1 John 3:1-8

1 John 3:1-8 is an interesting passage. It is usually glossed over without stopping long enough to determine what the passage is about. It talks about the love the Father has given us. It talks about us being the sons of God. It talks about Jesus coming again.  Also mentions the law, defines sin, and that Jesus was manifest to take our sins away. There is one important point that most people don’t even notice: the passage starts talking about the Father, but never changes the subject. This passage reveals who the Father is.

The Father revealed.

1 John 3:1-8 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.  2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.  3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.  4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.  5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.  6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.  7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.  8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

The key to understanding this passage is to know who each pronoun is referring to. Let’s take this passage one subject at a time.

1 John 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God:

This is plainly talking about the Father.

1 John 3:1 therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

There is no subject change. This is still talking about the Father.

1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be:

There is still no subject change. The Father is still the subject.

1 John 3:2 but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

There is still no subject change. Who shall appear? The Father. Who shall we be like? The Father. Who shall we see as he is? The Father.

But isn’t it Jesus that will appear?

1 John 3:3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

The subject still does not change. This passage is still talking about the Father. Who is pure? The Father.

1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

This is a good definition of sin. Sin is to go against the law of God.

1 John 3:5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins;

The Father is still the subject. Who was manifested? The Father.

1 John 3:5 and in him is no sin.

In whom is no sin? The Father.

1 John 3:6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.

The him in this verse is still the Father.

1 John 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.

Again, no subject change. The he is the Father.

1 John 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

This verse shows that the one that was manifested was the Son of God. Compare verse 8 with the rest of the passage and it becomes clear that the Father was manifest in flesh to become our savior.

Read the passage again and pay close attention to the pronouns.

1 John 3:1-8 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.  2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.  3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.  4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.  5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. 6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.  8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

God was manifest in flesh as our savior. Even more specific, the Father was manifest in flesh as our savior. This passage shows the fulfillment of the claims of God from the book of Isaiah, that he would become our savior.

Isaiah 35:4 Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.

Isaiah 40:3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

Isaiah 40:5 And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

Isaiah 43:10-11 10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.  11 I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.

Isaiah 43:25 I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.

Isaiah 63:16 Doubtless thou art our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not: thou, O LORD, art our father, our redeemer; thy name is from everlasting.

1 John 3:1-8 reveals that the Father was manifest in flesh, showing us that the Deity of Jesus is the Father. The Father was manifest in flesh, in the Son, to become the sacrifice for our sins. The Father became our redeemer, our savior, just like he said he would in the book of Isaiah. The Father and the Son are two natures of Jesus- Deity and humanity. The Father was manifested in Jesus. 1 John 3:1-8 shows us that Jesus is God, the only one God, manifest in flesh.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*