1 John 3
The Basis for Fellowship 1:5-2:2, cont’d.
We Must Purify Our Life (3:1-3)
Due to the fact that we have been "born of Him" (2:29)...we are God's children. We are still children, not adults...so, we don't know exactly what we are going to be like when we have fully matured. However, because of this hope that one day we will be like Jesus…in the mean time, we should begin now to purify oursleves to be like Him. Don’t wait until we die and go to Heaven to live like it…but, begin to let Heaven live through us now.
We Must Not Practice Sin (3:4-10)
Jesus appeared in order to take away sin...and no one who follows Him practices sin (willingly, intentionally, habitually continues to do so). In a similar way, those who live like the devil belong to the devil. Jesus came to destroy what the devil has done. Those who have been born of God, spiritually born...cannot continue to practice sin...because the "seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God”. (:9). When we accept Christ we are born again and our nature is changed. We literally cannot continue to practice sin…it is against our new nature. Someone asks, “What about the person who says that he has accepted Christ but continues to live a sinful life? Or what about a person who says he has accepted Christ and lives that way for a while…but then returns to a sinful life?” There are many people who have a family member or friend who fits this description. And certainly, we want them all to go to Heaven…and are tempted to want to make an excuse for them. But John makes it clear here that the person who has been born again simply will not continue to practice sin. The person who does so, regardless of the fact that the may claim to have accepted Christ, is not born of God.
We Must Love One Another (3:11-18)
One of the evidences that we are the children of God is how we treat and love other people. We know what love really is because we see it in Jesus...and the fact that He gave His life for us (:16)...so, we should be willing to do the same. Our love is not to be only a matter of what we say, but actually in how we live and treat one another (:17).
Don’t be surprised if people do not always respond in a positive manner to your living a righteous life. Sometimes, they will take it as a condemnation of their own life. This is exactly what Cain did. He saw the righteous life of Abel and took it as a condemnation of himself. He felt that Abel was judging him…so, in anger he killed him (:12). John tells us that we may experience similar responses to our righteous lifestyle (:13).
We Must Keep His Commandments (3:19-24)
God knows the truth about us...whether we recognize and accept the truth through our own thinking, or not. The Holy Spirit will convict us, reveal to us, the true state of our heart. When our hearts are right with Him…
- then our prayers will be answered (:22)
- we will be confident in our relationship with Him because we will recognize the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives (:24).
There are two basic commandments that God has given us…and they are in keeping with the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:36-40).
- Believe in Jesus (:23)
- Love One Another (:23)
Prayer: Lord, don't let me live much of the time, or most of the time in obedience to You. But help me to live 24/7 for You...to keep Your commandments and to love other people.