OPENING PRAYERS …
1 John 3 Study – (vv. 1-24) “Love One Another”
The Command to Love
3 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of [a]God! Therefore the world does not know [b]us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
Sin and the Child of God
4 Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. 5 And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. 6 Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him.
7 Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. 8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose, the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. 9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.
The Imperative of Love
10 In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother. 11 For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, 12 not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brothers righteous.
13 Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love [c]his brother abides in death. 15 Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
The Outworking of Love
16 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?
18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but indeed and in truth. 19 And by this we [d]know that we are of the truth, and shall [e]assure our hearts before Him. 20 For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. 21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. 22 And whatever we ask we receive from 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 [f]us commandment.
The Spirit of Truth and the Spirit of Error
24 Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.
Notes 1 John 3 Study – (v. 1; v. 2, vv. 4-9; v. 12; v. 15)
3:1: St. Bede says that at the Judgement, the people of the world “will say to one another, groaning and repenting, ‘These are they whom we once held in derision and, as it were, a byword for taunts; witless we judged their life madness and their end without honor … How have they been numbered among the children of God, and is their lot among the saints???” Christians, of course, are CHIDREN OF GOD by the grace while remaining human by nature …
3:2: Made in God’s image and likeness, we are fulfilled by becoming LIKE HIM, a process called sanctification or deification … Being “partakers of the divine nature” – (2Peter 1:4), we are “transformed into the same image from glory to glory” – (2Corinthians 3:18) … When we see Him as He is, in the fulness of His glory at the LAST DAY, this process will be supremely magnified … The Apostle John had seen the foretaste of this glory when he was on the Mount of Transfiguration – (Matthew 17:1-9; Mark 9:2-9; & Luke 9:28-36) …
How shall we see Him??? Through our likeness to Him, our human nature will be glorified with the glorified humanity of the Son – (see – Colossians 3:3-4) and through a knowledge of all three Persons of the Holy Trinity – (undivided Trinity) – (Paul’s expressions, “face to face”, and “with unveiled face” – in 1Corinthians 13:12; 2Corinthians 3:18) …
3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
2 Corinthians 3:18:
18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as [a]by the Spirit of the Lord.
3:4-9: The Apostle John is talking in some general terms, contrasting this world along with the world that is to come … The Christian, though sinful, does not sin – (v. 9); does not keep on sinning) as the world does … The Church lives under God’s influence; the world, under Satan’s lawlessness – (v. 4), is living without law, in a hardened enmity to God … The devil – (v. 8 – slander or opposer) is a creature, a fallen archangel … FROM THE BEGINNING – (v. 8) refers to Satan’s ceaseless sinning since his fall …
3:12: We are to give our attention to deeds being a doer of good deeds just not a hearer of spiritual words … Abel showed himself righteous, a child of faith and love; Cain showed himself evil, self-centered, and envious – (see, Genesis 4:4, & v. 8; Hebrews 11:4; and Hebrews 12:24) …
Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering,
24 to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.
3:15: “If then we wish to receive the Lord’s blessings we should restrain not only the outward expression of anger, but also angry thoughts … More beneficial than controlling our tongue in a moment of anger and refraining from angry words is purifying our heart from rancor and not harboring malicious thoughts against our brethren … The Gospel teaches us to cut off the roots of our sins and not merely their fruits … When we have dug the root of anger out of our heart, we no longer act with hatred or envy … “Whoever hates his brother is a murder’ – (1John 3:15), for he kills him with the hatred in his mind … The blood of a man who has been slain by the sword can be seen by men, but blood shed by the hatred in the mind is seen by God, who rewards each man with punishment or a crown not only for his acts but for his thoughts and intentions as well … As God Himself says through the Prophet: ‘Behold, I am coming to reward them according to their actions and their thoughts’ – (Wisdom of Sirach 11:24); and the Apostle says: ‘And their thoughts accuse or else excuse them in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men’ – (Romans 2:15-16) … The Lord Himself teaches us to put aside all anger when He says: ‘Whoever is angry with his brother shall be in danger of Judgement’ – (Matthew 5:22) … This is the text of the best manuscripts; for it is clear from the purpose of Scripture in this context that the words ‘without a cause’ were added later … The Lord’s intention is that we should remove the root of the anger, its spark, so to speak, in whatever way we can, and not keep even a single pretext for anger in our hearts … Otherwise we will be stirred to anger initially for what appears to be a good reason and then find that our incensive power is totally out of control” – (JohnCas) John Cassian …