Sons of God
1 John 3:1-6
Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knows us not…

I. NOTICE THE WORD "BEHOLD," with which the words of my text are introduced, which gives an item of the vast importance of what is contained in them. It is used by the Lord Himself, by the prophets, and Christ, and the evangelists on some very particular occasions, both in the Old and New Testament (Isaiah 40:10; Isaiah 42:1; Zechariah 3:8, 9; Revelation 1:7; Revelation 3:20; Revelation 21:3, etc.).

II. WHAT WE ARE CALLED UPON TO BEHOLD. "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us." He is not here calling on us to believe the love wherewith God hath loved us; nor is he calling on us to receive the knowledge of it into our minds, that we may receive the same into our hearts. He is calling us to behold it, to look at it, to contemplate it in its original — in its spring and fountain — in its freeness and sovereignty — in the nature of it — in the manner of it — in its gifts and blessings. The love of God is a subject for the minds of God's saints to contemplate. They may well behold, survey, and take a view of it, by faith. It is the greatest thing in God Himself, which we are concerned in. His love to us is a free love. It is also sovereign love. It proceeds from Himself alone. It is a love fixed on us. It is a love of complacency and delight. It is an immutable and an everlasting love. Survey it in election, in predestination, in adoption, in salvation, in the blessedness of personal communion. It is vast glorious. It surpasseth all finite understanding.

III. THE SPECIALITY OF THIS. What in the love of the Father it is which the apostle would have these saints to take special notice of. It is this, "That we should be called the sons of God." "It is," says Dr. Goodwin, "but a title which is here expressed." "Yet," says Mr. Romaine, "God bestows no empty titles." He gives all contained in it. Therefore the greatness of the love of God is contained herein. To be heirs of God, and co-heirs with Christ, in all the riches of God's communicable grace and glory, this is the fruit and blessedness which flows from the grace and royalty of adoption. God is our inheritance, and we are His inheritance.

IV. Though this be the case, that we are, and are called, "the sons of God," and this title is bestowed on us by our heavenly Father, YET THE WORLD KNOWETH US NOT, as so called, and as thus distinguished by free sovereign favour; neither did they our Lord before us. It is the same to the very present moment, yet we wonder at it, whilst there is not the least cause for it, if we but reflect one moment. How can contraries unite? The longer you live, the more you will find supernatural truths disrelished. The present day is not that in which any are persecuted for their profession. Yet it is a day when supernatural truth, and the supernatural gospel, and a supernatural profession of them, were never more heartily despised.

(S. E. Pierce.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

WEB: Behold, how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! For this cause the world doesn't know us, because it didn't know him.

Slighted by the World
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