August 31: Living as Children of God (1 John 3:1-10)
1 John 3:1-10
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. Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. 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. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. 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. (ESV)
The love of God is a wonder to behold. In the text for Sunday John actually commands us to behold God's love for us and, as a result, live righteously before him and one another. We can do this because he has taken all the steps necessary to make us his beloved children. Even more, he promises that we will one day see him face-to-face as a child looks at her father as he reads a bedtime story to her. This reality of God's love for and adoption of us in Christ is the logic of the Bible. And, as this text teaches, key to our living righteous, obedient lives as God's children. Do you live righteously? To answer this question ask yourself, do you behold the love of God for you?
Review and Apply
1. What does John teach us in this passage about the love of God?
2. Christians: Do you regularly enjoy the fatherhood of God / do you understand your identity as his child? Non-Christians: Do you see the goodness of God that he would make sinners, such as yourself, his children?
3. In 1 John 3:2–3 John teaches about the already and not yet character of the Christian life. Do you understand this key characteristic? Do you regularly consider the second coming of Christ as a reality?
4. What does John teach in verses 4–8 about Christ that explains why Christians can purify themselves as Christ is pure until he returns?
5. What does John mean in verse 7, which states that those who “do righteousness are righteous, just as he is”?
6. What does it mean to be either “born of God” or “of the devil”?
7. Is there a specific area of your life (thoughts, words, actions) characterized by unrighteousness? Practice confession to God (1 John 1:9) and one another (James 5:16) in order to put off this sin and put on righteousness.
8. What evidence do you see in your life that you are a true child of God? Thank God for his great love given to you in Christ. Pray for continued grace to fight sin and practice righteousness.
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