See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would 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 will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. 4 Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. 5 You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin. (1 John 3:1-5)
Everyone is a child of God in the sense that each of us was made by Him and in His image. In these verses, John referred to an exclusive, unique sense in which believers are considered children of God. Through faith, we are those adopted into God’s family and made co-heirs with Christ in the Kingdom of God.
There are many misconceptions these days about who Jesus was and what He stood for. Some people believe that Jesus was a good guy who simply wanted people to live moral lives. Consequently, there is also a misconception ﬂoating around that Jesus simply wanted His followers to be good men and women who live moral lives. As we know, though, Jesus was and is so much more than a “good guy.” He is Lord, King, and Savior. Jesus did not come to earth to make us more likable, more successful, or better behaved. As we read in 1 John 3:5, Jesus came to take away our sins and make us righteous, just as He is righteous.
Jesus has the power to forgive people from their sins. Through His sacrifice, Jesus made a way for each of us to be pardoned and ransomed. This pardon is not offered to us because we’ve been well behaved. Rather, the pardon Jesus purchased for us by His blood is given to us as a free gift. His pardon takes away our sin—He frees us from the control of sin and takes away the penalty of our sin—and brings us into the family of God.
- When you think about the pardon of Christ, what emotion do you feel?
- In what ways does your life reflect the pardon of Christ to those around you?
On this Christmas day, reflect on the purpose of Jesus’ coming into the world. May the reality of Jesus be embraced in your life, beyond the lights, the packages, and the family gatherings. May you understand, as the Grinch, that Christmas does not come from a store, perhaps, it means a little bit more. Amen!