The US Treasury has specialist whose job it is to track down counterfeiters. These individuals know a fake bill when they see it. The reason they are able to detect fraudulent currency is because they spend countless hours studying the real thing. They are so familiar with authentic bills they can spot a counterfeit by looking at it or even, more times than not, simply by feeling it. In our world today there are counterfeit Christians that the Bible describes as “children of the devil.” In the same way a Treasury official spots fakes by knowing intimately the genuine article, the Scriptures give a genuine description of Gods children not the characteristics of Satan’s children.  The contrast is obvious.

A true child of God practices righteousness and loves other Christ-followers despite their differences. “Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God” (1 John 3:10). Practicing righteousness and loving the brethren is a true sign of being a Christian or as John phrases it in his first epistle, “born of God.”
The difference is that a true Christ-follower knows God. A counterfeit Christ-follower may talk about God and get involved in church activities, but they don’t really know God. The person who has been “born of God” through faith in Christ knows God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. And because they know them, they live a life of obedience and do not practice sin or make a habit of it.

There are reasons to live the holy life given in 1 John chapter three. The first is that God the father loves us. Verse 1 says, "See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are!” Only a person who knows God through Christ can fully appreciate what it means to be called a child of God. And since we have experienced the love of the Father, we have no desire to live in sin.

Another reason to live a holy life is that Christ died for us and in so doing took away our sins (1 John 3:5) and destroyed the works of the devil (1 John 3:8). Through Christ’s death, He broke the power of the sin principle in our lives and we have no desire to obey Satan and live like a rebel. A person who can enjoy deliberate sin and who does not feel convicted or experience God’s chastisement might better examine themselves to see whether or not they are really “born of God.”


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