"See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, 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. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure." (1 John 3:1-3)Becoming a Christian is more than just adopting a belief. When we come to Christ, something real changes within us; we are transformed at some fundamental level in our inner man or woman. While we may look like the same person on the outside, on the inside, we are made new. Paul put it this way, "Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come." (2 Corinthians 5:16-17) The Greek word Paul uses for "creature" means an "original formation." We have been made something new and original by the Lord. We are not like we were before, we have been made new.
Part of this new creation is our adoption as sons and daughters of God. The world no longer knows what to do with us; we now longer fit into their system or their world. We no longer want the same things they do and we no longer are heading in the same direction they are. Peter, writing of our old friends before our conversion says, "In all this, they are surprised that you do not run with them into the same excesses of dissipation, and they malign you." (1 Peter 4:4) There is nothing sadder than a Christian who continues to try and live according to their old life; live as they have before they became a son or daughter of God. That life is behind us, we are called to a new life in Christ.
This adoption as sons and daughters of Christ comes with a living hope that, one day, we shall be like Him. We currently live in an in-between state, part of us has been saved and part of us is being saved. We have become children of God but now we must grow up to become full grown sons and daughters of God. In that day, when Jesus returns, He will transformer what remains in our lives to be like Him. However, in the mean time, there is that which we must transform. There remains yet a preparation that we must undertake to be ready and prepared for that day.
Our adoption as children of God brings with it a hope for the future and a responsibility for today. If it is our hope that He will return to take us to be with Him forever, then it is incumbent upon us to live today in preparation for tomorrow. In preparation for that day we are called to purify ourselves even as He is pure. We are called to take command of our lives and to eradicate from it every vestige of our former life until only His life remains. We are to live and conduct ourselves in a way that we grow more like Him and increase daily into conformance to His image and likeness. Then, on that day, we shall have joy as we stand before Him and He completes His work within us and we are made fully like Him and appear even as He is. Blessed be that day!