See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! — 1 John 3:1
I am amazed at how quickly people doubt their salvation. I doubted mine for quite some time. Even though I had confessed and received Jesus, I figured that there was no way God really could have forgiven me for my sin. For some reason, I thought I had to “prove” myself to Him. I thought I had to impress Him by cleaning up my act. If I had just thought for 2 seconds…how does one possibly “prove themselves” to God? What in the world would it actually take to impress the one who breathes out stars? You, nor I, can do either of those two things!
I believe 1 John 3:1 is such an important scripture for Christians, especially those who have been saved within the past few years. Upon receiving Christ, we are legally and officially adopted into His family. See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! Notice the exclamation points in the verse. If I could go back to the beginning of my walk with God, I would write this verse on a 3×5 and look at it as often as I could. I would try to get this etched in my mind just as I had John 3:16. Over and over I would say “I am His kid!”
In Matthew chapter 3:16-17, Jesus got baptized. Upon coming out of that water, the first thing God announced to the world is “this is my son whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.” The first thing God did was announce that Jesus was His son, He loved Him, and He was pleased with Him. I remember when Preacher Vaughn brought me up out of that baptism water at Salem Baptist Church in Salem, South Carolina. The very first words I thought of was “this is my son in whom I am well pleased.” How I wish I had taken those words and ran with them. Unfortunately, as soon as I sinned the next day the devil would whisper in my ear “See? You didn’t really get saved!” And, for a long time, I listened.
Here is the thing; God made the announcement about Jesus BEFORE He had done a single miracle. He hadn’t opened any blind eyes. He hadn’t opened any deaf ears. He hadn’t made any lame people walk. He hadn’t even delivered the Sermon on the Mount. It was BEFORE He had done anything that God pronounced His love. In the same manner, it was BEFORE I was even born, much less had done anything for Him that God pronounced His love for me!
I think that is so important. Churches as well as individual Christians have tried so hard to make it about “doing.” Somehow, church has taught that after salvation, we must behave. Worse, if you don’t behave immediately, you are a “backslider” or an imposter. As hard as I tried during those first few years, I could not behave. However, when I realized that He loved me despite my behavior, He wanted me regardless of my performance, and I was His kid. When I finally grabbed a hold of those things; I no longer HAD to do right…
I wanted to.
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the children of God! And that is what we are!