John proceeds to emphasize that this privilege of being sons of God is not something we must wait for until the end of time, but it is the present possession of the believer in Christ.  “Now are we the sons of God…”  He understands that this may sometimes be difficult for the Christian to grasp, encumbered as he is with the abiding presence of sin, the temptations of this present evil world, and the assaults of the powers of darkness.  We too often feel like the flesh gets the upper hand in that war between the Spirit and flesh, and are often led with Paul to cry out, “O wretched man that I am!”  At such times it is difficult for us to remember that we are children of the royal family.  But we must remember not to be guided by our feelings.  Like Paul, we should resort back to the fountain of our comfort, basking in the same thing that relieved his troubled mind: “I thank God through Jesus Christ my Lord.”

Though we may often lose sight of our privileges while still bearing about this body of death, John points our faith to the future inheritance which we shall enjoy by virtue of having been made sons of God.  He directs us to look past the present state of things to the glorious future treasured up for us by the grace of Christ.  We cannot see what shall be, because we now live by faith and not by sight.  But what human sight cannot observe, the faith of the believer lays hold upon and accepts as a certain reality.  It may not yet appear what we shall be, and we confess that we are greatly ignorant of the spectacular future that awaits us in the new heaven and the new earth.  But this much we can know, and it is the greatest comfort of all, that when Christ appears, we shall be like Him.  Planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall also be raised in the likeness of His resurrection.  When the final trumpet sounds, those who have died in the Lord will be raised up with glorified bodies, like to that which our Lord had when He ascended out of the tomb.  Buried in our natural bodies, we will be raised with spiritual bodies that can never die or decay.  Blessed hope of the Christian!  Most blessed of all, our very eyes will behold the Redeemer Who died for us, when He stands at the latter day upon the earth.  We will see Him as He is, in all His resurrected glory, when He comes in the clouds of heaven, when He sits as the judge of quick and dead upon the throne of His Father.  It will be the eternal joy of the believer to see what he has forever discarded the body of sin and death, to be made in the likeness of his Redeemer.  We will then be in an unchangeable state, no longer able to sin, our bodies no longer capable of pain or death.  As Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more, so will we, when we look upon Him by sight and not by faith, know then that we have been delivered forever from death, sin, and Satan.  We will then inherit that kingdom prepared for us by our Father from the foundation of the world, and will enter into the eternal joy of our Lord.