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1 John 3:2 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
2 Beloved ones, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when he appears, we will be like him, because we will see him just as he is.
Beloved ones, now we are children of God. We now, in fact, sustain this rank and dignity, and, on that, we may reflect with pleasure and gratitude. It is an exalted honor and may be contemplated as such, whatever may be true regarding what is to come. In the dignity and privileges we now enjoy, we may find a grateful subject of reflection, and a cause of thankfulness, even if we should look to nothing beyond or when we contemplate the fact by itself.
And it has not appeared as yet what we will be. It is not fully revealed what we shall be hereafter; what will be the full result of being regarded as the children of. God. There are, indeed, certain things which may be inferred as following from this. There is enough to animate us with hope, and to sustain us in the trials of life. There is one clear thing: we shall be like the Son of God, but what is fully involved in this is not known. Perhaps (1) it could not be so revealed that we could understand it, for that state may be so unlike the present that no words would fully convey the conception to our minds. Perhaps (2) it may be necessary to our condition here, as on probation, that no more light should be furnished in regard to the future than to stimulate us to make efforts to reach a world where all is light. The world is full of corruption. It is the design of the Christian plan of redemption to deliver us from the wicked, mankind alienated from God, and to make us holy; and how we are to be made like God is by rescuing us from fallen humanity.
We know that when he appears, we will be like him. It is revealed to us that we shall be made like Christ; that is, in the bodies with which we shall be raised up, in character, in happiness, in glory. Comp. Notes, Phil. 3:21; 2 Cor. 3:18. This is enough to satisfy the Christian in his prospects for the future world. To be like Christ is the object of his supreme aim. For that he lives, and all his aspirations in regard to the coming world may be summed up in this—that he wishes to be like the glorified Son of God and to share his honors and his joys. Philippians 3:10, Becoming conformed to his death. When we say that we want to imitate Christ to be like Christ, we want to live as he did, if need be, suffer as he did, and even die as he did. It is easy to say these things when you are young and healthy, life is good, and things are going well. However, if we are righteous during the little persecution and suffering, we will be right when it is much. If we cannot maintain our righteous standing when life is difficult, we seek dishonest ways out and then repent later; we certainly will not survive the coming great tribulation.
Because we will see him just as he is. It is clearly implied here that there will be an influence in beholding the Savior as he is, which will tend to make us like him or transform us into his likeness. See 2 Cor. 3:18.
By Albert Barnes and Edward D. Andrews
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