Friday, April 6, 2007

1 John 3:1-2 See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is.

Excerpt from FF Bruce “1 John”

“These first two verses of 1 John 3 [3:1-2] celebrate the accomplishment of God’s eternal purpose concerning man. This purpose finds expression in Gen. 1:26, where God, about to bring into being the crown of creation, says: “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” In other words, he declares his intention of bringing into existence beings like himself as it is possible for creatures to be like their Creator. In words which echo the language of Genesis 1, the status and function of man in the purpose of God are celebrated in Psalm 8:5ff: “thou hast made him little less than God, and dost crown him with glory and honor. Thou hast given him dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet.” But Genesis 3 tells how man, not content with the true likeness to God which was his by creation, grasped at the counterfeit likeness held out as the tempter’s bait: “you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” In consequence, things most unlike God manifested themselves in human life: hatred, darkness and death in place of love, light and life. The image of God in man was sadly defaced. Yet God’s purpose was not frustrated; instead, the fall itself, with its entail of sin and death, was overruled by God and compelled to become an instrument in the furtherance of his purpose.

In the fullness of time the image of God, undefaced by disobedience to his will, reappeared on earth in the person of His Son. IN Jesus, the love, light and life of God were manifested in opposition to hatred, darkness and death. With his crucifixion it seemed that hatred, darkness and death had won the day, and that God’s purpose, which had survived the fall, was now effectively thwarted. But instead, the cross of Jesus proved to be God’s chosen instrument for the fulfillment of his purpose…this purpose is stated by Paul in terms which go back far beyond the act of creation in Genesis 1: “those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Rom. 8:29). The children of God, who enter his family through faith in his Son, display their Father’s likeness, because of their conformity to Him who is the perfect image of the invisible God”

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