1 John 3:1-24

  This chapter continues the theme started in 1 John 2:18-27 of overcoming the antichrist(s) by confession of God’s Son. In verses 1-10, John gives the believer reason to celebrate – ‘Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!’ From verse 2, we are His ‘beloved’, we will be like Him, we shall see Him as He is. Such joy is found in these verses. And wonder builds in verse 3 as John tells us that Hope in Christ purifies us as He is pure! That statement is nearly beyond comprehension because of our fallen nature and the world we live in.

  There is warning too, as we are reminded that ‘the world does not know us’ as it does not know Him. Verse 4 tells us that sinfulness is lawlessness. If someone recklessly and habitually violates the anointing placed in them, then they: have not ‘seen or known’ Him and do not ‘abide’ in Him. It becomes evident who is a child of God and who is a child of the devil. The one who does not practice righteousness and does not love his brother is not God’s child.

  We overcome evil by loving one another and by listening to the Apostle John as explained in verses 11-24. Cain’s example of murdering Able is recounted and John tells us that if we even hate our brother, we are murderers. Here is how we know LOVE: He laid down His life for us and we ought lay down our lives for the brothers. Jesus path to the cross marks the selfless, self-giving way of life to which His followers are called. When our heart condemns of sin, we know that God is greater than our heart and grants us assurance that He has forgiven us through the atoning work of Christ.

  Obedience leads to a clean heart – the type of heart that God hears and is pleased with. When we ask of Him, He answers. We pray in faith, with patience, in obedience and in submission to God’s greater wisdom.

  As I studied this chapter, I felt so much thanksgiving for the men and women who lay down their lives each week to teach the children of GCBC about Jesus and His love for them. I know it is our prayer that each child we touch will know Jesus as his Lord and Savior. Though none of us live sinless lives, I believe, as this chapter in 1 John states, God hears our prayer and is pleased that we ask.   — Mary Mauderer

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