This week we are going to be looking at 1 John 3: 1-10. This passage has some really powerful and important words for us to hear. Today we’ll be looking at the World of the Text of this passage.
1 See what love the Father has given 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. 2 Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. 3 And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. 4 Everyone who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. 5 You know that he was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. 6 No one who abides in him sins; no one who sins has either seen him or known him. 7 Little children, let no one deceive you. Everyone who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. 8 Everyone who commits sin is a child of the devil; for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The Son of God was revealed for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. 9 Those who have been born of God do not sin, because God’s seed abides in them; they cannot sin, because they have been born of God. 10 The children of God and the children of the devil are revealed in this way: all who do not do what is right are not from God, nor are those who do not love their brothers and sisters.
Today we pick up with verse 4. It is interesting when you look at the Greek of “everyone who commits sin” is really talking more about a violation of the Mosaic covenant that we think of an act of “sin.” John is not talking about doing something that is wrong but instead is talking more about the breaking of the covenant of the Law, choosing to reject the covenant of God. That is why one who “sins” is living lawlessly, they have rejected the constraints of God’s law and God’s life. Sin is lawlessness because the sin implied here is the sin that rejects God’s mercy.
When you understand that, you see that one who abides in Christ will not choose to reject God’s covenant and grace, this sin is not so much an action as a rejection of God. So, think about now, the devil, he has from the beginning rejected God and rebelled against Him, and Jesus came to destroy that rebellion. Jesus came to destroy the works and footholds of the devil.
Those who have been born of God will not live that lifestyle of sin, because the Spirit is in them and that Spirit is drawing them closer to God. They are abiding in God. They cannot remain trapped in that lifestyle, the Spirit of God will not allow it to happen.
So, our lifestyle and our rejection or acceptance of God shows who we are. If we reject God, His covenant, and His mercy, then we are not children of God. In that case, we are choosing to sin. If we accept God’s mercy, God’s grace, God’s love then we are the children of God. Our lifestyles show us who we are.
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