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"You Look Just Like Your Daddy!"
The Christian's Resemblance To His Father

by Robert L. Cobb
-Administrator, News For Christians Dot Com

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.  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.  And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

I John 3:1-3

"You look just like your Daddy!"  I have heard that comment a number of times in my life. Some people may mean it as a compliment, but likely it is just an observation not meant either positively or negatively.  Children naturally take on the characteristics of their parents.   We all have seen a father/son or mother/daughter that, except for the age difference, look like carbon copies of one another. Our text passage tells us that God's children will one day "be like Him."  What a beautiful truth!  Let us examine this passage to learn more about the Christian's resemblance to his Heavenly Father.

I.   There is a Present Likeness   v. 1-2a
We are the recipients of God's love.  We are His children NOW!  Verse two tells us "Now are we the sons of God..."   When we bcome a part of His family, we begin to look like Him.  Our salvation is a physical transaction, a legal transaction, and a monetary transaction.  We are "born again," that is, born spiritually.  Therefore, we take on our Father's family likeness in a spiritual sense. 

1.  An Amazing Love  "Behold, what manner of love..."
2.  An Abiding Title   "...that we should be called the sons of God..."
3.  An Abstaining World   "...the world knoweth us not...knew him not..."

Most Christians never consider the great blessings that we have RIGHT NOW!  We live in anticipation of "eternity", forgetting that we are His children at this very moment.  We have His Spirit, His Love, His presence, His Mind!  God Himself has come to reside in us.  We have His likeness within us!

II.  There is a Perfect Likeness   v. 2b
"Now are we the sons of God and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is."   A songwriter from an earlier generation once said that we Christians sing of the "Sweet By and By" but live like we are stuck in the "Nasty Now and Now."  It is easy to forget our pedigree, that we are the "children of God." 

ILL: The Kennedy name is synonymous with money and power.  It is a name that commands respect in our society.  But many of those who wear the name of Kennedy live their personal lives as if they wished to drag their name in the dirt behind them.  Thier family name stands as much for heartache, pain, and evildoing as it does the more positive attributes.  Are we not also guilty of dragging our family name in the mire?  We are Christians!  We are His children!

ILL:  Think how you would feel if Ed McMahon came to your door with his cameraman to inform you that you had just one the $55 million prize! You would not actually be one penny richer, but you sure would feel like it!  The money would be on its way, just as good as if you had it in your hand.  Likewise, 

ILL: The great architect Frank Lloyd Wright once brought his contractor down to a cleared city block on which would soon stand another of his great buildings.  "Let me show you my building," he said to the contractor.  "See here are the steps leading up to the great portico.  It eclipes the height of all the buildings around it."  He went on describing the future building as if it were already standing before them.  "Sir, you'll have to show me the blueprints for me to understand."  God sees His children in our final eternal state.  We are merely blueprint readers, trying to catch up to the mind of God.

1.  A Valuable Citizenship   "...now are we the sons of God..."
2.  A Visible Coming   "...when he shall appear..."
3.  A Victorious Changing   "...we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is..."
 

III. There is a Progressive Likeness    v. 3
We bear the family resemblance right now; we will one day be like Him more fully.  But another great truth is we are continually becoming more like Him every day. 1 Peter 2:2 says "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby..." In 2 Peter 3:18 we read,  "But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ..."

As a perfect Father, God loves and delights in us.  We are His "pride and joy," to use a human phraseology.  Just as a father wishes that his children love and appreciate him, so God the Father wishes to have an intimacy with His children. It's not the "do's and don'ts" of the Christian life that is most important.  It's the relationship with the Father...It's the progressive likeness...growing more and more like Him with each passing day.

1.  A Precious Miracle    "And every man that hath this hope in him..."
2.  A Purifying Ministry     "...purifieth himself..."
3.  A Perfect Model      "...even as he is pure..."

ILL: In the 1950's there were not many blacksmiths left plying their trade.  I have heard of one in my area who was asked, "Why do you continue to engage in such a difficult hobby?" He replied, "As a blacksmith, I take the hardest of surfaces and bend them into things that are beautiful and useful.  For me, there is no more fulfilling task."  Our Heavenly Father is like a Divine blacksmith, crafting lives into beautiful and useful things.

A.W. Tozier said, "God doesn't NEED us, but He WANTS us.  When Adam sinned it was not Adam who cried, 'God, where art Thou?'  It was God who cried, 'Adam, where art thou?'"

Are we pleasing our Heavenly Father?  Are we seeking to be more and more like Him?  Or are we selfish, thinking only of ourselves?  One day we will be like Him and we will be forever with Him.  Why not live like it now?

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