Christ's propitiation for our sins is perpetual, and so we are His beloved children.
Scripture: 1 John 4:7-5:5
- John's writing is both profound and simple, laying out fundamental biblical truths (cf. John 3:16).
- The love of God is revealed at Christmas in the new life that we have in Christ.
- We celebrate our union with Christ through baptism (Romans 6:3-5).
- And we celebrate our new birth into the family of God (Galatians 3:26-29).
- Our new identity as children of God is based on Christ's sacrifice to pacify the wrath of God.
- God is faithful to the terms of His covenant and so He must punish covenant breakers.
- Because God is holy and just, He cannot simply ignore sin.
- God's righteousness is satisfied in His loving, merciful provision in the cross where Christ bore the wrath of God for our sin (see Psalm 85:10).
- Christ's propitiation for our sins is perpetual, and so we are His beloved children (cf. Ephesians 5:1).
- God delights in His children (Psalm 103:13).
- Love is the fruit of our new birth in Christ, confirming our faith (1 John 3:16-19).
- The grace of God toward us is not in vain, and like Paul, we will bear fruit (1 Corinthians 15:10).
- As you celebrate Jesus' birth, remember who you are, remember your new birth, remember your baptism.
- What's the connection between the birth of Christ and our re-birth in Christ?
- How does it benefit us to remember and meditate upon our baptism and our re-birth into Christ?
- Explain the paradox of how God's wrath and His love meet in the cross.
- How is the wrath of God against our sin a necessary backdrop for understanding the gospel?
- On what basis can God call us children of God (1 John 3:1-2)?
- Do you rejoice in the righteousness of your brothers and sisters, or do you resent the way it exposes your sin?
- How do we know that we are children of God?
- Is my faith being confirmed by my sharing in the practical needs of others? See 1 John 3:16-19.