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THE FIRST EPISTLE GENERAL OF JOHN - Chapter 3 - Verse 2

Verse 2. Beloved, now are we the sons of God. We now in fact sustain this rank and dignity, and on that we may reflect with pleasure and gratitude. It is in itself an exalted honour, and may be contemplated as such, whatever may be true in regard to what is to come. In the dignity and the privileges which we now enjoy, we may find a grateful subject of reflection, and a cause of thankfulness, even if we should look to nothing beyond, or when we contemplate the fact by itself.

And it doth not yet appear what we shall be. It is not fully revealed what we shall be hereafter; what will be the full result of being regarded as the children of God. There are, indeed, certain things which may be inferred as following from this. There is enough to animate us with hope, and to sustain us in the trials of life. There is one thing which is clear, that we shall be like the Son of God; but what is fully involved in this is not made known. Perhaps

(1.) it could not be so revealed that we could understand it, for that state may be so unlike the present that no words would fully convey the conception to our minds. Perhaps

(2.) it may be necessary to our condition here, as on probation, that no more light should be furnished in regard to the future than to stimulate us to make efforts to reach a world where all is light. For an illustration of the sentiment expressed here by the apostle, See Barnes "2 Pe 1:4".

 

But we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him. It is revealed to us that we shall be made like Christ; that is, in the bodies with which we shall be raised up, in character, in happiness, in glory. See Barnes "Php 3:21"; See Barnes "2 Co 3:18".

This is enough to satisfy the Christian in his prospects for the future world. To be like Christ is the object of his supreme aim. For that he lives, and all his aspirations in regard to the coming world may be summed up in this—that he wishes to be like the glorified Son of God, and to share his honours and his joys. See Barnes "Php 3:10".

 

For we shall see him as he is. It is clearly implied here that there will be an influence in beholding the Saviour as he is, which will tend to make us like him, or to transform us into his likeness. See the nature of this influence explained See Barnes "2 Co 3:18".

 

{d} "the sons" Ro 8:14,18 {*} "sons" "Children" {e} "like him" 1 Co 15:49; Php 3:21; 2 Pe 1:4

{f} "see him" Job 19:26; Ps 17:15; Mt 5:8; 1 Co 13:12

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