Archive for September 8th, 2009

1 John 3


1 John 3:6 “No one who lives in him keeps on sinning.  No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him”. 

1 John 3:9 “No one who is born of God will continue to sin”.


Those are pretty strong words.  I have struggled over their meanings many times.  But this time I noticed something I had never picked up on before.


John is writing to believers (5:13, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life”).  He is writing, partly, about deceivers (4:1, “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God”). 


In light of that, it makes more sense that though he is writing 3:6 and 3:9 to those who believe, I think he is writing about those who are trying to deceive.


John addresses both ends.  He addresses the deceivers who have not seen God, known God, or been born of God, and as a result continue in sin.  He also addresses the believers who have seen God, known God, and been born of God, and as a result do not continue in sin. 


As he exposes the disqualified and encourages the qualified, he has an overall tone of warning – “Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray” (3:7). To both ends and to all in between; to believers who have to some degree been deceived, there is warning. 


Maybe it is just enough to keep them from knowing God to the extent that He is able to be known.  Maybe it is to the point that God is now seldom in their thoughts.  Maybe it is to the point of being dead in the middle where they have just the right amount of God and just the right amount of sin to satisfy both sides?


John’s letter provides an opportunity for all of us to evaluate where we are.  He gives us truth to counter all that is false.  What have we come to believe?  How does it measure up?  To what extent do we continue in sin?  To what extent have we seen God – known God?

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