?

The question is simple. Do you love righteousness – as defined by God’s Word, or do you love the things, (whatever they may be,) which attempt to satisfy the flesh? The side you are on now will determine the side you are on for all eternity.

The love for God’s righteousness can only come from one source: The Spirit of God Himself. This was the power of the enabling Spirit of Christ Almighty, and it informs and empowers the true believer as well.

Being in church does not accomplish this. Church is a hard place for those who are not born again to exist. The people in the church are still walking around in fleshy tents, and their diversities and quirkiness and foreign expressions can be difficult to bear. Something closer to hatred rather than love is the most logical and often seen result in churches not empowered by the Holy Spirit.

What would be required to have genuine love for our brothers? It sure isn’t going to be accomplished by the flesh, with all its prejudices, ungratefulness, and gracelessness. Only the abiding, loving presence of God’s Holy Spirit can accomplish love for our brethren.

In these two ways, John says, we can KNOW that one day we will stand before Jesus and see Him as He is, because we shall (finally!) be like Him.

Pastor Bill