“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:11)
1. God is bent on revelation of Himself to His creatures.
What has God revealed or how how He revealed Himself? In Romans 1:19-20 “Because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.” While we may think of this verse primarily in terms of general revelation to an unbelieving world, George MacDonald points out how God reveals His character in very practical and poetic ways to reveal Himself to His children.
2. Jesus’ use of the “how much more” argument
In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus argues from the lesser to greater four times using the phrase: “how much more.” For example in Matthew 7:11, Jesus says, “if you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” The argument is, if you know how to act kindly toward your children, how much more will you Father in Heaven be actively giving gifts to His children.
3. Reverse engineering
Reverse engineering is the process of starting with a finished product and working back through its components to understand how it was made. Similarly, if we look at how we raise our children and experience life with them, even as wicked people, we can reflect on how much more God deals perfectly with us.
4. How it all starts
In John 3, Jesus deals with Nicodemus’ desire to understand entrance into God’s kingdom. Jesus lays out with clarity that God’s family is entered through only one door — spiritual rebirth. What Nicodemus struggles to comprehend Jesus answers with analogies and Scripture aimed at heart issues of need and faith.
5. Hinderances to rebirth and growth
Belief is not stopped by the knowledge of a God more powerful, more loving or more awesome than Jesus. It is not like we are evaluating all the religions of the world, building a spreadsheet and making a comparison or ranking, and then choosing the best of the lot. No, John 3:19-20 says that unbelief is a result of loving the darkness rather than the light because of evil deeds and the resulting shame. While this verse is pointed toward unbelievers, it often applies to believers trapped in some level of unbelief about the thoroughness of God’s forgiveness.
6. God’s purpose in redemption of His children
God’s purpose in bringing this about is based solely on His love and extended grace to us. “While we were yet sinners Christ loved us” His express purpose is to unite us together with Himself and the Son. In Christ, God has already cleansed us from our sins, and in our new state of being (as child of God), we are being changed into His likeness. And, while this process will not be complete until the day of Christ Jesus (1 John 3:2), it is inexorable (Philippians 1:6).