Chapter Three John describes God’s wonderful love for us, how hope as His children should motivate us to pure lives. Righteous living should be expected when we know what sin is, that Christ came to destroy it, and that one truly born of God will not persist in sin (1-9). True righteousness includes loving one another, even as Christ loved us, which in turn gives us confidence and assurance that we are abiding in Him and are of the truth (10-24). POINTS TO PONDER * God’s love for us, and our love for one another * The definition of sin, and the meaning of "does not sin" (6,9) * The outworking of love, and the assurance it gives of our salvation REVIEW QUESTIONS 1) What are the main points of this chapter? - Living as children of God - 1Jn 3:1-9 - Loving one another - 1Jn 3:10-24 2) What should motivate us to live pure lives? (2-3) - The hope that when God (Jesus?) is revealed, we shall be like Him 3) How is sin defined by John? (4) - As lawlessness ("transgression of the law", cf. KJV) 4) What is true of one who abides in Jesus? Who has been born of God? (6,9) - Does not "sin" ("keep on sinning", cf. ESV, NLT) - Does not "sin" ("make a practice of sinning", ibid.) - Cannot "sin" ("keep on sinning", ibid.) 5) What distinguishes children of God from children of the devil? (10) - The former practices righteousness and loves the brethren 6) What serves as evidence that we have passed from death to life? (14) - That we love the brethren 7) How do we know what true love is? How then should we love? (16-18) - By the example Jesus set; sacrificially, in deed and truth 8) What gives us assurance and confidence that we are of the truth? (19-23) - Loving one another and keeping His commandments, especially having faith in Jesus 9) How can we know that He abides in us and we in Him? (24) - When we keep His commandments, and by His Spirit whom He has given us
[1Jo 3:1-24 NKJV] 1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know 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. 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. 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 brother's 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 [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. 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 in deed and in truth. 19 And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall 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 us commandment. 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.
McArthur Study Bible:
3:18 in word or in tongue…in deed and in truth. Claiming to love is not enough. Love is not sentiment, but deeds.