See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.
- John is in awe at how much God loves us.
- God love us so enough to make us His children.
- We are called the children of God because of His love.
- The world does not know God.
- Because we are God’s children the world does not understand us.
- We children of God now.
- We are not what we will be.
- What we will be have not seen.
- We will be like Christ when He appears.
- When Christ appears we will see Him as he truly is.
- If our hope is in Christ we are being purified.
- If our hope is in Christ we are being purified as Christ is pure.
- Lawlessness is sin.
- Sin is lawlessness.
- Everyone who practices sinning practices lawlessness.
- Christ came to take sins away.
- The reason Christ came was to destroy the works of the devil.
- In Christ there is no sin.
- If you living in Christ you do not keep on sinning.
- If we keep on sinning we are of the devil.
- If we practice righteous we are righteous as Christ is righteous
- No one born of God keeps on sinning because God’s seed abides in the person.
- Anyone born of God cannot keep on sinning
- The evidence that we are born of God is that we do not keep on sinning.
- The devil has been sinning from the beginning.
- Whoever does not practices righteousness is not of God.
- Whoever does not love his brother is not of God.
This is true love that Christ died for us. He died for us even while we were in a state of rebellion. Not only has Christ paid the price for our sin. We are adopted into His family. We are called children of God! This type of love has John in awe. He asks “What kind of love is this?” He ends that thought with, not only are we called the Children of God, which would be great in and of its self, we ARE the children of God. Not only are we the children of God here and now but we have a future also. What that exactly means we are not sure of because what we will be has not been revealed. But it will be great! In the future we will be like God because we will see God as He is.
Do you want to know why people will ridicule and belittle you and your faith? It is because, if you are redeemed, they do not know who you are. You are a child of God. They cannot comprehend it. They do not know who you are because they do not know who God is. So it is little wonder that they would do not understand.
If we are truly the children of God, There will be a family resemblance. That family resemblance is evident both now and in eternity. Since we are in Him our lives should resemble His life. Only after our knowledge of Him is complete will we be purified. But even now we know “he is righteous” and that knowledge make us increasingly righteousness.
John defines sin as lawlessness. There are many who would claim that since we are under grace and not under the law, the law has no authority over us. In this epistle John, and therefore God since John is writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, would disagree. John states very clearly, sin is lawlessness. So while our salvation is not from the law or through the law, we still need to obey God’s commandments in it. As Christ said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” John 14:15
Everyone who makes a practice of sinning practices lawlessness because they are not obeying the law. The Greek is in the present tense which suggests behavior that is characteristic or usual. John is not claiming that you will not sin. He is referring to the specific sin of apostasy, mentioned in 2:19. John means here is that true believers will not totally abandon their faith.
If you are of my generation, you may remember a comedian named Flip Wilson. He did a character named Geraldine. Flip Wilson, in the character Geraldine, made famous the saying, “The devil made me do it.” She would use that excuse to excuse her actions. Well the devil did not make do Geraldine anything. We know that; and that is why the bit was funny. We sin because we want to.
I must admit that I do not fully understand the depth of my sin. But I know that my unredeemed nature is to rebel. When my children were in high school they were going through normal teenage rebellion. It is a natural part of the maturing process. Knowing it is natural and normal does not make the process any less painful. One of my sons would often and repeatedly claim I did not love him. I would retort I did and as evidence that I did I would mention specific thing I had done for him. His response is was, “Well that just your job.” It would cut deeply. We do that kind of thing to God on a regular basis. The only difference is our sin is worse and deeper than teenage rebellion. We take for granted the air He gives us to breath because, “that is kind of His job.” We are unthankful, ungrateful, and rebellious. Even while we were in active rebellion God reached down and chose us. As John said, “What kind of love is this?!”
If we are born of God, that is, redeemed by Christ’s blood, not only will we not make a practice of sinning we cannot because the seed of God is with us. That is something to get excited about!