See what kind of love the Father has given to us,
As the next clause states the result of the love God has given us is that we are children of God. John’s wish here is that we understand what kind of love it is that could result in such a declaration of sinners such as ourselves. What kind/type of love is it that results in such a transformation in those who are the object of that love.
First, it is a transformative love. It is a love that impacts us at the deepest level, even changing our status.
Second, it is an inclusive love, that is to say it is a love that is extended to those who are not worthy of it who we think should be excluded. This is seen in the fact that John is taken aback at our being called children of God.
Third, it is an initiating love. We read in 1 John 4, “In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10, ESV).
Fourth, it is a divine love. Again in 1 John 4 we read the well-known words, “God is love’ (1 John 4:8, ESV). The love that results in such transformation is consistent with God’s nature.
Fifth, it is a perfect love (1 John 4:18).
SIxth, it is a comforting love that drives our fear (1 John 4:18).
Seventh, it is a sacrificial love. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, ESV).
Eighth, it is a timely love (Romans 5:6-8).
Ninth, it is an undeserved love (Romans 5:6-8).
Brothers and sisters, do you see the wonderful love with which you are loved?
that we should be called children of God; and so we are.
The result of such a wonderful love is that we are called, identified as, children of God. To be a child is to be an heir, to belong, to have a home and identity and security and hope and stability. And we have all these things with God. We have this status as child because Jesus, the Son of God, has fully satisfied for our sins, so that there is nothing that stands against us before God. Jesus died that we might be included – and more than simply included but counted worthy and made beneficiaries of God. Consider these verses.
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs — heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him (Romans 8:16-17, ESV).
And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise (Galatians 3:29, ESV).
So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God (Galatians 4:7, ESV).
John adds the assurance, “and so we are.” Don’t you understand dear Christian that you have God as your Father and by his power through his Son he has secured all that he has promised and he is freely giving it by grace? Our identity is children of God.
The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
Being a child of God sets us apart from the world. God does not mind making distinction between those who are his and those who are not. The truth is, the distinctions along these lines that grate against our flesh are not the problem for God that they are for us. We have been set apart from the world and we must learn to embrace that existence, but we must not embrace it in an arrogant way. Arrogance in Christians is not John’s goal in writing to them about their identity and distinction from the world that we have in Christ. Rather, John is writing to comfort those who are being opposed because of their faith in Jesus Christ. There is a great temptation to think that if the world opposes us en masse then we must be wrong. However, we must recall that the world did not know and therefore opposed Jesus. We cannot expect more favor than was received by God himself.