Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, March 3rd, 2024
the Third Sunday of Lent
There are 28 days til Easter!
StudyLight.org has pledged to help build churches in Uganda. Help us with that pledge and support pastors in the heart of Africa.
Click here to join the effort!

Bible Commentaries
1 John 3

Everett's Study Notes on the Holy ScripturesEverett's Study Notes

Search for…
Enter query below:
Additional Authors

Verses 1-12

1 John 3:2 “when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is” Comments - We will receive resurrection bodies (1 Corinthians 15:51-52, Philippians 3:20-21).

1 Corinthians 15:51-52, “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”

Philippians 3:20-21, “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.”

1 John 3:3 “even as He is pure” - Comments - Verse 2 says that we shall be like him, which is “pure.”

1 John 3:7 “even as He is righteous” - Comments - Verse 2 says that we shall be like him, which is to be “righteous.”

Scripture Reference - Note:

Genesis 3:15, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”

1 John 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

1 John 3:8 “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning” Comments - The next verse tells us that a person who is born of God does not commit sin. Thus, within the context of this passage of Scripture 1 John 3:8 refers to a person committing sin as someone who has the same nature as the devil, a person with a sin nature, whose spirit has not been regenerated.

1 John 3:8 “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil” - Comments - Note that 1 John 3:8 does not say that He will destroy the devil, since the devil is an eternal being. But it says that Jesus will destroy the works that Satan is causing on this earth. We see a brief description of these works in John 10:10.

John 10:10, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

1 John 3:9 Comments - Man’s spirit is born again, and not his flesh nor mind (Note John 3:6). Though the flesh wants to sin and sometimes is allowed to sin (Romans 7:18), the inner man hates it, even while the sin is taking place.

John 3:6, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”

Romans 7:18, “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.”

If you remember the example of King David, how he was tempted by Satan to number the children of Israel.

1 Chronicles 21:1, “And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.”

David did fall into an act of sin, but his heart convicted him and he repented. In contrast, the wicked kings Israel and Judah continued in their sins and repented not, because the spirit of God was not at work in their lives revealing to them their sins.

A child of God will not continue in his sins. He will fall into conviction of his sins and attempt to move away from them. However, a child of Satan will live in sin and never know the difference.

1 John 3:12 Scripture References - See:

Genesis 4:4, “And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:”

Hebrews 11:4, “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.”

Verses 14-22

1 John 3:14 Comments - When he speaks of death, John is referring to physical death, which is separation from God. We can know that we have passed from spiritual death to spiritual life because we have the love of God abiding in us. In our natural birth, we partook of the nature and likeness of our parents. But when were born again from above, we immediately partook of the nature and likeness of God. We know that God is love.

1 John 4:8, “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.”

Therefore, Kenneth Hagin gives the following translation of this verse, “We know we’ve passed from spiritual death and its consequences eternal separation from God to eternal life because we have this fruit called love.” [30]

[30] Kenneth Hagin, Love the Way to Victory (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c1994, 1995), 46.

1 John 3:18 “but in deed and in truth” - Comments - You can do good things, or deeds, for people. That is, they seem good to you, like taking children to see Santa Clause or buying them things they do not need. However, to love in truth means to do things for others which are scripturally sound.

Illustration - While browsing through a book store to buy children’s books as Christmas gifts, the Lord quickened two verses to me: Proverbs 22:6 and 1 Timothy 1:4. Therefore I knew that if was against God’s will to buy them anything but Bible literature. Amen

Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

1 Timothy 1:4, “ Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies , which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.”

1 John 3:18 Comments - We love in word and tongue with our minds; we love in deed with our physical actions; we love in truth from the integrity of our heart. Thus, the Lord is telling us to love others from pure motives by our actions as well as our words.

We love man by helping others:

James 1:27, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”

We love God by doing His Word. God’s Word is truth:

John 14:15, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”

1 John 3:19 Comments - When we are walking in love towards others (1 John 3:18) we are living holy, obedient lives, and we have a confidence in our hearts to stand before a living God. Praise the Lord Jesus, and Righteous Father, forever and even, Amen, and Amen!!!

We need to be convinced in our hearts that we are of the truth, and we do this by walking in love.

1 John 3:20 Comments The NIV and RSV read, “whenever our heart condemns us;” the NASB reads, “in whatever our heart condemns us.”

However, the child of God does not always walk in obedience towards God and love towards others. Thus, when we fail, our conscience, which is the voice of our spirit, tells us we have erred. Thank God, we are able simply come before God in confidence and acknowledge our weakness and ask for His mercy, thus, strengthening our faith in Him.

1 John 3:21 Comments - We can also have this confidence on the Day of Judgment.

1 John 4:17, “Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment : because as he is, so are we in this world.”

Illustration - Note as an illustration in Job 27:6, “My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live .”

1 John 3:20-22 Comments The Conscience is the Voice of Man’s Spirit - The voice of our heart, or our spirit, is the conscience. Thus, 1 John 3:20-22 tells us that when our conscience judges us in wrongdoing, we should realize that God is greater than our hearts and is able to search it out. He knows the inner secrets of the heart and there is nothing hid before His eyes. When our conscience is telling us that we are doing right, we feel confident in our relationship with God and we know that when we pray, God will hear our prayers and answer us.

Comments The Command to Be Fruitful and Multiply - John 15:16 tells us that we have been called to bear fruit for the kingdom of God. If we go back to the beginnings, before the Fall of man, we find this same commandment given to mankind. In Genesis 1:28 God commanded man to be fruitful and to multiply. When we follow this plan for our lives, we begin to do those things that are pleasing in His sight and we place ourselves in a position to ask whatever we want and we will receive from Him (1 John 3:22). Thus, the promise in John 15:16 that whatsoever we ask the Father in Jesus’ name will be given to us is only from fruit-bearers. It is not for the carnal-minded.

John 15:16, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”

Genesis 1:28, “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

1 John 3:22, “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.”

Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on 1 John 3". Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghe/1-john-3.html. 2013.
adsFree icon
Ads FreeProfile