1 John 3
Authorized (King James) Version
In the previous chapter we learnt a few things, like the difference between "to keep" and "to obey or to do", anyone professing they have no sin is a liar, the Antichrist and antichrists and its definition as Christ rejecters, false prophets/teachers, loving each other and loving not the world.
Let us now dive into chapter 3 and see what the Spirit of God is going to teach us in this chapter.
1 John 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 proclaims for us to BEHOLD! This means to see or observe someone or something of an impressive or remarkable nature. Here he is talking about the Father's love for us.
When he says bestowed, means to confer or present an honour, or right, or a gift: to bestow, the Father has given us his love as a gift, it was not earned by us, showing the Fathers grace toward us, for what?
The privilege for us to be called the sons of God! And for this reason, the world does not know us because the world did not know him.
John 1:12-13 " But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."
And we believers are born of him, because of his virtue, his righteousness.
1 john 2:29 "If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him."
Christians or believers are the aliens of this world, the Lord Jesus Christ was not of this world, and as we are born again, born of the Spirit we are no longer considered of this world; as the world rejects God, the world will also reject us because of him.
John 15:18 "If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you."
From this verse, when John makes the proclamation about God's love, we see that from his love, HE initiated our Salvation, for God so loved the world, he gave his only begotten Son…
Ephesians 1:3-6 " Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4 according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved."
At the return of our Lord Jesus Christ, we will be re-united with our Father, who loves his children with untold love.
Romans 8:17 "and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together."
Jesus paid the price of adoption for us to be the adopted children of the Father.
Jesus is the only begotten Son. We are sons by adoption. We have been bought and paid for by the precious blood of Jesus. We have been presented to the Father without blame, by the Son. Amen!
1 John 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."
John addressing believers here, he says that now we are sons of God: those who truly profess their faith will become a child of God at the moment of belief.
Romans 8:16 "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:"
John 1:12 "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:"
2 Peter 1:4 "whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."
John says that our true selves has not yet been revealed, that's what he is saying when he says "it does not appear what we shall be:" but he develops this message by saying "but we know that," when he shall appear, our Lord Jesus Christ; we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.
We shall be like him, meaning at the Lords appearing we will somehow be transformed to be like him, in his glory, this process has already begun with our spirits through the work of the Holy Spirit inside us, working us into the image of the Lord:
John 6:63 "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life."
Titus 3:5 "not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;"
Our bodies have yet to be redeemed, we are awaiting for the return of our Lord.
On that day we shall see him as he is, in all his glory; I can't seem to find a word fitting to describe how glorious, wonderful…I need a word much better than this! But what a day it will be!!!!
1 John 3:3 "And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure."
Through Faith, we establish the law, we should edify each other and love one another, this "Hope" which is the resurrection, the return of the Lord, that we should seek to purify ourselves in our daily living, our conduct as Christians, even as he is pure.
This is not a Salvation passage, I know some readers may try to use this as a salvation passage but John is speaking to the saved, and we are not yet done going through this chapter to understand what John is conveying to us in his epistle.
1 John 3:4 "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law."
What we have here is John stating the truth about sin, whosoever commits sin, we ALL commit sin, whether we are saved or not, sin is a transgression or an offence against God's Holy character.
Now, depending on what side of the coin you are on, will determine your fate. From not having your sins imputed to you as a saved person – Romans 4:7-8 or the unsaved, to everlasting damnation in the lake of fire - Romans 6:23, Revelation 21:8.
But regardless, sin is sin, if you sin you transgress the Law of God.
The law of God for the Christian is to love God with everything within us, and to love our neighbour as ourselves. If we do that, we will be pleasing God.
1 John 3:5 "And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin."
He was manifested, that is, God in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16) to take away our sins. Jesus died to sanctify the believers, to sanctify is to make one holy.
It is by HIS WORKS, that we have been imputed HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, not of our own which is but filthy rags; this is an important teaching to understand, in order for you to understand true salvation you must humble yourself and accept the work of Christ as the only way to heaven.
Jesus took on the sin of the whole world, he bore the sins of the entire world, past, present and future sins are covered by our Lord Jesus Christ!
2 Corinthians 5:21 "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."
Ephesians 5:25-27 "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish."
John 3:14-15 "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life."
Jesus was completely without sin. He had never sinned. His body had no broken bones. He was the Lamb without blemish, the perfect sacrifice.
He took our sin upon His sinless body. Our sin died on the cross. Our sins were only temporarily covered by the sacrifices of animals in the Old Testament, which had to be performed every year by the priests.
Our sins are done away with by the blood of Jesus Christ, our Lord. It is his righteousness that now lives in us until the day of redemption; the Lord's Day.
1 John 3:6 "Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him."
Whosoever lives or dwells in him sinneth not, as believers we take on the Lord's righteousness it doesn't mean the believer is not going to sin at all, if we are to say we sin not, then we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
Look if you were to read these verses on their own it would indeed seem to contradict a multitude of other verses including the verses contained in this epistle that John wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
So what do these verses mean then?
Stay with me, you'll soon see what is really being said with the help of other scriptures in the bible, these verses are stating the absolute facts about sin, we all sin period, with one exception in the person of Jesus Christ our Lord and saviour!
Whosoever, meaning whoever (synonyms: whatever person; anyone) that sins has not seen him, neither known him.
So what does this verse mean, well anyone that abides or believes on him does not sin, why because in light of other scriptures in the bible, it says we take on his righteousness. Look at what Paul says:
Philippians 3:9 " and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:"
So if you abide in him you are saved and you sin not, here's the important part of the verse, anyone who sins has not seen him, neither do they know him IF YOU DON'T ABIDE in him.
1 John 3:7 "Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous."
My dear brethren, let know man deceive you, this is the subject; do not let any man deceive you!
Since false teachers were attempting to pervert the fundamentals of the faith, this letter was written to the believers to not fall for their deception, to not be led astray by these false teachers.
He that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous; this verse literally means what it says, a righteous man will do righteousness, even as our Lord Jesus Christ is righteous.
Before we move on (I feel another mini sermon coming on!), I need to expound on what righteousness is and need to make perfectly clear of its implications.
If you do not know what righteousness is and how it is implemented in the bible, YOU WILL come away with false doctrines by interpreting scripture with a perverted view.
Now let's get this out of the way!
What does it mean to be RIGHTEOUS?
Righteous is synonymous with Justification, in fact being just is being righteous. When the Lord speaks to us through the bible he says we are justified, made righteous, imputed righteousness are all related to Salvation.
In fact it can all be summed up like this: Righteousness is the state of moral perfection required by God to enter heaven.
The bible clearly states that man cannot or rather is unable to achieve righteousness through his own efforts:
Romans 3:20 "Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin."
Romans is a book that teaches all about righteousness, and in this passage teaches that anyone who tries to come before God by his own works, or rather, thinks he is going to get into heaven by following the Law shall not be justified (righteous) in HIS sight.
By the Law is the knowledge of sin, which means the Law is to make aware that we are sinners.
The Law or 10 Commandments is to show us how far we fall short of God's standards. – Romans 3:23
The only solution to that dilemma is God's plan of salvation.
People receive righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour. Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God, took man's sins upon himself and became the willing, perfect sacrifice, suffering the punishment mankind deserved.
God the Father accepted Jesus' sacrifice, through which human beings by grace through faith can become justified or made righteous.
Romans 3:24-26 "being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus."
Christ's perfect righteousness is applied (Doctrine of Imputation) to imperfect humans, believers receive the righteousness of Christ.
This process of imputing or crediting the person with righteousness is a free gift from God, which is called the Doctrine of Grace.
Salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ is the essence of Christianity, TRUE Christianity.
No other religion offers grace, they all require some type of works on behalf of the participant, and human effort cancels out God's grace.
In light of this, 1 John 3:7 "Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous."
Let no man deceive you, because Jesus is the only righteousness that the Father will accept, and you are righteous because he made you righteous by his precious blood that he shed for you.
1 John 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."
Those who commit sin are of the devil, the devil sinneth from the beginning as we read about in Genesis.
For this purpose, for because of devil, sin crept into the world, and from sin, death; that the Son of God was manifested to destroy the works of the devil, this verse is implying that the devil is the source of sin.
1 John 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."
Whoever is born of God does not commit sin, born of God, born again, born of the spirit.
Our spirit wrestles with our own flesh, our spirit is born of God and is made righteous by the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Our flesh is stained in sin, our flesh has not yet been redeemed, in previous verses we learn that our body will be like his when he returns; glorified like his.
So when the bible talks about us being born of God, it is the spirit that is born of God, his seed remains in us through the Holy Spirit working in us, our spirit into his image, our spirit will not sin because our spirit is born of God.
1 John 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."
The Children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: anyone who doeth not righteousness is not of God, and we established that to do righteousness is to be imputed with HIS righteousness, the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ and to make that happen, you must follow God's plan of Salvation.
To do righteous is to be born of God, to be born of God is to be born of the spirit.
John makes a distinction as to which family you belong to in this world, you are either part of God's family or part of the devils family, and he who is not righteous, or hates his brother is part of the devils family, he calls you the children of the devil. Jesus speaking to the Jews says the following:
John 8:44 "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."
Religious institutions that teach that all are God's children are in err and gravely mistaken in light of these scriptures, God clearly distinguishes that you are either a child of God, or a child of the devil.
1 John 3:11 "For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another."
Again John is re-emphasising what was taught from the beginning, and that we should love one another. Doing so will fulfil the Law.
1 John 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."
Did Cain fulfil the message to love one another?
The bible says Cain was of the devil that wicked one, and slew his brother Abel.
For what reason did Cain slay his brother?
The bible says it was because his OWN works were evil, and his brothers righteous. Time for another mini study!
Why was Cain's works considered wicked, and his brother's righteous?
By using New Testament scripture to interpret the Old Testament story of Cain and Abel, we can get a better, more comprehensive understanding of why God rejected Cain's offering and accepted his brother Abel's offering.
The story begins in Genesis chapter 4:
Genesis 4:3-8 "And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. 4 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: 5 but unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.6 And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? And why is thy countenance fallen? 7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. 8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him."
After the two boys were born and after a considerable amount of time has passed, we learn that both Cain and Abel began to make offering to the Lord.
Cain's offering to the Lord were of the produce of fruit frown from the grown, this could've been a mixture of fruit and vegetables.
Cain was what we would call in modern times an agriculturalist.
Abel made an offer to the Lord his firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. Abel would be called a Shepherd, he kept sheep.
What are the firstlings of sheep called? A lamb.
So then, why did God have respect to Abel's offering and rejected Cain's offering?
If we go back in Genesis chapter 3 where we read that God clothes Adam and Eve:
Genesis 3:21 "Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them."
Prior to this, Adam and his wife were only covered by an apron made of fig leaves; this my brethren is a picture of man's own works, his efforts to cover up or, to atone for his own sins.
Then before God ejects them from out the Garden of Eden, we read that God makes them clothes, from what?
He makes them clothes from coats of skin, and how do you get coats of skin?
By slaying an animal of course, Blood had to be shed!
This verse alludes to the first instance of an animal offering made to cover man in his sins.
God basically says get rid of that pathetic little fig leaf apron, which barely covers you and put on these clothes made from animal skins which I, the Lord Almighty have provided to cover you more adequately with.
And of course until, the Lord provides for himself the ultimate, perfect sacrifice…
Right, so why did God have respect to Abel's offering and not to Cain's offering?
Cain brought the fruit of the labour of his own hands, and Abel brought a lamb as an offering to God.
Cain presented his own works, while Abel acknowledged himself to be a sinner worthy of death, who could only approach a holy God by means of a blood sacrifice which is a shadow of the true Lamb of God whose blood has purchased His sinful unworthy people.
It was in their manner of approaching the only true God that distinguished the one's works as being righteous and the other's as evil.
To "do righteousness" is to approach God through the sacrifice of His Son who gave Himself for our sins and clothed us in His own perfect righteousness.
1 John 2:1-2 "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2 and he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."
We also learn that Cain was very wroth about this incident, his countenance fell, the Lord questions him ever so gently: Why art thou wroth? And why is thy countenance fallen? 7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.
After this, we learn that Cain slays his brother in the field.
This part of story is another study in of itself, but I'm going to quickly say here that, because Cain failed to humbly accept a correction from God, his pride drove him to murder his own brother, in comparison count the times that you failed to take correction from someone of authority and end did it end up well?
I'm going to stop here and continue on with the actual bible study or else we'll be here forever!
1 John 3:13 "Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you."
Don't be in wonder my brothers and sisters, if the world hates you why?
Because we are not of this world, and because he is in us, and the world hated him first! So do not be surprised that the world will hate you!
1 John 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."
We have passed from death unto life, this is everlasting life, for what reason?
Because we love the brethren, he that does not love his brother abides in death, or lives/dwells in spiritual darkness, in wickedness.
1 John 3:15 "Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him."
Jesus did not come to abolish the Law, what he came to do was fulfil it, not only did Jesus fulfil the Law but he tells us that the Law is not just about our outward appearances and actions, but that the Law is spiritual and that sin comes from within, what is in our hearts he says the following in Matthew chapter 5:
Matthew 5:22 "but I say unto you, that whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire."
And then goes onto say this in Matthew chapter 15:
Matthew 15:11 "not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man."
Hate comes from within, the mere thought of hating someone could easily manifest itself into a physical outward action resulting in murder.
The action is preceded by the thoughts of the heart.
1 John 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."
Jesus laid his life for us, this is the love of God, we should lay down our lives for the brethren also, and we should forsake our own lives for the brethren, our fellow saints like our Messiah did for us.
1 John 3:17 "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?"
But whomsoever has this world's good, or material possessions and denies his brother who has need, and has no compassion or sympathy on his brother, how does the love of God dwell in him?
This is a question, so it's best not try to give an answer, but to try to understand it, because it may very well be answered shortly!
1 John 3:18 "My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth."
Brethren, let us not love in word, neither in tongue, in other words that saying goes "you're just all talk!"
We must show our love in deed and in truth, else how is our fellow man supposed to profit from our faith in the Lord if we do not show our love through our works towards the brethren?
Not A salvation Passage!
1 John 3:19 "And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him."
Hereby means "by means of" we know that we are in the truth when we do the deeds of love in truth, the love of God is in us, and because we are of the truth our hearts shall be comforted before him.
1 John 3:20 "For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things."
If our hearts condemn us, the treachery it is capable of, we can be assured that God is greater than our heart and knoweth all things.
As believers we are still tempted to give into the lusts of our hearts, but we can be sure because God knows all things, he knows more of what's in our hearts than we do.
In light of John's strict teaching above, he may have felt that some readers might start to begin to despair.
He assures them that, although our shabby attempts to honour God may leave us feeling defeated inside, God is greater than our own self-awareness and can justify us even when we would condemn ourselves.
1 Corinthians 4:4 "For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord."
He sees not only our actions, which at times are disillusioned or imprudent, but also the motives and intentions behind them.
Sometimes we feel guilty about not helping someone when we really could not, and should not do it.
Sometimes we blame ourselves when there should be no blame placed. We cannot, and should not, help everyone that asks.
We should be asking ourselves, are we doing this to please God, or are we doing this to please man?
If we are unsure we should pray and ask God what to do.
1 John 3:21 "Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God."
When a Christian identifies in his life the demonstration of love in their deeds and actions, it results in confidence about his relationship with God.
Man will benefit from such works and see our faith and love toward God.
In James chapter 2 he asks the question to the brethren, what does it profit?
Who is going to receive any benefits from your faith if you don't act on it? (Not teaching about salvation or a faith that isn't there! Every Christian will have days where their faith is dead!)
This is talking about how we can now have a clear conscience about our sins, think about it this way, in the Old Testament, the animal offering was only to temporarily atone for ones sins, and it was a temporary covering.
When Jesus came he abolished our sins, and gave us a clear conscience.
If we know in our heart that we have done the right thing, then we can stand before Jesus on judgment day with a clear conscience.
This clear conscience is also associated with rest, we can rest easy!
Hebrews 4:3 "For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, as I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world."
Hebrews 4:10 "For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his."
Matthew 11:28-30 "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
Even Jesus said it himself, those who come to me will rest, he says to take his yoke upon yourself and learn of him; for he is meek and lowly of heart: and you shall find rest to your souls.
His yoke is easy and his burden is light, I notice that people who believe in a works based false religion always say that getting into heaven and living like Christ is hard, if you believe this then you make Jesus a liar and the truth is not in you. You are NOT saved.
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."
Whatever we ask, whatever we ask in prayer, God shall give it, why?
The bible says it is because we keep his commandments and do those things that are pleasing in his sight, if we do this, God will answer everything that we shall ask for.
In the next verse, we will learn what THE commandment is, and what things we do that are pleasing to his sight.
1 John 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."
Everything that we read in this chapter and including chapter 2 is culminated in this one verse, this is the eureka moment, the verse that should enlighten everything you have read so far, and honestly speaking, is a verse that ties in with all other scriptures of the entire bible and what it teaches.
This is the statement that should be burned into your hearts, the commandment that we have received from heavenly Father is this:
"That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another"
That's what he commanded us to do, from this we inherit everything that he, himself, the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished all, and the works he did for us so that we could enter into his rest, because it is easy to get saved!
1 John 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."
He that believes on the name of the Son and loves one another dwells in him, and he will dwell in him. And as a result of this, we know that he abides in us, why?
By the Spirit which he has given us, and this Spirit is the Holy Spirit of God.
John 14:16-17 "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;17 even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you."May hope and understanding come to you all, glory be to the Father, grace and peace be unto you, love our Lord Jesus Christ, in his name, Amen.
Go to 1 John Chapter 1 2 3 4 5