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Assurance and Sin

1 John 3 September 15, 2014 BQ081312

No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother. (1 John 3:9–10)

John concludes this section with the summary statement, By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God. There are only two groups of people in the world (cf. Prov. 15:9): the children of God and the children of the devil. The first exhibitsGod’s righteous character through obeying His law (cf.Luke 1:6); the secondexhibits Satan’s sinful character by disregarding the Word and habituallysinning (cf. Pss. 36:3; 119:150; Rom. 2:8). No matter what peoplemay profess, or what past religious ritual or experience they may pointto, anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.

The final phrase of this section, nor the one who does not love his brother, reaffirms to readers another aspect of John’s moral test toidentify true believers, namely the test of love (cf. John 13:34–35). For theapostle, it was also obvious that anyone claiming to be a Christian but not demonstrating brotherly love could not really be in Christ. He develops this argument in the remaining portion of chapter 3.


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