The Epistles of John Bible Study 1 John Chapter 3 Part 2

Let’s go on to 1 John 3:4-9

v4: Whoever – Everyone: No exceptions.

  • Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness: When the Bible speaks of lawlessness it speaks about those who are opposed to the moral and ethical standards of G-d. Lawless people rebel against the character of G-d. The law of Moses relates to righteousness. The law is not an instrument that can be used to make us righteous, but it defines what righteousness and unrighteousness is. Here we see a coming together (a unity) between sin and lawlessness. There is a unique relationship between what the law expresses (love and righteousness -Gal 5:14, Roms 8:3-4) and the one who is with Messiah (if we are IN Messiah we are going to walk in love and demonstrate righteousness). Likewise, the one who is in sin is going to be practicing lawlessness. Lawless is the opposite of what we are called to be. We are called to be lawful. This means that we are to walk in love and do righteousness, which is what the law expresses. 
  • Sin is lawlessness: Sin, we could say, is against the law.

v5: He: Yeshua

  • Was manifested: He was revealed to us when He came into this world around 2000 years ago.
  • To take away (remove) our sins: This was Messiah’s call while He was in this world. He did the work, but we are only going to benefit from His work if we receive it. If we do not receive His work our sins will not be removed from us.
  • In Him there is no sin: The reason why He could accomplish His Father’s will perfectly was because He never sinned. 

v6: Abides: This shows a condition or a state of being – we need to remain in a relationship of obedience to Him. When we, as believers (in a covenant relationship with Him), rebel, we are not going to be a recipient of His provisions (we will become recipients of His discipline) and nor are we going to be pleasing to Him. He does not, however, remove His love from us. When we choose sin there are going to be consequences – earthly and spiritual consequences. We need to be people who remain in Him – remain in His Word, remain in His will, continue to fulfil His purposes. When we do this we will not sin. 

  • Does not sin: This verse is not saying that if we are a true believer we will never ever sin. There are times when we do not remain. However, 1 John 2:1 tells us that if we do sin we have an Advocate who intercedes for us and who forgives us. 
  • Whoever sins: This is referring to those who practice sin constantly and in a consistent way. They never fall under conviction for their sin and neither do they repent of it or have remorse for it. 
  • Neither seen Him nor known Him: By their fruit (habitual sin with no remorse or conviction) it can be plainly seen that these people are not believers – i.e. they have no covenantal relationship with Yeshua. They consistently go against G-d’s will.

v7: Children: John is speaking to believers – people who are in the family of G-d. 

  • Practices righteousness: To practice righteousness is normal behaviour for Christians. 
  • He: Referring to Yeshua. In the Greek it does not say “He”. It uses the phrase: “that One”, therefore making it emphatic. 
  • He is righteous: Our behaviour should consistently be in agreement with the behaviour of Messiah Yeshua. In and of ourselves we are not righteous. Messiah’s righteousness has been imputed to us (2 Cor 5:21). However, because the Holy Spirit fills us we can practice righteousness (do good things).

v8: He who sins: He is consistently sinning – that is the norm of his life. Consistent sin is a sign that that person is not a child of G-d but rather is from the devil. 

  • Of/from the devil: People who are from the devil can do things that are nice, pleasant, generous etc, but if we look at their lives as a whole we will see a consistent disobedience to the Word of G-d. 
  • From the beginning (the devil sins): That has always been his character – he is consistently doing sin. 
  • Manifested: Revealed
  • Destroy the works: Messiah has been revealed and has won the battle on the cross. The proof of this win is evidenced in His resurrection – by rising from the dead He defeated, destroyed, the power of sin (i.e. death – Roms 6:23). 
  • The works of the devil: The devil himself does work; he has servants (demons) who also do his works as well as human beings. 

v9: Been born of G-d: Being born is not something that we can do for ourselves. Someone else (in this case, G-d) does it for us. 

  • Does not sin: This does not mean that that person never sins. Although he does sin it is not his normal or consistent behaviour. His normal behaviour is to practice righteousness -demonstrating the love that he has received from G-d to others.
  • His seed: The seed of Messiah, which is the presence of His Holy Spirit who dwells in us, will not allow us to walk consistently and continuously in sin. The Holy Spirit is going to cause us to fall under conviction and to repent. He is going to cause us to want to turn in obedience to the will of G-d.
  • He cannot sin (not able to sin): When we are born again our natures become new – we become a new creation (2 Cor 5:17). Although we do sin it no longer defines us (we are no longer called “sinner”, but are declared “righteous” – Roms 5:19)

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