I John 3

It is a wonderful and condescending love of the Father that we, who by nature are heirs of sin, guilt and the curse, should be called the sons of God and given such hopes in Christ. It is a contradiction to such love and hope to live in sin and impurity. Purity, love and a clear conscience toward God are marks of our transition into this state of life.

1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.

6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.

7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.

8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.

12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.

13 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.

14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.

15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.

16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.

20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.

21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.

22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.

24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

1 John 3:1-12 – The Marks of God’s Children

   This chapter opens with one of the astounding announcements of Scripture. Why God should have made us His children is incomprehensible, except to show forth the riches of His grace. See Ephesians 2:7. That such we are is certain, but how marvelous! Yet even greater wonders await us, for we are to be like Jesus our Lord. He is the type to which we are being conformed, and on the other side we shall awake in His likeness.
   He is pure; such is the verdict of one who lived in the closest possible association with Him. We cannot think of Christ, or of the future to be spent with Him, without desiring purity above all. Ask Him to become in thee the fountain of purity! If He is thy constant study, the quality of His character will become thine. Presumptuous sin is impossible under such conditions. He will destroy the works of the devil in the individual and in the universe. That we are God’s own children is proved by our integrity and love. They are the hallmark of God’s ownership. —Through the Bible Day by Day

I John 3:2—Beloved, now are we the sons of God.

   It is our privilege, not only to be children, but to know that we are such. The world knows us not; but God knows us, and we know Him, and we know that we are his sons and daughters, through regeneration and faith. How do we know?
   We believe his Word (John 1:12).—By faith we have received Him, we do trust in his name; then, by the authority of that text, if there were no other, we may claim to have been born into the Divine household.
   We have the witness of the Spirit (Galatians 4:6).—The fact that our hearts look to God as Father, and appeal to Him with the infant’s cry, Abba, is a proof that we are born again. Do not look for an audible voice in your heart, but notice whether the thought of the fatherly love of God towards you is not becoming more familiar and precious. It is not the perception of your childship, but of his fatherhood, which will reassure you.
   We are led by the Spirit.—If we are led by the Spirit, we shall love the things we once hated, and hate those we once loved. Our choices, tastes, methods of life, habits, and companionships, will undergo a radical alteration.
   We love the people of God (I John 4:7).—The converse is also true, that he who is begotten of God loveth.
   We do not presumptuously and habitually yield to known sin (I John 3:9).—The apostle is not speaking of some isolated act into which a man may fall under unexpected temptation, but of habitual courses of inconsistency and wrong-doing. Test yourselves, therefore, whether ye are indeed born again. —Our Daily Homily

1 John 3:13-24 – Loving in Deed and in Truth

   Love to the brethren is a sign that we have been born into the family. We may not like them all, yet we can love them. If we love, we live; and if we live in the deepest sense, we shall love; that is, we shall put others first, and our care for them will be tinged with the crimson of sacrifice. Love is not measured by the expressions of the lip or the emotion of the heart, but by the extent to which we will do or suffer.
   The believer dares not affirm too much about himself, he is so unworthy and fickle; but God understands us and imputes to us what we would be. Mark in I John 3:22 the double condition of prevailing prayer. It is also clear from I John 3:23 that men can believe, if they will. God is prepared to impart to those who are wishful all that He commands. Augustine prayed thus: “Give what thou commandest, and command what thou wilt.” —Through the Bible Day by Day

1 John 3:22 – The Greatest Secret of Prevailing Prayer

​”The greatest secret of prevailing prayer is what John records from his own joyous experience in 1 John 3:22: ‘And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.’ Notice those wonderful words: ‘Whatsoever we ask, we receive of him.’ Think of it! Not one prayer, great or small, goes unanswered. Then notice the reason: ‘Because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight’ (1 John 3:22). A life entirely surrendered to doing God’s will as revealed in His Word and to doing the things that are pleasing in His sight–a life completely at God’s disposal–is the secret of prevailing prayer. Do you wonder why you do not get what you ask for, why you cannot say, like John, ‘Whatever I ask I get’? It is not because he was an apostle and you are just an ordinary Christian. It is because he could say, ‘I keep His commandments and do those things (and only those things) that are pleasing in His sight,’ while you cannot. It is because his life was entirely surrendered to God, while yours is not” (R.A. Torrey, God’s Power in Your Life).