1. In this lesson we are examining the information presented in 1 John 3:1-3. 2. According to 1 John 2:21, John wrote this letter to Christians who knew the truth. 3. Unfortunately, the influence of "antichrists" [people who denied that Jesus is the Christ and that He came in the flesh] made it necessary for John to write this letter. 4. As John confronted the influence of antichrists, he dealt with a number of important principles that relate to having fellowship with God. 5. Please note two of the conditions for having fellowship with God: a. keeping God's commandments (2:3) b. practicing righteousness (2:29). 6. While we must keep God's commandments and practice righteousness, we are taught in 1 John 3:1-3 that having fellowship with God is not based on our own righteousness. 7. We must avoid the trap that the Pharisees fell into (Luke 18:9-14). a. The Pharisee based his relationship with God on his own righteousness. b. The publican based his relationship with God on God's mercy. 8. With these thoughts in mind, let us turn our attention to 1 John 3:1-3.
I. THE MAIN POINT MADE IN VS.1 IS THAT WE ARE ABLE TO BE CALLED GOD'S CHILDREN BECAUSE OF HIS LOVE
A. In this verse John emphasized the fact that God has bestowed His love upon us. B. We learn from other verses how God has bestowed His love upon us. 1. 1 John 3:16; 4:9-10 2. Romans 5:8 C. According to John 1:11-13, Jesus gives us the power to become God's children when we are born of God. D. The world does not recognize the relationship that Christians have with God. 1. The problem is that the world does not know God (see John 17:25). 2. This should help us understand why Christians must not love the world (1 John 2:15). 3. Also, we know what will happen to the world (1 John 2:17). E. After emphasizing the fact that we are able to called God's children because of His great love, John continued by showing that . . .
II. GOD'S CHILDREN HAVE A SPECIAL HOPE IN VS.2
A. John first stated that Christians are God's children "now." B. However, even though we are God's children now, we do not know "what we shall be." C. We understand from 1 Corinthians 15:35-38, 42-44 that the resurrected body will be a spiritual body that pleases God. D. Our special hope is being like Christ when He returns (see Philippians 3:20-21). E. Seeing Jesus when He returns will be a great blessing. F. Let us remember the admonition given in 1 John 2:28 to "abide in him." G. God's children have the special hope of seeing Christ and being like Christ when He returns.
III. JOHN DISCUSSED THE EFFECT OF THIS HOPE IN VS.3
A. The hope of seeing Jesus when He returns and being like Him leads us to purify ourselves. B. We are to purify ourselves "as he [the Lord] is pure." C. How do we purify ourselves? 1. We begin by purifying our hearts (Matthew 5:8). a. This involves confessing our sins (1 John 1:9). b. By walking in the light we continue to be purified (1 John 1:7). 2. We must separate ourselves from unclean things (2 Corinthians 6:17-7:1).