“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.”
that we should be called children of God!
The word “that” indicates result – with the result that God gives us the title of His children. We are God’s elect, God’s aristocracy. God gives us both His name and His nature. There is nothing in us that motivated God to love us and give us the label of being in His family.
John later speaks of “the children of the devil” in verse 10. Children of the Devil bear a resemblance to their father, the Devil. That is why they are vulgar and profane. It is perfectly natural that children of the Devil act like their father. They bear a family resemblance.
Jn 8:44, “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.”
God gives believers the honor of holding the title of His family.
God gives us a greater honor than the recognition of men; it is the honor to be a child of God, a son of eternal destiny. This is an entirely different value system of measurement than that of the world. God measures us by belong to His family and not by power or position.
We can never be good enough for God to love us. He does not love us based on who we are but on the basis of who He is. Acceptance of God’s love is by faith, not works. We would never know whether we were in God’s love if it depended on our measuring up to God. Gaining God’s love by works warps the idea of the grace of God.
Christians have a great calling. We would treat each other better if we remembered that.