It’s Tuesday and time to look at another chunk of 1st John. I’m so glad you are here. Have you been following along since week one of Quietly Through 1st John? What have you learned that has made the biggest impact on you so far? Please let me know in the comments below.
The Children of God
28 And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. 29 If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.
3:1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. (1 John 2:28-3:3)
Ideas to Consider
- Who is John writing to (vv1-2)?
- Why are they called children of God (v1)?
- How do you know if someone is born of God (v29)? Why is this important? (Hint: Think about the lessons from Week 6)
(This is just a little bit of what I took away from the passage. Remember, I’m human and severely flawed. Don’t just take my words as God’s truth. Be sure to be led by the Spirit, not me.)
John begins to refer to the Believers he is writing to as the children of God. He encourages them to abide in the Spirit as the Spirit abides in them (1 John 2:24-27). He encourages them to practice righteousness, looking forward to the return of Christ. And he encourages them continue in hope.
We, too, are children of God and are to abide in the Spirit as the Spirit abides in us. This continual dwelling in and with the Spirit will lead to the practicing of righteousness. This ability to do what is right is the fruit of the Spirit. It is the result of being in fellowship with God, not a prerequisite for being with Him. In other words, practicing righteousness is not something that God expects out of us before we come to Him. It is something that naturally flows from our lives once we choose to step out of darkness and into the light (1 John 1:5-9, also see Week 2).
Practicing righteousness is how we express our faith in Christ. It is how we respond to God’s love for us.
What does doing right look like? Walking as Christ walked — loving God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength; and loving others as we love ourselves (1 John 2:8-11, also see Week 3).
The world will not understand our walk as we begin to imitate Christ simply because they don’t know Him. They have no understanding of the nature of our Father, especially His holy will to sanctify and redeem mankind through Christ. Even though this rejection by the world may be awkward, uncomfortable or just plain painful at times it’s not the end-all-be-all.
Christ is coming back!
And when He does we will see Him fully. We will also see the final result of the work God has been doing in us. Our sanctification will be complete and we will be able to be in His presence completely unashamed.
Oh, how I long for this day! How I hope for this day! Don’t you? And it is in this hoping — this putting our full faith and confidence in what God has promised — that we become pure as Christ as pure. How simple — and awesome! — is that!?!
Father in heaven, how wondrous you are to love us! To call us your children! Thank you for the grace that allows us to come to you and abide in you just as we are. May each of us respond to this love and grace by practicing righteousness. May we each live a life worthy of your Son. In your name I pray. Amen.
I’d love to see a discussion started in the comments section. Please leave a comment and let the rest of us know what you think.
- How does abiding in Him lead to confidence?
- How does abiding lead us to practice righteousness? What does this look like for you personally?
- Practicing righteousness is the result of being in fellowship with God, not a prerequisite for being with Him. What does this say about God’s love for you? How will you respond to this love?
FURTHER STUDY IDEAS
Here are a few study ideas to do between now and next Tuesday. I suggest doing one or two a day in order to keep you thinking about the passage all week long.
- Start or continue a double entry journal.
- Hand write the passage.
- Did this passage make you think of other passages in the Bible? Share those passages with the rest of us in the comments.
- Read James 2:14-18. How does this passage relate to practicing righteousness and loving your brother/sister as we read in 1 John 2:3-11?
- Read 1 Peter 1:15. How does this relate to today’s passage?
- Write a summary of what you’ve learned from this passage. If you are a blogger, write a post and share it in the next #QuietlyThroughThursday LINK UP.
- Read 1 John 1-5. Yes, ma’am, the whole thing.
If you missed any of our online study of 1st John, click on the image for a complete list of previous posts.