A mother listens to the baby monitor in her three-year-old’s room during “nap” time. Her daughter is engaged in an elaborate tea party. The special guest at the table is her one-year-old cousin who lives and is currently located in another state. The mother smiles as she hears the conversation between “Baby Layne” and “Nor-Nor.” In the little girl’s mind, this is real. The imagination is strong with this one!
It is delightful to enter the mind of a child. There is so much hope, innocence, wonder, and magic there. The purity of a child’s heart is something to behold.
In 1st John, we see the idea of the purity of children used as a metaphor for how we change when we become followers of the Father. We become God’s children. This means that when he appears, we shall see him as his is. Our hope purifies us, as Christ is pure. With the confident innocence of a child, we can approach the throne of God.
1 John 3 (Common English Bible)
See what kind of love the Father has given to us in that we should be called God’s children, and that is what we are! Because the world didn’t recognize him, it doesn’t recognize us.
2 Dear friends, now we are God’s children, and it hasn’t yet appeared what we will be. We know that when he appears we will be like him because we’ll see him as he is. 3 And all who have this hope in him purify themselves even as he is pure.
That purity is in jeopardy when it comes to sin. Sin will be received by the Father as an act of rebellion. Sin separates us from his presence and stains our souls. Thankfully, we know that he appeared to take away our sins.
4 Every person who practices sin commits an act of rebellion, and sin is rebellion. 5 You know that he appeared to take away sins, and there is no sin in him. 6 Every person who remains in relationship to him does not sin. Any person who sins has not seen him or known him.
7 Little children, make sure no one deceives you. The person who practices righteousness is righteous, in the same way that Jesus is righteous.
John reminds us not to fall into deception. Righteousness is the way of the children of God. It is the life Jesus calls us to live. We are called God’s children, and that is what we are!