References: I John 3:1; John 17:1-10
From last week’s post: The key word is love. By the grace of God, you, the sinner, belong to Jesus. And yet God has not changed. He cannot allow unholiness… Remember: we can appear before God not through gold or silver, but with His precious blood.
The reality of belonging to Jesus
All that we have covered up to now is great. But how can we know it? Are these promises only real for someday, or do we belong to Him, in reality, right now? It’s not just some day. So what does that mean? Yes, we aren’t the ones responsible for starting this relationship. But the relationship has everything to do with who we are now. Proclaiming I belong to Jesus bears tremendous implications for you in your life now.
To be like Him
Just notice the words in I John 3:1-2 (ESV):
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.
Verse 2 explains what we will be in eternity: we do not know, because it is not yet revealed. But this we do know: we will be like Him. Yes, that assurance is for the future, but the reality of the future is present now in a beginning way, like a down payment. You are beginning to be like Him.
Children resemble their parents: the older we get, the more we resemble them, not only the way we look, but in our mannerisms and habits. A child of God, one who belongs to Christ, is first of all, in most basic description, one who is like Him. God’s children are being restored to the image of God.
Your righteousness (or the lack thereof) has nothing to do with whether Christ will save you. When He has saved you, then you will be righteous, not just in how you stand before God but in your life. Those who are of sin are of the devil; those who are of Christ are righteous. Sin is not in him — not that we no longer sin, but we are not controlled by sin. We are a reflection of righteousness.
To be filled with His love
John’s jubilant exclamation in verse 1 declares the greatness of the love of God. The exclamation also announces this love is now in you. The love that makes it possible for you to be called a child of God is now in you, a love by which you can — and do! — treat your brother in the Lord and your neighbor.
To benefit from Him
The theme of sonship, being an heir, and the associated privileges are seen throughout Scripture. To belong to Christ means having access to all that Christ can do for you.
Look at I John 3:22 (ESV): “…and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.” This is not a payment for what you do, but being who you are: as children of God, belonging to Jesus, that is how you conduct yourself, and with that come the benefits.
We are faced with an unprecedented need in our lives, at least for us here and now. As children of God you can approach the holy God freely. You have standing as belonging to Jesus, and with all of the confidence in the world, ask of Him, and be assured that you will receive. You will receive exactly what you ask for and need as someone who belongs to Jesus.
I pray that you have, if even in the smallest of ways, come to see the awesomeness of knowing I belong to Jesus. I ask you to take that concept and think on it. Exclaim with John, “What manner of love is this!” Then go forward and live in this world according to that reality. Be joyful, be righteous, be loving, be a people that the world will look at you and say, “Those people — they belong to Jesus.”
Blog post content taken from a sermon series delivered by Dr. Maynard Koerner, President and Professor of Ministerial Studies at Heidelberg Theological Seminary.