I John 2:29-3:3
In a Nutshell
John continues to explain the open embrace of the Heavenly Father and the way in which His Son, Jesus Christ, makes it possible for those who believe to fulfil God's ancient covenant with Abraham and Israel: "You shall be Holy for I am Holy" says the Lord.
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How should followers of Jesus, the specially adopted children of God, view the righteous deeds of those not with "us". Can Mark 9:38-41 help us? How does this relate to our attitude to what John calls "the world"?
29 If you [have come to] grasp that He is the righteous [One], you will then also know that for anyone [to be] engaged in the doing of righteousness inherits that from Him. (3:1) Grasp [then] the characteristic love of the Father bestowed upon us, that we should be called [to be] children of God. For [indeed] that is what we are. The world does not know us any more than it knew Him. 2 Dear people, we now are God's children; what we will be has not yet been revealed [to us]. But we do hold that when He puts in His appearance, we will be like Him, for we will [indeed] see Him as He is. 3 And those holding to this hope in Him make themselves holy, just as this One is holy.
John looks to the future. After all, what has been established for us points us to the path of service laid out for us in the days ahead, the days allotted to us in this life. To have grasped that Jesus Christ is the long-promised "Anointed of the Lord" is to believe that our Father in Heaven has truly grasped us, has truly enfolded us in His Fatherly embrace as members of His family, as children of God alongside His Son by whom he has made Himself known when Jesus Christ put in His appearance for us.
So that means that we live in the sure knowledge that He has set us apart for Himself - to be like Him because He was made to be like us, yet without sin! In Christ Jesus the very image of God has been decisively and irrevocably restored so that we can now bring the familial love we share as members of God's family [AGAPE] into its right focus. That is, after all, what we are. That is how we are now to live in God's family. What we will become when we reach mature family members under the guidance of the great Shepherd of the Sheep is not for us to know at this point in time. What we do know is that our identity is safeguarded by the One in whom the love the Father has been showered upon us. Our task here and now is to image the Holy One, to extend God's mercy in all of our dealings to all with whom we come into contact. All. We are called by Him to be His children. We are to get used to that privilege by "abiding" in the Son and living in Him, by walking as He walked. And so, the full flowering of our maturity is in His Father's hands. He knows what He wants of us.
In the meantime we find that it is by our priestly hope that we find ourselves purified as we walk in the ways of righteousness in the service of the Lord. We live in expectation of eventually seeing Him in all His majesty and glory. We are so glad to have heard His call "Follow me!" to live the privilege of imaging His High Priestly holiness.