3:1 Children Born of God
SUMMARY OF I JOHN 3:
The Marvellous Love of the Father. Sons of God Should Be Sinless. Christ Manifested to Remove Sin. Love the Proof That We Abide in God. The Spirit a Proof That We Abide in God.
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us. 1Jo 2:29 speaks of the saints as born of God. That thought suggests the wonderful love in allowing us to be born again and thus to become God's children.
That we should be called the sons of God. What greater glory than to be acknowledged as sons of the King of Kings!
Therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. If the world does not know the Father it will not know his children.
3:2 Now are we the sons of God. Already we have the great privilege of being sons,
and it doth not yet appear what we shall be. Our future glory is not yet manifest. Even we ourselves cannot understand it.
But we know that, when he shall appear. One glorious revelation has been made. At the coming of Christ
we shall be like him. Then we shall be like him in body. See Php 3:21. We shall also be found morally in his image.
For we shall see him as he is. To look upon him has power to change us into his glory. See 2Co 3:18.
3:3 Every man that hath this hope. To have a hope of being like Christ leads us to try to be like Christ; hence, to be pure as he is pure.
3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law. The very act of sinning is a breaking of law.
Sin is the transgression of the law. Sin is lawlessness (Revised Version).
3:5 Was revealed to take away our sins. Christ came, not only to take away our sins by their remission, but to take away our disposition to sin.
3:6 Whoever abideth in him sinneth not. One ceaseth to abide in him when he engages in sinning. See PNT 1Jo 5:21.
Whosoever sinneth, that is, sins habitually,
hath not seen him, neither known him. Thereby shows that he hath not experimental insight and knowledge of Christ. There is no fellowship with the Sinless One.
3:7 Let no man deceive you. Do not be deluded into the belief that any one can be righteous unless he practices righteousness.
3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil. A sinful life is a proof of the devil's power. Christ came to destroy the works of the devil, and it is his work to destroy sin in all his disciples.
3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin. The thought is that he does not live a life of sin. The spirit born of God, the new creation, does not sin, and cannot sin and remain God's child, but sometimes the old nature revives and for a moment exerts its power. See Ro 7:20. See PNT 1Jo 5:21.
For his seed remaineth in him. The principle of divine life, and hence he cannot live a sinful life.
And he cannot sin, because he is born of God. That which is born of the Spirit is spirit (Joh 3:6). This new nature cannot sin. If we sin, it is the old nature revived. Unless at once we repent and flee to him he will depart from us.
3:10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil. Thus is the distinction clear between God's children and those of the devil. God's children are full of love and live holy lives. Those of the devil are the opposite.
3:11 This is the message... that we should love one another. God's charge has always been that we should love each other. See Joh 13:34 15:12,17 Ro 13:8 1Th 4:9 1Pe 1:22 1Jo 3:23 4:7,11,12 2Jo 1:5.
3:12 Not as Cain, [who] was of that wicked one. Cain, who hated and slew his brother (Ge 4:8), is an extreme type of children of the devil. This hater and murderer is condemned far more severely in the Scriptures than the disobedient Adam.
3:14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. If our hearts are filled with brotherly love this shows that we are God's children; and the opposite is also true.
3:15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer. Has the germs from which murder springs lurking in his heart. Hatred led Cain to murder; so it does many other who sin likewise.
And ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. It is impossible for a man to have the spirit of murder in him and yet have eternal life.
3:16 Hereby perceive we the love [of God] because he laid down his life for us. The love of God in Christ is meant. His love is shown on the cross. Christ is love.
And we ought to lay down [our] lives for the brethren. If we love as he loved, we must be willing even to die for each other.
3:17 But he who hath this world's goods, etc. If this be true, what shall be said of one who refuses to succor his suffering brother with all his goods?
3:18 Let us not love in word. Our love must not show itself in empty professions.
3:19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth. Because our love is active and practical.
And shall assure our hearts before him. Have a good conscience.
3:20 For if our heart condemn us. If we have a troubled conscience because we have not kept the law of love,
God is greater than our heart. God, who is greater and whose condemnation is a far more serious affair,
and knoweth all things and seeth our failure in duty.
3:21 If our heart condemn us not, [then] have we confidence toward God. Then we have a conscience void of offense before God and are assured that he will hear us.
3:22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him. We can then believe that he will hear our prayers because we are keeping his commandments.
3:23 And this is his commandment. The commandments may be summed up in one, with two parts, viz.: Faith in Jesus Christ, and love of the brethren.
3:24 He that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. By keeping them we dwell in him and he in us. See Joh 14:23.
Hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us. The Spirit that dwells in us is manifest by its fruits. If we bear the fruits of the Spirit in our lives it is proof that Christ dwells in us. If we are led by the Spirit we are the sons of God (Ro 8:14).