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The Church's Motive for Service (6 of 11)
The Second Advent
I John 3:2-3
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 (1 John 3:2-3).
Every one that hath this hope purifies himself, and only such as have it. For this hope is the peculiar possession of the sons of God, who know something of what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon them.
Then, observe, that this hope, though it is the blessed possession of the sons of God, is not centered in themselves, but it is fixed upon another. The words "in him" mean, literally, "upon him," that is, upon Christ. Hence the rv translates it, "Every one that hath this hope set on Him." It is not who hopes, for that would refer to the act of hoping, whereas he who has this hope has it as a permanent possession, fixed on Christ as the glorious object. Then, its action is ever present; it purifies. When we see Him, we shall be like Him, therefore if we want to be like Him now, we must behold Him and be occupied with Him. He is pure. Purity belongs to Him, and our purity is secured by occupation with Him in the glory. "We, beholding, are changed into the same image from glory to glory." Here is no restless effort, no anxious toiling. It is simply we beholding, beholding, are changed. Here is the divine prescription for conformity to the image of Christ; here is that which will transfigure us and make us like Him.
Now our text lays down this great principle that the coming of Christ in glory is not a mere doctrine to be preached, not a mere theory to be held, not a mere dogma to be believed, but it is the mighty motive for all true Christian service. It is a hope that is bound up inseparably with all doctrines, all ordinances, all precepts, and all practice.
For example, we desire to walk ...
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