“Beloved now are we the sons of God.” 1 John 3:2
Over nearly 50 years I have preached from this text on many occasions and have been an eye witness to the great affect it has had on people. This morning I read for the first time what James Smith wrote about it in 1840 and it was as though I was reading my own notes. That served to remind me that God’s Word never changes and it forever changes those who receive it.
“What surprising grace is this! For what are we? Poor, vile, depraved, unworthy sinners. So base by nature that we had not one redeeming quality, and even now, apart from the work of the Spirit, there is in us no good thing. But– we were born again of the Spirit; and grace has put us among the children, for its own glorification. Beloved, now, while we feel so much corruption, while despised by the world, harassed by Satan, tormented with fears, NOW are we the sons of God. And will God neglect or disregard His beloved sons? No: let us then cherish the thought, believe the fact, and rejoice in the relationship. Let us walk and act as the sons of God, coming out from among the formal, the self-righteous, and the profane; and devoting ourselves entirely to the Lord’s service and glory. Let us remember in trouble, in sickness, and in death itself, God is our Father, Jesus is our Brother, and heaven is our home. Let us approach God as children, and plead with Him as sons. He says to us, “Come near unto Me, My son, that I may bless thee.” His blessing maketh rich.”
The God who reigns above, we call
Our Father and our Friend;
And, blessed thought! His children all
Shall see Him in the end.