Romans 11:33-36

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Righteous Life. . .a Spiritual Paternity Test - 1 John 3:1-10

After John’s talk about “remaining” in Christ, John gives yet another test to determine one’s spiritual identity. John sets this test up as a spiritual paternity test by which we determine who our spiritual father is: God or the devil. John starts by talking of believers new identity as children of God. Next he fleshes out the spiritual significance of the truth that kids look and act much like their parents. Finally John issues a strong challenge to the readers to learn who their spiritual daddy is.

Believers have a new identity as children of God (3:1). We, who were once enemies of God, are now His children. The world should not be able to grasp a lot of what we do according to our new nature. Just as the world did not understand Christ, the world should not understand our priorities, loves, affections, and works. How much do we help our teens “fit into this world” rather than to look like their spiritual Father?

Since children look and act like their parents and siblings, it makes sense that we ought to look more like our spiritual father and Brother than the world. One specific way that John says children of God will strive to look like the Son of God is in purity (1:3). John clearly states that there is “no sin in” Jesus (1:5). Jesus is like His Father in holiness. If we get to share in the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4) as a child of God, we will become like He is.

So John concludes with a challenge. Take a spiritual paternity test. Look at the fruit of your life. Whose character do you reflect most: the Father or the Devil?
If the Son of God came to destroy the Devil’s works, then adopted sons of God must be about destroying the Devil’s works too. How easily we are deceived into thinking that we can be God’s children and look like the world.

Sit down with your teen tonight and make a list of ways that you and your teen look like your heavenly Father. Then write down ways that you don’t look like Him. Pray
for each other that the world will not be able to deny who your spiritual Father is, even if the world does not understand it.


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