In 1 John Chapter 3, John described how wonderful the love of God is for His people and how hope, as His loving children, should motivate us to lead pure lives. John said that believers should live a righteous life since they can differentiate between good and evil.
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Living as Children of God
The beginning of 1 John Chapter 3 is a discussion of God’s love for us. In the epistle, John said that believers are now God’s children, but whatever we shall be in the future has not been revealed and that they shall see God as He really is. John also urged people to avoid sin and wickedness.
Those who sin, John said, will not see or recognize Christ. In Verse 7, John asked God’s children to be vigilant and not to be lead into sin, for those who act upright are just like God, who is also upright. Those who live in sin belong to the devil because the devil has been a sinner since the beginning. Children of God do not sin because God does not sin.
Love for One Another
From verses 10-24, 1 John Chapter 3 distinguishes God’s children from those of the devil. John said that those who do not live uprightly and do not love one another are not God’s children. He urged the people to not be like Cain who killed his brother. He warned that those who do not love remain in death.
Those who hate their brothers are murders, according to John, and murderers are not rewarded with eternal life. The epistle also urges the children of God to act out their love as Jesus did rather than just talk about it.
Love is the Way of Truth
In the conclusion of 1 John Chapter 3, John revealed that loving one another gives us an assurance and confidence that we are of the truth. He said that by keeping God’s commandments and by having faith in Jesus Christ, we can live by His Spirit whom He gave us and we can know that He abides in us and we abide in Him.
1 John 3 (King James Version)
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.