Sin is lawlessness - 1 John 3:4

Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on 1 John 3:4-10

<< Previous Note(s)1 John Main PageNext Note(s) >>

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

Take away sins - 1 John 3:5

take away sins. See notes on Rom. 6:6-7 and 1 Jn 2:2. This is atonement language. The purpose of Jesus' life, death and resurrection was to remove sins and restore life, that is, to set it right (see note on Jn. 1:29).

Will keep on sinning . . . continues to sin - 1 John 3:6-7

will keep on sinning… does righteousness. John has written that Christians will not become sinless in this life (1:10), and everyone needs to be cleansed from their sins (1:7-9; 2:1-2). Furthermore, John tells his readers in this chapter to purify themselves in expectation of Jesus' arrival (3:3). Grammatical and theological issues are intertwined in verse 6. How should John's readers understand the use of the present tense? Since John Wesley, some evangelicals in the holiness tradition have read this section and other passages in John's letter (see notes on 4:12-18) as describing a level of "Christian perfection" or "entire sanctification," that is experienced after "a second baptism" with the Holy Spirit. Though Wesley opposed the idea of "sinless perfection," he taught that Christians could mature to the point of not committing "conscious sin." But, the use of the present tense here is more proverbial. John is making a general observation about the people of God, they are not characterized by sin. That is, they are known for their good character

To destroy the devil's works - 1 John 3:8

<3089>to destroy the devil's works. See BC 13; HC 123. The devil's activities are designed to incite rebellion against the one, true King and to destroy his people. According to John, the devil is characterized by two particular activities to such an extent that he is called a liar and a murderer (see notes on Jn. 8:44). Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil. His ministry consistently liberated the demonized; his atoning death removed sins (see notes on 2:2; 3:5; 4:10); and his resurrection reestablished a righteous standing and direction for God's people

No one who is born of God will continue to sin - 1 John 3:9-10

continue to sin. See WCF 17.1-2; 18.4; WLC 75, 79, 81; CD 5.III. This is John's second of ten references to being born of God (2:29; 3:9; 4:8; 5:1, 4, 18). What characterizes the children of God? They practice righteousness (2:29), instead of sinfulness (3:9; 5:18). They love each other (4:7), confess that Jesus is the Messiah (5:1), and they overcome the world's rebellious, unjust system (5:18). They are enabled to live this way through God's gifts of a new birth, eternal life; the anointing of the Holy Spirit and the abiding presence of Christ in his word (see notes on Jn. 1:11-12; 3:3, 5-8; 7:38; 15:4-5).

Children revealed - 1 John 3:10

children… revealed. See WLC 24. See notes on Gen. 3:15; Jn. 8:44. John says neither God's children nor the devil's children can conceal their identity. They are known by their deeds (see notes on Mk. 4:22; Lk. 8:17; Acts 4:16; 1 Cor. 3:13; 11:19; Gal. 5:19). According to John, the practices of love and righteousness characterize God's people.

Related Resources

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

<< Previous Note(s)1 John Main PageNext Note(s) >>