Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on 1 John 2:3-11

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Those Who Know Christ Obey His Commands - 1 John 2:3-6

In chapter two, John addresses three false claims (2:4, 6, 9) in parallel to the false claims he addressed in chapter one (1:6, 8, 10). The claims are that people know God, abide in God, and dwell in the light of God. Each claim asserts the same identity as a child of God, and the same destiny—eternal life. But, John provides his readers with three identifying markers of God’s children, who possess this life: 1) a true confession about Christ, modeled in 2:1b-2. 2) obedience to Christ’s commands, which is the focus of this section, 2:3-6. And, 3) love for fellow Christ-followers, which is the focus of the next section, 2:7-11.

1 John 2:3-4

See WCF 19.5

Know him - 1 John 2:3

know him. In the OT, knowing God meant being in covenant with him, and practicing the ways of the covenant. Israel knew God when they obeyed his commands (see notes on Jer. 22:16; 31:33-34). The prophets frequently said the people were sinning because they did not know God, but that God would one day give them full knowledge of him (see notes on Jer. 9:6, 23-24; 31:34; Hos. 4:1; 6:1-3; Hab. 2:14). For John, to know God means to obey Christ's commands. commandments. See WCF 16.2; 18.1-2; WLC 80. True followers of Jesus do what their master tells them to do (see notes on Jn. 14:15; Eph. 2:10), not perfectly, but the direction in which they are walking follows in his steps (see notes on 2:1 and 1 Pet 2:21)

Truth - 1 John 2:4

truth. In the Fourth Gospel, the word truth (alētheia) refers to Jesus, the Holy Spirit, God’s Word, and practices of life flowing from and integral with them (see notes on Jn. 14:6, 17; 17:17). Truth is creation regained, the good restored in words and deeds that correspond with the reality of God. Therefore, those who profess to know God, but whose lives are characterized by sinful practices are bearing false witness (see note on Ex 20:16; WLC 143 and WSC 76).

The love of God - 1 John 2:5

the love of God has been perfected. The phrase love of God could either refer to God's love for Christians, as it does in other parts of the letter (see notes on 3:17; 4:9, 12) or it could refer to a Christian's love for God, like it does in other parts of the letter (see notes on 2:15; 5:3). Either way, the result is obedience. Since the content of this verse is close to that of 5:3, it probably refers to a Christian's love for God, a love perfected in those who keep God's Word. know that we are in him. See WCF 16.2. Obedience produces an assurance that one truly knows God, because it attests to the Spirit's work of new birth (see notes on John 3:5-8; 1 Jn 3:9-10).

Remain in him - 1 John 2:6

remain in him. John uses the Greek word menein forty times in his Gospel and twenty-seven times in his letters. This word describes the person of abides or dwells in God (see notes on 3:24; 4:13) or in Jesus (see notes on 2:27-28; 3:6; Jn. 6:56; 15:4). Menein also refers to God indwelling Christians (see notes on 3:24; 4:12-13, 15-16). As Christians remain in Christ, Christ and his Spirit remains in them. walk. John assumed his readers knew details about the life of Jesus, which they learned from John's Gospel (see Introduction), and called them to follow his way of life

Those who Live in the Light Love God's Family. - 1 John :7-11

Those who Live in the Light Love God's Family. One of the major focuses of John's letter is Jesus' command to love one another. How else can we learn to walk in the ways of Christ, unless we do so together in fellowship? John's discussion of the old and new commandment is an example of a paradox. Ancient writers used paradoxes as a form of emphasis, to force their audience to think deeply about their words. On the one hand, the love commandment is old, cited by Jesus from the OT (cf. Deut. 6:5; Lev. 19:18; Mk. 12:30-31; Jn 13:34). On the other hand, it is also new, because it is based on a new and ultimate example: Christ's death (see notes on Jn. 13:34; 15:12).

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