Title: Names of God; part 25. Being a son in the house of YHVH.
All of God’s sons and daughters are slaves of righteousness. Faith in who they are causes them to purify themselves.
1JO 3:1 See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us [perfect tense: it is our permanent possession], that we should be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
1JO 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is.
The inward man is to be conformed to Christ's image now, which is a continual growth. The outward man manifests Him to the world and serves others in the manner of the gospel of Christ. The outward man in this world is a slave to all. The inward man in this live is only a slave to Christ, and is completely free of all men.
We should all be reminded that we do not improve upon the flesh, which in essence would come from our own effort. We do not work to make the flesh better or to make us better. The flesh will never get better. We rely upon God the Holy Spirit to do His work within us. He illumes the mind. He empowers the body to follow through on the will of God. He guides us in the plan of God. When we rely upon Him in faith we do and experience far more than what the greatest self-effort can produce. We produce the fruit of the Father, the fruit of the Vine, the Son, and the fruit of the Spirit.
1JO 3:3 And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
“And everyone who has this hope upon Him …” [literally]
Remember how hope is developed in the believer: tribulation, perseverance, proven character (testability) = hope; and hope does not ever disappoint because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts.
We are cleansed in Christ [positional sanctification]. We must choose experiential purification. It consists of the decisions to follow the righteousness that we are a slave of.
Everyone who has this hope upon Him [literally in the Greek, “fixed” is not in the original] purifies himself, just as He is pure. There is not allowance of determining the purity of my conduct and character outside of the person of Christ.
The word pure is from the same root word that means saint or sanctified, hagios. But this word, hagnos, refers to being pure from defilement, and so it is only used of Jesus and not of the Father, since the Son of God came into the world as Jesus and was subjected to all temptations. He was able to maintain Himself as pure.
"as He is pure" - hagnos: only used of Christ since He became a man and submitted Himself to all temptations, yet without sin.
Amid the same temptations, defilements, and carnal temptations we strive to purify ourselves in thought and deed. How do we do such a thing and not turn our efforts over to the works of the flesh?
How does a believer understand grace and works in the context of the Christian way of life? How is he to become a good son?
This is a very important question and one that has been confused quite a bit in the history of the church. Some, afraid of the answer, would rather not pursue it. The scripture is full of grace and truth in every sentence and paragraph. We need not fear searching. We will always find the love of God and the grace of God at the end of every quest.
Many Christians know of ROM 11:6. We will use this passage first of all in our own quest.
ROM 11:1 I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.
ROM 11:2 God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel?
ROM 11:3 "Lord, they have killed Thy prophets, they have torn down Thine altars, and I alone am left, and they are seeking my life."
ROM 11:4 But what is the divine response to him? "I have kept for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal."
ROM 11:5 In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God's gracious choice.
ROM 11:6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.
What does verse 6 state in the context? Salvation is not in keeping the law. One cannot work for salvation or the favor and grace of God. It does not indicate that we do not ever perform works.
Let's look at the bigger context, which would actually start in 9:1, but this will suffice for our present purposes.
Paul in this section has in the background of his mind, the fact that the Judaism of the first century had been perverted from a supernaturally revealed and empowered system in which salvation was given in answer to faith in a blood Sacrifice, to a mere ethical cult where obedience to the Old Testament Decalogue would bring salvation. He is combating this. Israel sought a righteous standing by law obedience. Paul says it can be only appropriated by faith.
PSA 23:5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows.
23:6 Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
ISA 25:6 The Lord of hosts will prepare a lavish banquet for all peoples on this mountain; A banquet of aged wine, choice pieces with marrow, And refined, aged wine.
ISA 25:7 And on this mountain He will swallow up the covering which is over all peoples, Even the veil which is stretched over all nations.
ISA 25:8 He will swallow up death for all time, And the Lord God will wipe tears away from all faces, And He will remove the reproach of His people from all the earth; For the Lord has spoken.
ISA 25:9 And it will be said in that day, "Behold, this is our God for whom we have waited that He might save us. This is the Lord for whom we have waited; Let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation."