Family Resemblance

Carlo Mendoza

"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."  I John 3:1-2

Today my baby girl Ruby turns one! This past year, I’ve had the privilege of watching her grow ever so slightly as she has began to resemble the beauty of her mother.  When I was a child, people often commented about the striking resemblance between my mother and I.  As I approached my teenage years, I recall intently looking at the mirror one day and seeing my dad’s reflection for just a brief moment.  Even my siblings and I share a distinct look as we are all cut from the same cloth.  Now that I have children of my own, I can see facial features in my son and daughter that reflect both my wife and I.

Throughout the letter of 1 John, we see a similar idea being communicated.  John reminds his readers that we are children of God and as such we should resemble our Father in several aspects.  However, these traits have more to do with our character and conduct than with our physical appearance.  Let’s take a look at some of the characteristics John mentions:

1. Righteous – This righteousness that should be evident in our lives stems from the fact that God is righteous. Even though we are solely dependent upon the perfect righteousness of Christ for our salvation, if we truly belong to Him it will be reflected by a life of right living in obedience to God’s Word.

"Little children,let no one deceive you.Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous."  I John 3:7

2. Loving – Another way we are to demonstrate that we are God’s children is how we love one another. Once again, we know this love because God is love and has shown us this love (1 John 4:8). This unconditional and supernatural love is more than words and should be displayed in our actions.

"Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth."  I John 3:18

3. Pure – A third characteristic we should resemble is purity. As we are now members of the family of God, our hope in Christ should result in striving for a life untainted by sin and an increasingly uncanny resemblance to God our heavenly Father and Jesus our elder Brother (Hebrews 2:11).

"And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure."  I John 3:3

Talk like Christ and Walk like Christ.

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