Do You Know Who You Are?

I Jn 2:29- 3:3

29 If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him. 1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. (NKJ)

This message was preached January 6, 2002 at FBC Toulon, by Albert Harmon. See it at toulonbaptist.com

 

Once in a while someone will say, do you know who I am! And in some countries people might belong to the ROYAL family. But I submit to you this morning that as Christians we are somebody. Now we are not somebody like some of the great sport stars, for they have earned their position. Nor are we somebody because we are great thinkers like Einstein. No we are somebody because of the family we have been born into, God's family.

There are several things I want us to look at this morning as we consider knowing who we are.

  1. Like Father, like children - If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.
  2. Getting into God's family. born of Him.
    1. By birth
    2. By adoption
      1. Our Sunday school superintendent had two new boys in Sunday school. In order to register them she had to ask their ages and birthdays. The bolder of the two said, "We're both seven. My birthday is April 8, 1976, and my brother's is April 20, 1976." "But that's impossible!" answered the superintendent. "No, it's not," answered the quieter brother. "One of us is adopted." "Which one?" asked the superintendent before she could curb her tongue. The boys looked at each other and smiled, and the bolder one said to the superintendent, "We asked Dad awhile ago, but he just said he loved us both, and he couldn't remember any more which one was adopted."
      2. In Romans 8:17, Paul writes: "Now if we are [God's] children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ..." (NIV) Paul's comparison is to adoption. By our faith in Christ we become his adopted brothers and sisters--adopted sons and daughters of God. As fully adopted and accepted children, we share the same inheritance as the begotten Son, Jesus. No wonder all creation waits eagerly for the full revealing and adoption to happen! --James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) pp. 250-251.
      3. God's decree is the very pillar and basis on which the saints' perseverance depends. That decree ties the knot of adoption so fast, that neither sin, death, nor hell, can break it asunder. Thomas Watson (C. 1557-1592) -Edythe Draper, Draper's Book of Quotations for the Christian World (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1992). Entries 4615-4617.
  3. A product of love. Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us
    1. "'Behold,' then, 'what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.' It is infinite love that knows no end. It is the love of the Father -- that glorious person of the blessed Trinity in whom the fountain of all grace is seen. It is the Father who in boundless love has called us to be his sons. How I do delight to trace this love up to the fountain head! Jesus says, 'the Father himself loveth you.' It is not the death of Jesus which moved the heart of the Father to love us, as some fondly dream: the truth is that the Father's love is the reason why Jesus was given. 'Behold, what manner of love the FATHER hath bestowed upon us.' How it unveils the heart of the Father when we see that he who gave his Son for us has also bestowed upon us this manner of love, that we should be called his sons! Let us adore and love the great Father of our spirits, whose love is the first cause of all our blessedness." C.H. Spurgeon.
    2. "Now just think for a minute what intense love is manifested to that man who is favored to be called a child of God. It is love in the highest degree. What love you would have in your heart if you were to take a wanton and malicious enemy, and say, "You shall be my son!" If one had wronged you, and despised you, and defied your authority, and you should say to him, "You shall be my child from this time forth," what a singular deed of love would this be!" C.H. Spurgeon.
    3. "He speaks unto them as unto children. He deals with them as with sons. He is pleased in infinite love to bid them say, "Our Father;" and he answers to them by calling them children and heirs. He acknowledges their sonship, and pities them as a father pitieth his children. He has called them sons, saying, "I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord God Almighty." Oh, what a blessing it is to have God calling you his child; the great Almighty and Infinite One looking upon you with a Father's love, and saying, "Thou art my son!" He speaks the truth, and we may believe it, and be sure: he knows his own children, and gives the name of sons to none whom he will in the end disown. He calls us his children; and we are." C.H. Spurgeon.
  4. Bestowed On Us
    1. Ezek 16:1-12 1 Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2"Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations, 3 "and say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD to Jerusalem: "Your birth and your nativity are from the land of Canaan; your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. 4 "As for your nativity, on the day you were born your navel cord was not cut, nor were you washed in water to cleanse you; you were not rubbed with salt nor swathed in swaddling cloths. 5 "No eye pitied you, to do any of these things for you, to have compassion on you; but you were thrown out into the open field, when you yourself were loathed on the day you were born. 6 "And when I passed by you and saw you struggling in your own blood, I said to you in your blood, 'Live!' Yes, I said to you in your blood, 'Live!' 7 "I made you thrive like a plant in the field; and you grew, matured, and became very beautiful. Your breasts were formed, your hair grew, but you were naked and bare. 8 "When I passed by you again and looked upon you, indeed your time was the time of love; so I spread My wing over you and covered your nakedness. Yes, I swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with you, and you became Mine," says the Lord GOD. 9 "Then I washed you in water; yes, I thoroughly washed off your blood, and I anointed you with oil. 10 "I clothed you in embroidered cloth and gave you sandals of badger skin; I clothed you with fine linen and covered you with silk. 11"I adorned you with ornaments, put bracelets on your wrists, and a chain on your neck. 12 "And I put a jewel in your nose, earrings in your ears, and a beautiful crown on your head. (NKJ)
    2. And so it is with us, that the Lord has bestowed on us these blessings in Christ Jesus.
  5. To be the children of God. that we should be called children of God!
    1. Children of God. Beloved, now we are children of God;
      1. Even the angels are not sons of God as we are.
    2. We are poor creatures when we make the best of ourselves; and yet he calls us sons of God. "Unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my son?" Brethren, this dignity is reserved for us, whom he has made a little lower than the angels. Think of what his Only-begotten Son is like -- that glorious Son of God of whom he says, "Let all the angels of God worship him." Behold how in splendor of beneficence he deigns to call us also his sons, and so to put us side by side with the Only-begotten; not on an equality as far as his Godhead is concerned, for that cannot be; but yet bestowing on us that same love wherewith he loves his Son. He loves us in Christ even as he loves Christ himself. Behold, what manner of love it is, that we should be adopted and regenerated by the living God. C.H. Spurgeon.
    3. And this is true, recollect, of that poor man who does not know where tomorrow's bread shall come from. You say he is not respectable, but I say that he is right honorable, for God has called him his son. I mean that man whose name was never heard of, who lives in a room in a back street, and when he dies will be buried in the corner of the cemetery, "unwept, unhonoured, and unsung." Yes, God has bestowed this manner of love upon him -- that he is called one of his sons. Ay, I mean that poor consumptive girl: I mean that lame, decrepit youth: I mean that blind man who begs his bread. Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed on such as these. Poor cottagers, hard-working men and women, cobblers and tinkers, and chimney-sweepers, and navvies -- such as these he calls the sons of God when he has renewed them by his grace. Ah! and I mean those who are lying yonder in the hospital and in the workhouse infirmary, who are nearing their last hour upon beds found for them by charity. These are God's children if they believe in Jesus. They pine away till bed-sores make it hard to move, and harder to lie still. Dissolved by pain, they are melting away into eternity; but behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon such poor, frail mortals as these, that they should be called the sons of God. C.H. Spurgeon.
  6. Unknown by the world. Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
  7. Only a glimpse of Glory
    1. We know so little about what God has prepared for us. it has not yet been revealed what we shall be
    2. We shall be like Him.
      1. When He returns.
      2. For we shall see Him as He is.
  8. The hope that desires purity. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.



Does not the gracious Spirit of God now move on your soul, and make you stand in amazement at divine grace? Do you not melt with humble gratitude? What was there in you? What is there in you that you should be a son of God?" If children, then heirs; heirs of God, joint-heirs with Jesus Christ;" why are we lifted to such a privilege? The blessing of sonship has earth and heaven wrapped up in it, and all this is ours. If we know ourselves we mourn our want of worthiness, and yet we rejoice that we are the Lord's dear children. When we consider the persons who are called the children of God, there is, indeed, reason to say, "Behold, what manner of love!" C.H. Spurgeon.

 

I have heard of some fine gentleman in London, dressed in all his best, walking out in the park. He had a poor old father who lived in the country, and who came up dressed in his rustic raiment to see his son. As the son was not at home when the father reached the house, he went into the park to find him. Now the fine gentleman did not absolutely disown his father, but he went out of the park at a pretty sharp trot, for fear anybody should say, "Who is that country fellow you were talking with?"

There is, moreover, this involved in it, that he claims our loving obedience. Do not put dishonor upon your Father's name. Stand up for your Father. It is one of the marks of a true child that he cannot bear to say or do anything that would place his Father's name under a cloud. C.H. Spurgeon.

 

This message was preached at FBC Toulon, by Albert Harmon. See it at http://toulonbaptist.com