1 John Chapter 3

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THIS chapter embraces the following subjects: --

I. The fact that Christians are now the sons of God, 1Jn 3:1ff.

(1.) We are the sons of God, and this will explain the reason why the world does not appreciate our character, or understand the reasons of our conduct, 1Jn 3:1.

(2.) The consequences of sustaining that relation to God, or of being regarded as his sons.

(a.) We shall be like him when he appears, 1Jn 3:2.

(b.) We shall purify ourselves under the influence of this hope, 1Jn 3:3.

II. The fact that he who is an adopted child of God does not commit sin, 1Jn 3:4ff.

(1.) All sin is the transgression of the law, 1Jn 3:4;

(2.) Christ was manifested to take away our sins, 1Jn 3:5;

(3.) He that commits sin is of the devil, 1Jn 2:8; and,

(4.) as a matter of fact, he who is of God does not commit sin, 1Jn 3:7, 1Jn 3:9,10.

III. True religion will be manifested by love to the Christian brotherhood, 1Jn 3:10ff.

(1.) As a man who is not righteous cannot be a true Christian, neither can he who does not love his brother, 1Jn 3:10.

(2.) It is the solemn command of Jesus that his followers should love one another, 1Jn 3:11.

(3.) The importance of this is seen by the opposite conduct of Cain, 1Jn 3:12.

(4.) Love to the brethren furnishes the most certain evidence that we have passed from death unto life, 1Jn 3:14.

(5.) A man who hates another is in fact a murderer, and, of course, cannot be a true child of God, 1Jn 3:15.

(6.) We should be stimulated to the love of the brethren by the example of Jesus, who laid down his life for us, 1Jn 3:16.

(7.) If we see a brother in want, and have the means of aiding him, and do not do it, we cannot have the love of God dwelling in us, 1Jn 3:17, 1Jn 3:18.

IV. We may have evidence that we love God by the consciousness of our feelings towards him, as well as by outward acts towards his friends, 1Jn 3:19ff.

V. If we keep his commandments our prayers will be answered, 1Jn 3:22, 1Jn 3:23.

(1.) There is an assurance that we shall receive what we need if we ask it, and keep his commandments, 1Jn 3:22.

(2.) The particular commandments on which the efficacy of prayer so much depends, are

(a.) that we believe on the name of Jesus, and

(b.) that we love the Christian brotherhood, 1Jn 3:23.

VI. We may know that we abide in God by the spirit which he has given us, as well as by keeping his commandments, 1Jn 3:24.

This chapter, therefore, is occupied mainly with stating what are the evidences of true piety; and, in order to determine this question, there is perhaps no part of the Bible that may be studied with more profit than this portion of the writings of John.


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. edit

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. edit

3: And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. edit

4: Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. edit

5: And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. edit

6: Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. edit

7: Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. edit

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. edit

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. edit

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. edit

11: For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. edit

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. edit

13: Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. edit

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. edit

15: Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. edit

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. edit

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? edit

18: My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. edit

19: And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. edit

20: For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. edit

21: Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. edit

22: And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. edit

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. edit

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. edit

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