The Love of the Father

July 3, 2022 – Matt Slove, Pastoral Resident

1 John 3:1-10

Message Big Idea God is a loving Father. In His love, he has given us a new identity, the right to be called a child of God. As a child of His we are meant to reflect His character, His distinguishing marks, His nature, or what is called righteousness. Any action or thought that does not align with the standards of His glory and nature is sin. Sin takes aim to replace God in His rightful place as Lord. As His children, we are to flee from sin and walk in a manner worthy of His name.

Lean In: 

  • Take some time and share with each other: What are you grateful for today? What are you struggling with today?
  • What is a distinguishing characteristic of being part of your family? What traits does your family naturally express, although uniquely through its different members?

Look Down:

  • Read 1 John 3:1-10 (Read twice – ESV and either NLT or Message)
  • Go around the group and briefly retell the passage in your own words.
  • What word or phrase “jumped off the page” and intrigued you the most? Why?

Look Out: 

  • As God’s children, we are becoming more unrecognizable to the world. (V1). What is an example of this in your life? What do you feel is the hardest part of this truth?
  • It is often a mistake of the church to expect the behavior called out for the church to be the standard of the world around us. How do you work through this tension of expectation between your church community and unchurched friends?

Look In:

  • Verse 3 tells us that ‘everyone who hopes purifies himself as He is pure’. What does ‘as He is pure’ mean? What are some purification ways you have applied in your life?
  • The spiritual precedent for orienting oneself against God’s ways is the devil (v8). If you are making your home with God (abiding) and He with you, you are not able to orient yourself against Him (v9). This was explained as staying in the Word of God…What is your technique for staying in His Word? Do you have a regular daily routine, or do you have other ways of staying in His Word?
  • Sinning was described as trying to keep together that which the Son of God has destroyed. In what ways do you see this playing out in your life? How are you able to help those whom you are closest to stop this way of living?

Live It Out:

  • Read Spurgeon’s thoughts on being called God’s child:
    • The Spurgeon’s devotion on adoption        Even in this world saints are God’s children, but the only way that peoplewill discover this is by certain moral characteristics. The adoption is notdisplayed; the children are not yet openly declared. Among the Romans aman might adopt a child and keep it private for a long time; but there was a

      second adoption in public; when the child was brought before the

      constituted authorities, its old clothes were removed, and the father who

      took it to be his child gave it clothing suitable to its new status in life.

      “Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet

      appeared.”1 We are not yet clothed in the apparel of heaven’s royal family;

      we are wearing in this flesh and blood just what we wore as the children of

      Adam. But we know that “when he appears” who is “the firstborn among

      many brothers,»2 we will be like Him, for we will see Him as He is.

               Can’t you imagine that a child taken from the lowest ranks of society and

      adopted by a Roman senator would say to himself, “I long for the day when I

      shall be publicly adopted. Then I shall discard these poor clothes and be

      dressed in clothes that depict my senatorial rank”? Glad for what he has

      already received, he still groans until he gets the fullness of what has been

      promised to him. So it is with us today. We are waiting until we put on our

      proper clothes and are declared as the children of God for all to see. We are

      young nobles and have not yet worn our crowns. We are young brides, and

      the marriage day has not arrived, but our fiancé’s love for us leads us to long

      and sigh for the bridal morning. Our very happiness makes us long for more;

      our joy, like a swollen stream, longs to spring up like a fountain, leaping to

      the skies, heaving and groaning within our spirit for lack of space and room

      by which to reveal itself to men.