1 John 3

Previously in this letter John has used the phrase “dear children” to refer to the believers. But there is a more important concept that is introduced in 1 John 3. We are not just John’s children in faith, we are the children of God Himself.

After introducing this important concept, John returns to sin (lawlessness). I’m reading the NIV translation, which repeats the concept of “continuing to sin.” John is not saying that people who sin are not living in God; he says (if the NIV translation is correct) that people who CONTINUE to sin are not living in God.

John then transitions in loving one another, then talking of hatred from the world (in this context, “world” is used in a negative sense, as those things that are apart from God). He then notes (as James and Paul do) that good works proceed from faith; mere words alone let us “know that we belong to the truth.”

I’m sure that the prosperity gospel folks love verse 22, about receiving anything for which we ask. However, note that John also mentions that “we obey his commands and do what pleases him.” In most cases, God does not command us to ask for a luxury yacht.


  1. I’m so glad it says, “…continues to sin…” It’s says that if we are ‘born of God’, with His ‘seed’ in us, we’ll quit the deeds that are inconsistent with Him in us. I think that means we’ll just loose the taste for being hateful… or whatever. That’s a beautiful form of deliverance.

    I agree that if we do what pleases Him, it changes what we ask for.

    That’s a tricky passage. Good job!

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