1 John 3:1-10 | Living as Children of God
2:29If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of him.
- The preceding verse provides a great summary of this section – if we are truly born of a righteous God, then we will do what is righteous!
1See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!
- We are children of God whom God has lavished his love on – he lavishly loves us!
- This assurance and confidence of tis truth needs to sink in deeply for it to affect the way we live
- Our child-Father relationship with God needs to become our core identity and so out of that identity we live and respond to life
The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.
- We find our identity in God, which is why we feel like foreigners and aliens in the world, like the world does not know us, because the world does not know God.
- We are children of God now with an amazing destiny for the future, a great surprise and blessing that awaits us. But whatever our roles will be, we will be like Christ for there will be nothing hindering that
- Having this hope in us about who we are in Christ actually purifies us. So by meditating on that fact that we are children of God, lavishly loved by our Heavenly Father with an amazing destiny of glory of holiness awaiting us, actually purifies our lives!
- Just as Moses looked at God and came back radiant, so we too when we look at God come away purified, just as he is pure!
4Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. 5But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. 6No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.
- Here we see the union between God’s law and God himself – when we sin we do not break an abstract set of rules that are disconnected to an being, we transgress against the very nature of God
- If there is no sin in God, then God keeps and upholds the law 100% – so really he is the law!
- So when we sin, we are breaking the law, but breaking God’s heart at the same time
- Christ appeared so that he might take away our sin, and therefore takeaway our transgression against God himself! This is why it is so important to understand propitiation, that our sin is an assault on God himself, not an abstract law and therefore God is righteous and just to respond with anger and wrath to our sin.
- Therefore, since to be one with God is to not sin, no-one who lives in him, or has seen him or known him continues to sin
7Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. 8The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.
- ‘The one who does what is right is righteous’ does not mean that we create a righteousness out of our right works, but that we do right works because we are righteous. Fully embracing our righteousness in Christ leads us in sanctification as we begin to walk that truth out
- This is where we must be careful in not saying “God is not concerned with this or that” when his requirements are explicit in scripture
- We should have no tolerance for sin. Anything that is sinful is of the devil because the devil’s work has been to sin since the beginning, to do other than that which God desires.
- Otherwise we can be led astray thinking that certain behaviours are okay or ‘not as bad’ in the sight of God, not realizing that they are an assault on his very nature!
9No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. 10This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.
- When we become born of God we receive the Holy Spirit, which is like a seed planted and growing within us, and it makes the word of God the true Word over our lives
- Likened to a woman becoming pregnant with a ‘seed’. Once she conceives something changes and she is now pregnant and will give birth one day. So too, we are pregnant with the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, which dwell within us, and one day that will give birth to our produce the fruit of salvation
- The idea of ‘seed’ is actually very similar to the idea of the ‘still small voice of the Holy Spirit’. We consider doing something or start to react a certain way, but that seed/the Holy Spirit within us starts to speak and causes us to live differently.
- Ultimately we are proved right by our fruit. If the truth within us causes us to do what is right then we know that we are the children of God. We should be weary of increasing in knowledge and theology but not of love.