7453 - To Be Like Him - 1 John 3:2


Audio transcript

Friend, it’s always a joy to have an opportunity to discuss God’s Word together.

In our study through the book of 1 John we are now in the 3rd chapter, verse 2. It reads:

“Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when He appears we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”

In our last study we talked about verse 1 and how God has lavished His great, infinite love upon us, even though we were hardened of heart and ignorant of God’s spiritual truths. In fact we were insensitive to God, and had chosen to live sensual lives of impurity (Eph. 4:17-19).

But God chose us to be His own & He called us through Jesus Christ, His Son, to give up the rubbish of the world and to receive the riches of heaven, to become His adopted child.

But God never forces a person to accept His invitation to become His child or to to become co-heirs with His Son Jesus (Romans 8:17) to the riches of heaven. That is an invitation which each person must accept personally. The Lord woos us through His Spirit. He opens our minds to understand the fine print of the invitation, but then we must make a willful decision to swap the allure of the world for the eternal value of the heavenly kingdom.

You know, when you look at the contrast of those two kingdoms –– the world vs. heaven, it seems that only a fool would reject God’s offer. And that’s what God’s Word says (Ps. 14:1; Ps. 92: 6-7, 12; Prov. 13:19; 14:33.)

Once a person accepts the gift of eternal life which was made available to us through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, then we do become an adopted child. But just because we are adopted does not decrease the heirship. We actually are subject to inherit, along with Jesus, every rich value of the heavenly kingdom. Again, the reason for this assurance is that God, in His lavish love, chose us to be his child, and He continues to pursue us with His grace and mercy.

The verse goes on though. Did you notice that phrase which says: “What we will be has not been made known.” Through the centuries there have been many questions and much speculation regarding possible answers. People ask: “what age will we be?” and other such questions. The answers must await that blessed moment when all those questions will be answered in a flash. That will occur when we shall see Jesus face-to-face. The assurance which we are given in this verse is that we will be like Jesus.

Think for a moment. Isn’t that what God is doing in the life of every Christian in this present life –– making us to be like Jesus. Romans 8:29 tells us: “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” The process of transformation begins in this present life through justification, glorification and sanctification. That requires trials and testings through which each of us must pass. Keep in mind, it’s God’s work of shaping and preparing us for eternal glory, so even in the trails we can say “thank you!”

However, there will come one glorious moment when the conforming process will be completed forever, when we see Him clearly face-to-face. We have no way of knowing what degree of change will occur then, but Philippians (3:21) tells us that: “by the power that enables [Jesus] to bring everything under his control, [he] will transform our lowly bodies to be like his glorious body.”

Perhaps you remember that 1 Cor. 15 (50-54) describes this change more specifically. It tells us that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, so in a flash that which is perishable must clothe itself with imperishable, and the mortal will become immortal. That will be a grand and glorious moment for everyone who has willingly accepted the invitation of God for mere mortal man to become His glorious child.