Behold What Manner of Love

By Rev. Ken Silva,

Apprising Ministries, October 15, 2005,

"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 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. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure." 1 John 3:1-3

The Children Of God

One of the truly amazing things about our loving Father in Heaven is when you consider that a Being as awesome as God is even willing to communicate with us at all, but God the Holy Spirit tells us–as Christians–in the book of Hebrews chapter 4 verses 15 and 16 –

"For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet without sin. Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence [in prayer], so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."

Great reasons for us to faithfully go to Father in prayer, wouldn’t you say?

O what a privilege and honor we Christians have as the sons and daughters of the one true and living God. There is a praise chorus many churches sing called Behold What Manner Of Love, which is actually a quote from the
King James Version translation of 1 John chapter 3 verse 1 – "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. "

Amplified Bible reads – "SEE WHAT [an incredible] quality of love the Father has given (shown, bestowed on) us, that we should [be permitted to] be named and called and counted the children of God! And so we are! The reason that the world does not know (recognize, acknowledge) us is that it does not know (recognize, acknowledge) Him."

While commenting on this wonderful verse preeminent Bible scholar Dr. Leon Morris, a recognized authority on the writings of the Apostle John, points out:

"The wonder of it all arrests John. 'Look!' he says, 'Look at the love the Father has given us. We are called children of God. And we are!' The divine call in Scripture is often regarded as an effectual call, but John leaves no doubts. Not only are we [Christians] called God’s children, but we are such in reality. This has a consequence that the world does not know us. The incompatibility of the world and Christianity is a recurring theme in John’s writings. The world’s failure to know believers is not to be wondered at for it did not know Him."

We Receive This Gift In Christ

You might ask: Pastor Ken, are you trying to tell us that in this “politically correct” inclusive culture we live in that only people born again by personal faith in Jesus Christ–Christians–are children of God!

To quote former President George Bush, Sr. – “Read my lips”: Categorically yes; that is exactly what I am telling you. And so many say: Well, that’s not very nice, in this age of moral relativism you must include everyone or it just isn’t fair. But I have spoken the truth, and whether it is fair or not, I’ll let God decide. And permit me to draw your attention to Genesis 18:25 – "Will not [the Lord] the Judge of all the earth do right?"

Listen once again to the b part, or last part, of 1 John 3:1, which we read a moment ago – "The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him." This will be such a critical issue in our tepid generation, so let me briefly make a couple of important points. First, the we who are called the children of God make up the universal Church -– those people called out of the world into the Body of Christ by being regenerated, or born from above -– “born again.” These are the only people that are actually Christians according to the Bible. It’s very important that you remember this in order to really understand this verse of Holy Scripture.

With this in mind then, let’s look at 1 John 3:1 again putting in the word “Christians” where it applies in the text.

"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that [Christians] should be called children of God! And that is what [Christians] are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him."

Notice that the Holy Spirit says through His inspired Apostle John that only Christians are children of God, contrary to the multitude of false prophets that dot our landscape today. Then the Lord explains to us that the reason the world, or the unregenerate, the non-Christian, does not know us -– the Christians -– is that “it” -– the world, the unbelievers, did not know Him -– God Himself in the Person of the Christ Jesus of Nazareth. They have no relation to us, because they have no relation to the Lord, who is head of His Church.

All Men Are Not Children Of God

So despite the protests of non-Christians, no matter how sincere, this is exactly what this verse means: Unless one has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of their lives, they are still in the world. And, as such, if they are still in the world, then they have not been called out as Christians. And since they are not Christians, the Bible tells us here in our text that they are not children of God, nor do they even know Him. It is a sad fact, but it is absolutely true.

And this is exactly why we, who are children of God, His Christians, need to be ready to tell the world about their mistaken idea that all human beings are God’s children, and we need to pray for those who haven’t accepted Jesus personally. Please remember that no matter how learned we may become –- and the Lord knows we need more educated Christians -– no matter how intellectual one might be, it is impossible to bring someone to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ by arguments alone. Since the human soul is locked from the inside, we must pray for God the Holy Spirit to work in the person’s life.

However, even though we know there is absolutely nothing we can do on our own to save anyone, we find the strength to be persistent in our praying for the salvation of those we are witnessing to in these words from our Lord Jesus Christ -–

With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible” (Mark 10:27, KJV)

Copyright © 2005 by Ken Silva. All rights reserved. 

Pastor Silva's beautiful website: Apprising Ministries



See also  The Falling Away of the Evangelical Church  and  Why Fear Reveals Love

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