Thursday, August 1, 2013

Who do You Belong to?

"No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.  By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother."  1 John 3:9-10 ESV

Explanation for 1 John 3:9-10 from the MacArthur Study Bible, ESV, page 1919:
"3:9  The fourth reason why Christians cannot practice sin is because it is incompatible with the ministry of the Holy Spirit, who has imparted a new nature to the believer (John 3:5-8).  born of God.  John wrote here of the new birth (John 3:7).  When people become Christians, God makes them new creatures with new natures (2 Cor. 5:17).  Believers have God's characteristics because they have been born into God's family.  This new nature exhibits the habitual character of righteousness produced by the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22-24).  John repeats this phrase twice for emphasis.  God's seed. The new birth involves the acquisition of a seed, which refers to the principle of life of God imparted to the believer at salvation's new birth.  John uses this image of a planted seed to picture the divine element involved in being born again.  See notes on 1 Pet. 1:23-25.  abides. The word conveys the idea of the permanence of the new birth, which cannot be reversed, for those who are truly born again are permanently transformed into a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 6:15; Eph. 2:10).  he cannot keep on sinning. This phrase once again conveys the idea of habitual sinning (see vv. 1 John 3:4, 6).

3:10 This summary verse is the key to vv. 4-10.  Only two kinds of children exist in the world: children of God and children of Satan.  No one can belong to both families simultaneously.  Either one belongs to God's family and exhibits his righteous character or one belongs to Satan's family and exhibits his sinful nature.
3:10b the one who does not love his brother. This phrase introduces the readers to the second aspect of the moral test, i.e., the test of love (as in 2:7-11).  John develops this thought through 3:11-24.  The false teachers not only had an erroneous view of Christ's nature and displayed disobedience to God's commands, but they also displayed a distinct lack of love for true believers, who rejected their heretical teaching."

Let's pray:  Dear Lord Jesus, I lift up those reading Your Word today.  I pray that those reading 1 John 3:9-10 would choose to belong to Jesus.  I pray for the unbelievers--that their hearts would be convicted by the Holy Spirit and that they would see their sin and see the truth that is found only through Jesus in the Bible.  I say these things in Jesus' name. Amen.

Note:  The little children in this painting are children of God.

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