1 John 3:1 “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!…”
He loved us so much that He provided a way for us to be reconciled to Him. Not just a few, but all people if they would receive it.
2 “…it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him…”
We don’t know everything about what we’ll be like after death or the resurrection, but we know we’ll be like Him. He is the first fruits. And apparently we’ll know and understand what has been a mystery. Now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face. We will know as we are known.
3 “…purifies himself…”
By having Christ in him.
5 “…He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin”
Christ had no sin of His own, therefore He was able to remove ours by paying the price for them.
6 “Whoever abides in Him does not sin…”
Folks get hung up on this one. Makes John appear contradictory from what he says in chapter 1. But from the context and in harmony with the rest of scripture it is obvious he is referring to habitual sin. One who knows Christ doesn’t commit habitual or continual sin. To do so apparently without thought of the consequences is a sign the person isn’t in Christ. Commentaries suggest Christians sin when they aren’t abiding in Christ as they should be which leaves them open to fleshly temptations and passions. Maintaining control over our sinful natures is a daily struggle. Paul said he fought with himself daily.
7-8 “…He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning…”
Explains what he said in verse 6 and will repeat in verse 9. Those who have Christ will emulate Christ. Those without Him will emulate the devil. And when we who have Christ act like we don’t have Him, we have the ability through Him to repent of our actions and to have Him cleanse us of the sin.
9 “…he cannot sin, because he has been born of God”
This is what bothers me about some people who claim to be in Christ. They seem to have no problem accepting sinful behavior on a regular basis. They are more concerned with a worldly view of life than what the scripture says about it. And they easily pass off what the scripture says by calling it antiquated or legalistic. I’m afraid they are more of a Christ follower than a believer. They treat Christianity like a religion. They want to follow the teachings of Christ, but never establish a real relationship with Him. I’m so afraid these people are going to have a very rude awakening when Christ returns. They are harder to win than the worst sinner. They don’t think they need Him because they think they already have everything they need.
10 “…Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.”
Love for others which comes from Christ.
14 “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren…”
Love the brethren, not worry about his feelings. Withholding the truth from someone because we don’t want to hurt their feelings is not love. They need to know their actions are sinful and they must repent of those actions or they will end up in Hell. If I truly love someone, I will do whatever is necessary to keep them from harm’s way. I will not sit by and allow them to continue on their path to certain destruction.
16 “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”
Just as Jesus said, greater love has no man than that he lays down his life for his friends. That life also includes his reputation and what people, including his friends, think and say about him.
18 “…in deed and in truth”
Practical ways of showing love and care.
20-21 “…if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart…if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God”
As true Christians, God overrides any guilt feelings we may have for past sins since He knows our hearts and has forgiven us of those sins. Once we completely accept His forgiveness, we approach Him boldly as those who have been cleansed of all sin. Christ saves us from sin and the guilt associated with it. No reason to carry around a burden of guilt. We may be reminded of what we’ve done, but God is greater than our heart or feelings. He treats us according to the truth, not what we are feeling.
22 “…whatever we ask we receive from Him…”
Because of our relationship with Him.
23 “…believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another…”
Duty as humans put simply. Accept Him and love others.
24 “…he who keeps His commandments abides in Him…by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.”
Our desire to do what He says. Not always easy to see the Spirit, but we have His assurance of the Spirit’s indwelling presence when we believe in Him. And the Spirit will manifest Himself at different times. He never leaves even when we can’t detect Him.
I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word. May it accomplish what He desires. Please feel free to comment or post questions. Thanks for reading!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.