Daily Devotional Sunday 12th November 2023by William Moody
1 John 3
3:1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears1 we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 3 And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
4 Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. 5 You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. 6 No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. 7 Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. 8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. 9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s2 seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God. 10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.
Love One Another
11 For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 12 We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. 13 Do not be surprised, brothers,3 that the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. 15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
19 By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; 20 for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. 21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 22 and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. 24 Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God,4 and God5 in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.
Or when it appears
Or brothers and sisters. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, the plural Greek word adelphoi (translated “brothers”) may refer either to brothers or to brothers and sisters; also verses 14, 16
Love has to run through every part of the Christian life (v11). John has previously spoken of the necessity of love in the context of light and darkness (2 v7-11). This teaching is based on Jesus’ words in the Upper Room (John 13 v34-35) and Old Testament passages (Deuteronomy 6 v5; Leviticus 19 v18).
Cain is used as an example of hatred (v12-15). He killed his brother because his heart was evil and jealous of his righteous brother (v12). Hatred is a mark of a world that hates Christ and righteousness (v13) and a mark of remaining in spiritual death; love is the mark of having passed into eternal life (v14-15).
Jesus is given as an example of love (v16-18). The reason love must be such a vital part of the Christian life is that love is such a part of Christ’s life. Jesus’ sacrificial death is particularly the supreme example of love (v16). True love has to be truly sacrificial (v16b). We can’t lightly pass over this statement.
The love that is called for is a love a genuine compassion and action (v17-18). This is a love based on the truth of Jesus, it flows from faith. Paul teaches that the only thing that counts is ‘faith working through love.’ (Galatians 5 v6)
Not having this love is a denial of the faith (v17). A lack of love shows separation from the God of love.
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