The Love of a Father
John declares, “Behold what manner of love the father has given unto us that we should be called children of God.” John wants the church in Ephesus to remember that they are children of God with all the privileges of a child towards their father. He wants them to stop and marvel at the love of God for His children. To be a child of God is to have a loving father who loves you, adopts you, separates you from the world, makes you like Him, and purifies you.
He is explaining the glory of being a child of a loving father. To be a child is to live in a world of wonder. Everything is provided for you. You live in a house your father provided for you that protects you from the rain. Food is delivered to you, literally put in front of you every day. Your parents buy you clothing, and when you outgrow it our wear it out, suddenly appears a replacement set of clothing. They provide you shoes; you destroy them and miraculously another pair of shoes appears. If you get sick, they do not just let you die, they pray for you, ask the church to pray for you, and they may even call the elders to lay hands on you and anoint you with oil. They find remedies and they won’t stop working for your healing until you are well again. They want to make you happy, so they take you places. They show you beauty. When you are very little, they work hard to make you laugh by tickling you and making funny faces at you. They hold you tight. They kiss you. They hurt for you. They pray for you. They discipline you. To be a child of God is to have a loving father who loves you,
John’s entire letter was designed to communicate what it means to be a child of God. What does it mean to believe? What does it mean to have a Father in heaven? What does it mean to be born of God? What does it mean to dwell in the house of the Lord.