1 John 2:28-3:10

The first time I read this passage, I was pretty bummed. I was saved when I was 6, which means that most of my sinful habits developed WHILE I was a Christian. I still fight with some of them to this day: Quick temper, harsh words, judgmental attitude for starters.

Upon other readings of this passage, I began to realize that it’s talking about our walk with Him and not just our deeds. Let’s look:

28 And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.

29 If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of him.

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears,[a] we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.

Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.

Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. 10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.

  • v28- Our walk with Him makes us confident and unashamed at His coming. If we go to meet Him first, we are STILL confident and unashamed because walking with Him is what He asks us to do.
  • v29- Jesus may know our hearts, but we don’t know other people’s hearts. The only way we can tell is by their habitual tendencies, in this case, their righteous acts. Are they living according to the Spirit? Is there any conscience? Are they striving to become more like Christ? Are WE striving to become more like Him?!
  • v3:1- I LOVE THIS VERSE! He has adopted us! WOW! If you’ll remember, Roman adoption was forever; it couldn’t be undone. Paul had this in mind when he wrote: (4) For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love (5) he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will– Ephesians 1:4-6. In these verses, Paul uses these words: chose, holy, blameless, love, adopted, pleasure, and will. If we were to read through verse 10, we would hear these words: praise, grace, freely, loves, redemption, forgiveness, riches, more grace, lavished, all wisdom, understanding, mystery, his good pleasure, purpose. I highlighted a couple of the words that tell me that God does not do these things reticently, but gladly. He waited a long time (by our standards) to put into effect the Gospel of Jesus Christ wherein He reached out to all mankind in order to FREELY POUR OUT LAVISHLY His love and grace and forgiveness and riches and wisdom…etc. If the world would stop long enough to investigate what God has done for them through Jesus, many of them would run to Him as we did. Sadly, many wouldn’t. They don’t want to give up doing things their way. They don’t want to know Jesus.
  • v2- Glorification is what happens when we see Jesus. He is making us like Himself: loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and having self-control (all taken from Galatians 5:22-23). We could go to 1 Corinthians 13 and apply that list, as well: We do not envy, we do not boast, we are not proud. We do not dishonor others; we are not self-seeking. We are not easily angered, we keep no record of wrongs. We do not delight in evil but rejoice with the truth. We always protect, always trust, always hope, and always persevere. We never fail in these things (verses 4-8). Wherever we are in the process, we fast forward to the end to be like Him. That’s encouraging!
  • v3- For this reason, we continue to “purify ourselves,” which means to continue to “put off” the old person and “put on” the new person, “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:24.
  • v4,5,6- Jesus took away our sins. From now on, we live for Him WITH Him inside us guiding us, speaking to us, and through His Word, “teaching us, rebuking us, correcting us, and training us in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16. If He is in us, we cannot sin without conscience or consequences (for more on the discipline of God with His children [us], read Hebrews 12:4-12). These sins don’t break our relationship with Him, but they do affect our fellowship with Him.
  • v7,8,9,10- It boils down to having the Spirit in us. If Jesus is our Lord and He lives in our hearts and controls our lives, then we strive to please Him. We take each thought captive to Him; we put off our old habits and create new ones in His likeness. We actively love through our actions and our words. If someone is not interested in following Christ in this fashion, then Jesus is not in that person. Otherwise, he would feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit and respond accordingly. The test is to see what a person does habitually. What is the overall action? Who does the person follow on a daily basis?

The song, “They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love,” pretty much says it all.

Verse 1:

We are one in the Spirit
We are one in the Lord
We are one in the Spirit
We are one in the Lord
And we pray that all unity
May one day be restored

Refrain:

And they’ll know we are Christians
By our love, By our love
Yes, they’ll know we are Christians
By our love

Verse 2:

We will walk with each other
We will walk hand in hand
We will walk with each other
We will walk hand in hand
And together we’ll spread the news
That God is in our land

Verse 3:

We will work with each other
We will work side by side
We will work with each other
We will work side by side
And we’ll guard each man’s dignity
And save each man’s pride

Verse 4:

All praise to the Father
From whom all things come
And all praise to Christ Jesus His only son
And all praise to the Spirit
Who makes us one

By Our Love-King and Country (a pretty good version)

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