See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
-1 Jno. 3:1-3, ESV
In the King James the passage opens with “Behold.” “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.” That word “behold” is about focus and grateful concentration. It is like saying, “just stop and think of about this! How great is this!” We are loved by the Creator and through Christ, we have become His children: “And so we are … we are God’s children now.”
As God’s beloved children, we don’t seek the world’s recognition and the world isn’t inclined to give us any. That’s the way it is. We are recognized and loved by God. That’s what matters, even though we do not have an absolutely detailed picture of what the end of earthly time will be like, and the world doesn’t recognize us – “we are God’s children now.”
Where does that truth lead us? God’s love and the hope of seeing Christ at His coming motivates purity. “And everyone who thus hopes in Him purifies himself just as He is pure.” Beholding God’s love, dismissing the world’s disapproval and knowing Christ will come again – becomes a magnificent motivation to live godly, pure and consistently obedient lives.
As another writer said, “Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought to you be in holy conduct and godliness?” (2 Pet. 3:11).