1 John 3:1-10
"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!" 1 John 3:1 (NIV)
The NIV is my favorite translation of this passage. I don't know if the Greek language has explanation marks or not, but these two sentences definitely deserve them. Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary defines an exclamation point as a mark used especially after an interjection or exclamation to indicate forceful utterance or strong feeling. What could evoke more powerful emotion than to be told because God loves you, He has caused you to be born into His family? When we understand who we are without Christ Jesus, our propitiation, maybe double exclamation points would be more appropriate.
The description in Romans 3:10-18 and 5:6-10 of those without Christ Jesus emphasizes what an amazing transformation occurred in those born of God. Romans 3 says we didn't seek God; there was no good in us; what we speak is described as an open grave, deceptive, venomous, curses, and bitterness; we were quick to shed blood; our lives were ruinous and miserable; we didn't know peace, and had no fear of God. Then Romans 5 describes those without Christ as sinners, ungodly, enemies of God who are unable to change.
Now, don't you think 1 John 3:1 deserves double exclamation marks?
If I were writing this chapter, there are other passages that would receive exclamation marks. I would put one in verse 2 after "we know that when he appears, we shall be like him!" Verse 9 would deserve one also, "No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him! He cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God!"
The fact that Jesus came to take away sins and destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8) may not need an exclamation mark, but it sure deserves a good "Hallelujah!"
Thank You, LORD God, for adding so many exclamation marks in our lives. Forgive us for easily becoming complacent with Your grace and mercy. Holy Spirit, please teach us to live exclamatory lives for our Saviors glory.
1 John 3:1-10