Chapter 3

3.1-2 bestowed. When a person is born again that process of sonship continues. This is a prolonged form of the verb here meaning bestowed. Believers are the sons of God and continue to be without interruption. John reaffirms believers are now the sons of God and we will follow Christ’s pattern when Christ returns. Believers will become what Christ is. All true believers are in the process of becoming like Christ. This comes from abiding in Christ as John referred to in the previous chapter. Why God should have made us His children is incomprehensible. It shows forth the riches of His grace. John says behold, calling attention as to some wonderful exhibition. What surpassing excellence is this divine love. It is this divine love that will transform believers into the similitude of Christ at Christ’s return.

3.3 purifieth. To purify is to make clean. If the believer will make himself clean, God’s love will bestow divine purity on the believer.

3.4-6 sin. John turns from divine purity and divine love to the consequence of sin. Jesus was manifested to take away sin. The commission of sin denies Christ the purpose of His mission on earth. The believer who abides in Christ does not sin, for light and darkness, good and evil cannot coexist. To abide in Christ is to be the vine while he is the branch. Life comes from him. Sin is the admission that the believer is false and has not experienced Christ as the branch. Christ the branch provides light, life, grace, holiness, wisdom, strength, joy, peace and comfort.

3.7-8 the devil. John strongly states the cause and effect of sin. Sin is of the devil. Christ came to destroy the works of the devil. Actions and manner of living prove allegiance. Those who sin declare an allegiance to the devil. Those who live righteous lives declare allegiance to Christ.

3.9-10 manifest. John does not teach sinless perfection. John is speaking of habitual and known sinful acts. A true believer will conform his character to Christ, this will be reflected in his behavior. Actions declare who is a child of God and who is a child of the devil. Who a believer imitates, whose will the believer does, these declare who the father is.

3.11-12 love. The chiefest action of proof is love toward one another. John again illustrates by the contrast. To illustrate true love he holds up the opposite, Cain. Cain’s actions revealed who his father was. Cain was of that wicked one, the devil. Cain showed the disposition and influence of the devil when he killed his brother.
3.13-15 contrast. John again contrasts the opposites of love and hate. John uses this technique more effectively than any Bible author. He uses life and death to show the polar opposites of love and hate. He likens hate to murder and the absence of eternal life. This is classic John. Simple, direct words speaking profound meanings. This is a powerful passage to show disposition is more important than the act itself. Without the rancor, the act would never happen. John is reaching for the fountain head of sin rather than just the acts of committed sin.

3.16-18 intent. John presents the example of Jesus giving His life. This was the intent of God before the foundation of the world. If a believer will have the correct intent, the correct actions will flow as a natural effect. We are admonished to love and have compassion. If these are matters of intent before we encounter the needs of others, our actions will reflect the love of God. If intent is absent, then our actions may be sensual or carnal. Prayer and fasting prepare us to have Christian intent. Jesus prepared himself for forty days and nights before beginning his actions of ministry. This time of wilderness preparation postured Jesus to always act correctly. Our deeds reveal the intent of our heart.

3.19-24 hearts. Our intent produces the actions that assure us before God. Right actions reveal truth on the inside. When our heart does not condemn (find fault with) us, we have confidence (assurance) toward God. Condemnation is always about self. Our confidence toward God rests in following the two greatest commandments of loving God, and loving our fellow man. Our confidence is strong when we ask things of God because we are absent of self motive. Our intent is pure. Doing whatever God wants us to do is easy and helping others becomes a joy. If you have the right intent, submission to God is never an issue.

Thanks for reading today….