The following is from OBC’s daily devotional for today:
True Christians look forward to Jesus’ return and demonstrate such anticipation by living holy lives (2:28-3:3). Assurance of salvation is expressed three times here: (1) “is born of him” (2:29); (2) “everyone who has this hope” (3:3); and (3) now are we children of God” (3:2). The standard is Jesus Christ who is righteous (2:29) and holy (3:3).
True Christians do not live sinful, lawless lives but righteous, law-abiding lives. A life characterized by lawlessness shows that one is still under Satan’s power and authority (Satan is characterized by sin and lawlessness, v. 8). Unbelievers’ overall lives are governed by themselves and Satan, not God. Believers, however, have been born of God, who is sinless and righteous (v. 9) and thus live out that God-given, Christ-like life by obeying his commands so that their lives are characterized by righteousness.
True Christians love one another with the same self-sacrificing love that Jesus had in dying for sinners (3:10-23). Not loving is the same as murder (v. 15; cf Matt 5:21-22). Assurance of salvation is expressed three times here: (1) “we know that we have passed from death to life” (v. 14); (2) “by this we know that we are of the truth” (v. 19); and (3) “we have confidence toward God” (v. 21). Genuine Christians have an inward conviction (vv. 20-21) that they are born again that is evident by a life characterized by answered prayer, obedience, faith, and love (vv. 22-23).
Truths to Nail Down and Meditate On
- One can and must know whether he is a Christian or not. Many times in this passage John spoke with confidence that one is/is not a child of God. These “test” that distinguish between believers and unbelievers enable Christians to know they have ternal life and to identify who does not (false teachers are primarily in view here).
- Jesus is coming again at any moment! Are you looking forward to that? how does the character of your life prove your profession?
- When Jesus considered sinner’s great need of salvation, did he “show love” by merely expressing concern and sympathy? No! When we were helpless and powerless he did not close his heart toward us but gave himself, sacrificing himself to save us from sin, Satan, and death. Christian, that is the way you must love your brothers and sisters!