Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on 1 John 2:28-3:11

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When he appears - 1 John 2:28

when he appears… at his coming . John urges persevering obedience in anticipation of Jesus' second coming. On Jesus' parousia or arrival as king, see notes on Matt. 24:3, 27, 37, 39; 1 Cor. 15:23; 1 Thess. 2:19; 3:13; 4:15; 5:23; 2 Thess. 2:1, 8; Jas. 5:7-8. This is the only time John uses this word for Jesus' second coming, which evokes an image of an arriving dignitary or king who is welcomed by the local people. The word ashamed has to do with the disgrace God's enemies feel at judgment (see notes on Ps. 6:10; Zech. 9:5). Like Jesus, Peter and Paul, John taught that Christians will give an account of their deeds on the day of judgment (see notes on Matt 25:14-30, 31-46; Rom. 14:12; 1 Cor 12-15; 2 Pet 3:10-14). For God's enemies, the Day of the LORD is a day of terror (see notes on Amos 5:18-20). But those who abide in Christ (1 Jn. 2:24) will not be condemned (see notes on Jn. 3:17-18)

Has been born from him - 1 John 2:29

has been born from him. John consistently describes those who know God as those who practice righteousness (2:29-3:10). As we saw in 1:10, he is not describing complete sinless, but a lifestyle characterized by justice, mercy and peace. The word born (gennao¯) is used ten times in John's letter, and this is the first occurrence (2:29; 3:9; 4:7; 5:1, 4, 18). When used with a masculine noun as its subject, gennao¯ means sired or fathered. Because of this intimate relationship and a lifestyle of righteousness, Christians can approach God with boldness in prayer (see notes on 3:21; 5:14; Heb. 4:16).

Chiastic Structure - 1 John 3:1-11

See HC 1, 115

Children of God - 1 John 3:1

children of God. See WLC 74; WSC 34. Having begun this section with the intimate address, dear children or little children (2:28), John describes the love the Father gives lavishly to his children. See notes on 4:7-8, where John identifies God as the source and definition of true, mature love. Because the world is estranged from God, it opposes God's family.

We shall be like him - 1 John 3:2-3

we shall be like him… purifies himself. See WCF 9.5; 18.3; WLC 86, 90; WSC 38; HC 57; CD 5.VIII. The aim of Christian discipleship is Christlikeness. The process of sanctification is bound by two events, the new birth which brings people into God's family, and Christ's return, which brings the influence of the devil and sin to an end. The word purify (hagnizo¯) occurs only seven times in the NT, often in the context of ceremonial purification (see notes on Jn. 11:55; Acts 21:24, 26; 24:18). Like James and Peter (see notes on Jas. 4:8; 1 Pet. 1:22), John is concerned here with moral development through righteous action, motivated by love for God. This text also implies one of Paul's major points, that Christians will share in Christ's glory, because of his righteousness (see notes on Rom. 8:17-19; Phil. 3:21; Col. 3:4). Like other NT authors, John's understanding of moral purity and transformation is rooted in the presence and glory of God among his people, and their right relation with him (see notes on Exod. 34:29-35). The appearance, even expectation of God's presence motivates love and holiness in God's people.

Sin is lawlessness - 1 John 3:4

sin is lawlessness. See WCF 6.6; WLC 24, 152; WSC 14. The word lawless is used in Matthew to talk about false prophets and others who are against God's kingdom in the last days (see notes on Matt. 7:23; 13:41; 23:28; 24:21). According to Paul, the law exposes sin (see notes on Rom 7:7). John defines sin as lawlessness, that is, living with disregard for God's will. After the same pattern set by Adam and Eve in the garden, sin is defying God's command in order to define good and evil in one's own terms, to become a law unto one's self

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