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Wednesday in the Word

Second Baptist Church

September 18, 2013

1 John 3:1-18

  1. Verses 1-3. What a wonderful and beautiful thing the apostle declares and harkens all that sees what he sees. We are the children of God. This is the highlight of our salvation. We are now the adopted children of the most high. We have been placed in the family of God by his grace and his mercy. This is what we get excited about. We are his children (Romans 8:15, Eph. 1:4-5, Gal. 4:7). The reason many don’t see this as the most exciting thing, is that it is a spiritual transformation and not a physical one (John 3:5-8). It might not seem like we are all that from the world’s perspective, but nevertheless we are the children of God. It is not apparent to the world that we are God’s children, because they don’t know God. If they knew God they would see the family resemblance (John 8:42-47). Not only are we the children of God, but what we shall be is not apparent. We shall be changed (Phil 3:20-21, I Corinth 15:50- 53). We will be like Christ when he returns. The glory of what we shall be has not been revealed yet.

  2. Verses 4-6. The result of our spiritual transformation is that we are turning away from sin. We are not sinless, but our testimony is that we are sinning less and less each day. Christ came to take away our sin. He did not take our sin away for us to continue in sin, any child of his would know that. The testimony that you are his child is that you know you should stop sinning. The true child for God sees the father’s will and knows he hates sin. What child, who says they love their father, would continue to go against his will? If sin is still a lifestyle for a person, and they are not seeking to move away from the sin in their lives, it stands to reason that they might not know the Father.

  3. Verses 7-10. The apostle admonishes the church to not be led astray. The words are of a stranger luring an innocent child into danger. The false prophets were rationalizing sin and downplaying the holiness of God. They were giving the people a license to sin, but the apostle declares that those who are righteous do right, and those that are of the devil continue in sin. Those who do right do right because their father does right, those who live in sin do so because their father is the devil. The apostle then connects doing right with loving your sister or brother. If you are righteous then you do right, and doing right always includes loving your fellow man.

  4. Verses 11-15. The apostle reminds the people that the message of Love has always been the same. Love God and love your neighbor. John uses the story of Cain and Abel to demonstrate the contrast of those who love and those who hate their brother. We are to be like Abel, but we should not be surprised if the world treats us like Cain treated his brother. Abel’s actions indicted his brother, and the world hates our love for God because if we are right about sin, than they are wrong and in danger of the wrath of God. John highlights that hate for your brother is connected with murder, and murder is something that is inconsistent With the Love of God that is in a believer. If one has eternal life in them, murder and hate cannot be there as well.

  5.  Verses 16-18. Love is demonstrated more through actions than mere words. The example of Love is found on the cross. Christ laid down his life for us and we should follow his example (see Phil 2:6-8). The apostle makes it clear, if you see a brother or sister in need and you don’t look for a way to help how can you say the Love of God is in you. Self-sacrifice is never convenient. It’s always more of a hassle to meet someone’s needs than to ignore him. But, John’s point is the same as Jesus’ point in the parable of the Good Samaritan: We must not ignore others’ needs, but rather, sacrifice our time, energy, and money to help them out. This does not mean indiscriminately doling out money to those who are lazy or irresponsible (2 Thess. 3:10-12). We need discernment and wisdom to know how best to help a needy person. But we also need to be careful not to excuse our indifference by labeling the other person as lazy or irresponsible. Love unites people through practical deeds of self-sacrifice.

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