I John Chapter Three
I Jn 3:1 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.
John continues in his letter. At the close of chapter two, John was speaking of Jesus appearing again and of Christians being born "in Him". Now we are to consider the great love God has for us to make us His sons. He not only saves us He make us His sons, and if the world didn't know our Father it doesn't know us. LIKE FATHER LIKE SON, you know.
I Jn 3:2 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.
Speaking of Jesus appearing again, we do not know what we shall like when He comes to take us away, but since Jesus is the Son of God and we too, are sons of God, we know that we shall be like Him.
I Jn 3:3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
WE don't purify ourselves, as WE can do NOTHING. It is THIS HOPE in us that purifies us.
This hope that we are the sons of God, that we will be taken away with Jesus, and that we will have eternal life. This is the "blessed hope" that we have.
Titus 2:12-13 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
We are to live for and look for that blessed hope. This is ALL we can hope for and look forward to. There is really no more to the life of a Christian than this.
I Jn 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
Whosoever sins breaks the law, and since true Christians are not under the law we cannot break a law that we are not under. This sin is spoken of those who are under the law, and if one is under the law he is lost in sin and on his way to an everlasting hell in the Lake of Fire.
I Jn 3:5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.
I Jn 3:6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
SO--if we be "in Christ" we do not sin, and those that sin are not "in Him" and are lost in sin.
NOW--this sin spoken of here is "soul sin". A Christian will not have SOUL SIN. The Christian will have sin "in the flesh" but if a person has "soul sin" then his soul has not been regenerated and he is unsaved.
This soul sin is "willful, premeditated, habitual" sin.
I Jn 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.
This verse is merely repeating chapter 2 verse 29. Look at it.
I Jn 3:8 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.
Make no mistake, John says. He that "soul sins" is not a Christian. Christ has destroyed the works of the devil (sin) in the true Christian.
I Jn 3:9 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.
You see--GOD cannot sin and neither can a CHRISTIAN sin. A son of God CANNOT SIN. His seed, that is His offspring remain in Him. Another proof text that once saved always saved. We "remain" in Him.
I Jn 3:10 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.
Good works and charity (love) identify the Christian. No good works and no love--no salvation.
I Jn 3:11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
John is reinforcing what he said in chapter 2 verse 7. Look at it.
I Jn 3:12 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.
The sacrifice of Cain to God was not pleasing to God and Abel's was.
Gen 4:3-5 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
The offerings of Abel were a prelude (beginning) to the Law of Moses thousands of years into the future.
I Jn 3:13 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.
Again-if the world hates our Father we are not to be surprised if the world hates us.
I Jn 3:14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
Again-Charity-(agape) love, is a characteristic of a Christian. If this distinguishing mark is not there--look out.
I Jn 3:1 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
Again--A Christian has love-not hate.
I Jn 3:16 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.
This is how we can preceive (understand the love of God for us. He died for us. We are to love other Christians "that much".
A personal note here-- I can love Christians trying to obey and serve God, but I cannot love those who show (manifest) an "unwillingness" to serve him and those who "willfully" serve Him in "error" and will not listen to the truth.
I Jn 3:17 But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels (inward affection) of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
This is not passionate affection but affection "from the heart". This is Christian charity. This is Christian Agape Love again.
I Jn 3:18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
John says--hey, TELLING someone one you love them is okay, but SHOWING them you love them is what really matters.
Look at what the apostle James, the brother of Jesus, said about this.
James 2:15-16 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
I Jn 3:19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.
John says "this" (hereby) is how we can tell if we are of or in the truth and have confidence in our mind of this fact
I Jn 3:20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.
If our heart, or mind, that is our soul, finds fault in us and rebukes us, we know that God is greater than our soul. And since He knows all things such as if we are too strict or too lenient in our brotherly love life, we can ask Him to reveal the truth about ourselves to us. When we see the truth of ourselves we can make a correct judgment of ourselves.
If our conscience condemns us, God does too: For, if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, because He knows all things and our heart/soul does not know all things,
God is a greater witness than our conscience, and He knows more against us than it does. He is a greater Judge than our conscience.
1 Cor 11:31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
So we are to judge ourselves by our conscience but not only OUR conscience. We are to live in respect of other believer's consciences.
1 Cor 10:28-29 But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof: Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man's conscience?
I Jn 3:21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.
If our conscience acquits us, God does so too. If our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God and can have assurance that he accepts our life.
But we are not to be presumptuous, that is overly confident. Unless we have a well-informed conscience we may reckon that our heart does not condemn us when in reality it does.
A misinformed conscience may say; "I am glad of this; my heart does not condemn me, and therefore I may conclude God does not." But a well-informed pious trembling soul will be ready to cry out; "My heart or conscience condemns me, and I must expect the condemnation of God?"
Phil 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
The Christian can war against the soul/conscience. The mind of the flesh is the brain and it has it's own will. It has a sensual, arousing, carnal nature. Acts of ignorance and error are not "self- consciousness". The Holy Spirit will lead our conscience into the truth and repentance of error, but the carnal brain will plead ignorance and try to fool the conscience.
Our conscience will not be our final judge. The One Who knows all will be the final judge
2 Cor 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
I Jn 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.
Whatever we ask f God we receive, based on THREE factors. We read of two of them in verse 22, and the other can be found in this verse which we will study in a couple of weeks.
I Jn 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
In verse 22 John speaks of keeping God's commandments. Here he identifies the commandments.
I Jn 3:23 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.
I Jn 3:24 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.
The Holy Spirit of God that lives in us assures the saved (those who keep His commandments) that they are in Christ and He is in them.