Sunday  12  September 2004


Dear Believer,


The Bible study for today is 1 John Chapter 3. The studies are compiled and based on a "relevance for today" reading and may not always suite your specific dogmatic approach. This implies that we are merely studying God's word and not debating it.


Please feel free to use these studies in care groups, Bible studies and at home for spiritual enrichment.


Remember; The bonding of any family and God's is love.


Best regards

Pastor, Dr Cliff  Ferguson

Image Ministries

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 The book of 1 John; Chapter 3

1 John Chapter 3

1John 3:1 See what manner of love the Father has given us, that we may be called children of God. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.  3:2 Beloved, now we are the children of God, and it was not yet revealed what we shall be. But we know that if He is revealed, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is.  3:3 And everyone having this hope on Him purifies himself even as that One is pure.  3:4 Everyone practicing sin also practices lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.  3:5 And you know that that One was revealed that He might take away our sins, and sin is not in Him.  3:6 Everyone remaining in Him does not sin. Everyone sinning has not seen Him, nor known Him. 3:7 Little children, let no one lead you astray; the one practicing righteousness is righteous, even as that One is righteous. 3:8 The one practicing sin is of the devil, because the devil sins from the beginning. For this the Son of God was revealed, that He might undo the works of the devil. 3:9 Everyone who has been begotten of God does not sin, because His seed abides in him, and he is not able to sin, because he has been born of God.

3:10 By this the children of God and the children of the devil are revealed: Everyone not practicing righteousness is not of God; also the one not loving his brother. 3:11 Because this is the message which you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, 3:12 not as Cain was of the evil one, and killed his brother. And for what did he kill him? Because his works were evil, but the things of his brother were righteous. 3:13 Do not marvel, my brothers, if the world hates you. 3:14 We know that we have passed from death to life because we love the brothers. The one not loving the brother remains in death. 3:15 Everyone hating the brother is a murderer, and you know that every murderer does not have everlasting life abiding in him.  3:16 By this we have known the love of God, because that One laid down His life for us; and on behalf of the brothers we ought to lay down our lives. 3:17 Whoever has the means of life of the world, and sees his brother having need, and shuts up his heart of compassion from him, how does the love of God abide in him?  3:18 My little children, let us not love in word, or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.

3:19 And in this we shall know that we are of the truth, and shall persuade our hearts before Him, 3:20 that if our heart accuses us, we know that God is greater than our heart and knows all things. 3:21 Beloved, if our heart does not accuse us, we have confidence with God.  3:22 And whatever we ask, we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments, and we do the things pleasing before Him. 3:23 And this is His commandment, that we should believe the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, even as He gave command to us. 

3:24 And the one keeping His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit which He gave to us.

Scriptural Context 


In Chapter 3 the apostle connects the end of Chapter two by confirming the knowledge of Christ's coming with those who practice righteousness.


(3:1-9)  Children of God the Father:

We know the revealed Christ through the word and our salvation. This has made us children of God. What we long for is having Christ's nature and to one day be like him, this in the immortal state. Unfortunately we still need to contend with our mortality.


We are therefore called to be righteous in our thoughts and deeds. God has destructed sin and has displaced our tendency to do wrong with a need to do the will of God. The will of God is to be righteous and to reveal a Christian ethic to those around us. This ethic is a seed of righteousness planted within our nature when we accepted Christ as our personal saviour.


(3:10-18) The love for one another:

The love for one another is a revelation of God in men. Because God is love and love is from God, we have the responsibility of loving those around us, even those who hate us. Loving others would not always mean your love will be returned unscathed.


The returns of hate are linked to death by the author as sin is. Hating another person is categorised with murder, which is auctioned by hate. Would someone kill another in love? Christ paid the ultimate price by being murdered through hate, although he died in love.


Everlasting life received though Christ is nullified by hate. If anyone hates others they do not have the love of Christ and this  removes them from salvation. The ultimate forgiveness is God forgiving man preceded by man forgiving man. God forgives those their sins who forgive others.  Our nature in Christ is thus characterised by love and forgiveness. This is called selflessness.


(3:19-23)  Love brings confidence:

We are bound by our conscience which is controlled by the Holy Spirit. Adam and Eve lost confidence in going to God after they sinned, so Christians also have difficulty praying when they are infiltrated by sin. Sin replaces confidence with guilt which causes Christians to give up on God.


A best test for defining sin is whether or not the action will stop us from praying with confidence. Prayer with a guilty conscience  is faithless unless the prayer is for forgiveness. Faithless prayers are not answered.


If we pray in confidence we illustrate our faith and we receive what we ask our Father in Heaven. By keeping the commandments of God we automatically retain confidence which replenishes faith by which God answers prayer. Our faith is linked to the knowledge that Christ is the Son of God who commands us to love God and one another.


(3:24)  By the Spirit we know:

When we live as Children of God, in his Spirit, we know we belong to a family who care and who are cared for. Jesus therefore lives in us through the Holy Spirit, the promise of Jesus himself. John 14:17 the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive because it does not see Him nor know Him. But you know Him, for He abides with you and shall be in you.

In context with daily living  


Our Spiritual family:

Love is the bonding in a family. This does not mean there are never disagreements between the members. There is no family without squabbles, but love heals all hurts and causes spiritual growth. This too is prevalent in the body of Christ (1John 4:7; Eph 2:19; Eph 4:16; 5:30).


Christians fail to understand why they are not likeable to the world. This is because worldly standards are different and being righteousness  we go against logical  thought. Making our ways pure and trying to reveal a Christ-like nature contradicts others. This causes people to respect a Christian but does not necessarily cause the same person to be popular among their peers (Rom 6:13; 19; Heb 12:11; James 3:18).


Why love is so important in a family:

Because the kingdom of God is based on common family principles  the bonding agent of God's family is love. This family was ordained by God in love through Jesus Christ (John 316-17). The Father is our provider and Jesus is our role-model. The Holy Spirit is our guide, our teacher and also the voice of our conscience (1Pet 2:9; 1John 2:20; 2Tim 1:14; Eph 4:23; Eph 2:22).


Love has the following characteristics:

  • Love heals

  • Love is forgiving

  • Love reveals self control

  • Love displays selflessness

  • Love shows compassion

  • Love builds

  • Love is patient and understanding

Hate is a fire which is fuelled by an unforgiving heart but love quenches this fire through a spirit of  forgiveness. Love is an integral part of salvation, without it we cannot be sanctified. This is the purest emotion that grants healing to a broken spirit, makes the strong stronger and unites the body of Christ.


Confidence is the cornerstone of our being:

Many believers have lost their confidence in Christ, and this for a number of reasons. This phenomenon is prevalent among those who have either been disappointed by fellow Christians, by partners or spouses or in themselves. By losing the confidence of being able to approach God with our needs we run into depression and a loss of vigour. This causes our spirits to drift away from God leaving us with a sense of unworthiness (2Co 3:4; Eph 3:12; Heb 4:16; 10:35; 1John 2:28; 3:21; 5:14).


In some schools of thought self-esteem equates to confidence, if self-esteem is lost the self image is defiled. Sin affects the self image which is detrimental to self control. This breakdown of the self image turns people away from God.


A breakdown of self-esteem causes a lapse in self control, which could lead to sin, termed a weakness of character. This is then a never ending circle, the more sin, the less self esteem, less self control which causes pride. On the other hand the more sanctified, the higher the self-esteem and higher self control which leads to humility (Pro 15:33; 18:12; 22:4; Phi 2:3; Col 2:18).


Our minds are influenced by God's Holy Spirit. If we become corrupted in any way we lose the spiritual knowledge implanted in us by God. This also is to the detriment of our self image. It is important for us to draw ourselves back to God.


If we abide in Christ, this means a Christ-like life, we have the knowledge from God. This will be manifested by our faith and our actions. What's more is that by God's spirit we are given authority over our flesh and also over the powers of darkness (Ps 91:1; John 15:11; 1John 2:24; 2:27; 3:17; 4:13).

Summary: 1 John 3

Has Four main sections: 

  • 1 John (3:1-9)              Children of God the Father

  • 1 John (3:10-18)         The love for one another as Christians

  • 1 John (3:19-23)          Love brings confidence

  • 1 John (3:24)                By the Spirit we know

 Die boek van 1 Johannes Hoofstuk 3

1 Johannes  Hoofstuk 3

1Jo 3:1 Kyk wat n groot liefde die Vader aan ons bewys het, dat ons kinders van God genoem kan word! Om hierdie rede ken die wreld ons nie, omdat dit Hom nie geken het nie.  3:2 Geliefdes, nou is ons kinders van God, en dit is nog nie geopenbaar wat ons sal wees nie; maar ons weet dat ons, as Hy verskyn, aan Hom gelyk sal wees, omdat ons Hom sal sien soos Hy is.  3:3 En elkeen wat hierdie hoop op Hom het, reinig homself soos Hy rein is.  3:4 Elkeen wat die sonde doen, doen ook die wetteloosheid, want die sonde is wetteloosheid.  3:5 En julle weet dat Hy verskyn het om ons sondes weg te neem, en geen sonde is in Hom nie.  3:6 Elkeen wat in Hom bly, sondig nie. Elkeen wat sondig, het Hom nie gesien en Hom nie geken nie.  3:7 My kinders, laat niemand julle mislei nie: wie die geregtigheid doen, is regverdig soos Hy regverdig is.  3:8 Hy wat die sonde doen, is uit die duiwel, want die duiwel sondig van die begin af. Vir hierdie doel het die Seun van God verskyn, om die werke van die duiwel te verbreek.  3:9 Elkeen wat uit God gebore is, doen geen sonde nie, omdat sy saad in hom bly; en hy kan nie sondig nie, want hy is uit God gebore.

3:10 Hierin is die kinders van God en die kinders van die duiwel openbaar: elkeen wat die geregtigheid nie doen nie, is nie uit God nie, en hy ook wat sy broeder nie liefhet nie.  3:11 Want dit is die boodskap wat julle van die begin af gehoor het, dat ons mekaar moet liefh;  3:12 nie soos Kain wat uit die Bose was en sy broer doodgeslaan het nie. En waarom het hy hom doodgeslaan? Omdat sy werke boos was en di van sy broer regverdig.  3:13 Verwonder julle nie, my broeders, as die wreld julle haat nie.  3:14 Ons weet dat ons oorgegaan het uit die dood in die lewe, omdat ons die broeders liefhet. Hy wat sy broeder nie liefhet nie, bly in die dood.  3:15 Elkeen wat sy broeder haat, is n moordenaar; en julle weet dat geen moordenaar die ewige lewe as iets blywends in hom het nie.  3:16 Hieraan het ons die liefde leer ken, dat Hy sy lewe vir ons afgel het; en ons behoort ons lewe vir die broeders af te l.  3:17 Maar wie die goed van die wreld het en sy broeder sien gebrek ly en sy hart vir hom toesluit, hoe bly die liefde van God in hom?   3:18 My kinders, laat ons nie liefh met woorde of met die tong nie, maar met die daad en in waarheid.   3:19 En hieraan weet ons dat ons uit die waarheid is; en ons sal ons harte voor Hom gerusstel,  3:20 want as ons hart ons veroordeel, God is meer as ons hart, en Hy weet alles.  3:21 Geliefdes, as ons hart ons nie veroordeel nie, dan het ons vrymoedigheid teenoor God;  3:22 en wat ons ook al bid, ontvang ons van Hom, omdat ons sy gebooie bewaar en doen wat welgevallig is voor Hom.  3:23 En dit is sy gebod, dat ons in die Naam van sy Seun, Jesus Christus, moet glo en mekaar liefh soos Hy ons n gebod gegee het.

3:24 En hy wat sy gebooie bewaar, bly in Hom, en Hy in hom. En hieraan weet ons dat Hy in ons bly aan die Gees wat Hy ons gegee het.


Skriftuurlike inhoud


In hoofstuk drie verbind die apostel die einde van hoofstuk twee met die wete dat Christus weer kom vir die wat regverdigheid beoefen het.


(3:1-9)  Kinders van God die Vader:

Christus word aan ons geopenbaar deur die Woord en ons redding.  Dit maak ons God se kinders.  Ons wil graag soos Christus wees en tot in ewigheid saam met Hom wees.  Ongelukkig moet ons ons nou nog met ons sterflikheid versoen.


God verwag van ons om rein te wees in ons gedagtes en dade.  God het die sonde vernietig.  Hy vervang ons geneigdheid om verkeerd te doen met 'n begeerte om God se wil te doen.  God se wil is om rein te lewe en sodoende 'n Christelike etiek aan ons medemens te openbaar.  Dit is soos 'n saadjie van regverdigheid wat in ons sondige natuur geplant word wanneer ons Christus as ons persoonlike Saligmaker aanneem.


(3:10-18) Liefde vir mekaar:

Ons liefde vir mekaar is nog 'n openbaring van God.  Omdat God liefde is en liefde van God is, is dit ons verantwoordelikheid om mekaar lief te h.  Selfs die wat ons haat.  Om ander lief te h beteken nie altyd dat almal jou sal liefh nie.  Die skrywer vergelyk haat met sonde.  Om 'n ander persoon te haat word verbind met moord.


Sal iemand 'n ander doodmaak uit liefde?  Christus het die hoogste prys betaal want Hy is as gevolg van haat vermoor, alhoewel Hy in liefde gesterf het.


Haat verlon die ewige lewe wat die Christen sou ontvang.  Sonder die liefde van God en wanneer jy ander haat, is redding onmoontlik.  Die grootste vergifnis is God wat die mens vergewe wanneer hy sy medemens vergewe het.  God vergewe die sondes van 'n mens, wat ander vergewe.  Om soos Christus te wees is om liefdevol en vergewensgesind te wees.  Dit is onselfsugtigheid.


(3:19-23)  Liefde bring vertroue:

Ons word gebind deur ons gewete wat beheer word deur die Heilige Gees.  Nadat Adam en Eva gesondig het, het hulle nie die vertroue gehad om na God toe te gaan nie.  Net so is dit vir Christene moeilik om tot God te bid wanneer hulle in sonde verval het.  Sonde vervang vertroue met skuld en dit lei daartoe dat Christene van God vervreem.  Die beste manier om sonde te definieer is:  Wanneer met 'n sondige gewete gebid word geskied dit sonder geloof behalwe as daar gebid word vir vergifnis. 


Gebede in ongeloof word nie beantwoord nie.  Wanneer ons in geloof bid illustreer ons ons geloof en ontvang ons dit wat ons van ons Hemelse Vader vra.  Wanneer ons God se gebooie onderhou ontvang ons vanselfsprekend die vertroue wat nodig is vir God om gebede te verhoor.  Ons geloof word verbind met die wete dat Christus die Seun van God is.  Hy beveel ons om God en mekaar lief te h.


(3:24)  Deur die Gees het ons selfvertroue:

Wanneer ons as kinders van God lewe, in Sy Gees, weet ons dat ons deel is van 'n familie wat omgee en vir wie omgegee word.  Jesus lewe dus in ons deur die Heilige Gees.  Die belofte is deur Jesus self gemaak.  Joh 14:17 die Gees van die waarheid wat die wreld nie kan ontvang nie, omdat dit Hom nie sien en Hom nie ken nie; maar julle ken Hom, omdat Hy by julle bly en in julle sal wees.

In ooreenstemming met die daaglikse lewe


Ons Geestelike familie:

Liefde is geborgenheid in 'n familie.  Dit beteken nie dat daar nooit verskille tussen mekaar sal wees nie.  Daar is geen familie sonder rusies of verskille nie.  Liefde heel egter alle seer en dit lei tot Geestelike groei.  Hierdie tendens kry ons ook in die liggaam van Christus  (1Joh 4:7; Efs 2:19; Efs 4:16; 5:30).


Christene verstaan nie waarom die wreld nie erg aan hulle het nie.  Dit is omdat die wreldse standaarde verskil van 'n Christelike natuur wat suiwer en regverdig is.  Dit is onlogies vir wreldlinge.  Dit het tot gevolg dat Christene gerespekteer word maar nie noodwendig poplulr in die groep is nie (Rom 6:13; 19; Heb 12:11; Jak 3:18).


Hoekom liefde so belangrik in 'n familie is:

Die Koningkryk van God is gebaseer op algemene familie beginsels.  Die bindende faktor van God se familie is liefde.  God bepaal hierdie familie in liefde deur Jesus Christus (Joh 3:16-17).  Die Vader voorsien en Jesus is ons rolmodel.  Die Heilige Gees is ons gids, ons mentor en ook ons gewete (1Pet 2:9; 1John 2:20; 2Tim 1:14; Efs 4:23; Efs 2:22).


Liefde besit die volgende eienskappe:

  • Liefde maak heel

  • Liefde is vergewensgesind

  • Liefde openbaar selfbeheersing

  • Liefde is onselfsugtig

  • Liefde is deernisvol

  • Liefde bou

  • Liefde is geduldig en simpatiek

Haat is 'n vuur wat aangeblaas word deur 'n onvergewensgesinde hart.  Liefde smoor egter hierdie vuur deur 'n gees van vergewensgesindheid.  Sonder liefde wat 'n noodsaaklike deel van verlossing is kan ons nie geheilig word nie.  Dit is die suiwerste emosie wat 'n gebroke gees kan heelmaak.  Liefde maak die sterke nog sterker in die liggaam van God.


Vertroue is die hoeksteen van ons bestaan:

Menige gelowiges het hul vertroue in God verloor weens 'n aantal redes.  Hierdie verskynsel heers algemeen by die wat teleurgestel is deur mede christene, hul maat of eggenoot asook deur hulself.  Wanneer ons vertroue verloor om God te nader met ons behoeftes, verval ons in 'n depressie en verloor ons lewenskrag.  Dit veroorsaak dat ons wegdryf van God en ons agterlaat met 'n gevoel van waardeloosheid  (2Kor 3:4; Efs 3:12; Heb 4:16; 10:35; 1Joh 2:28; 3:21; 5:14).


In sommige denkskole word 'n gevoel van eiewaarde gelykgestel aan vertroue.  Wanneer eiewaarde verlore is word die selfbeeld geskend.  Sonde affekteer die selfbeeld wat skadelik is vir selfbeheersing.  Hierdie afbreek van die slefbeeld vervreem die mens van God.


'n Afbreek van eiewaarde veroorsaak 'n terugval van selfbeheersing wat tot sonde kan lei.  Dit verwys na 'n swakheid in karakter.  Dit is 'n nimmereindigende sirkel van meer sonde, minder eiewaarde en minder selfbeheersing wat valse trots tot gevolg het.  Hierteenoor hoe meer heilig hoe beter die selfbeeld en eiewaarde en beter selfbeheersing wat lei tot nederigheid (Spr 15:33; 18:12; 22:4; Fil 2:3; Kol 2:18).


Ons denke word deur die Heilige Gees van God benvloed.  Wanneer ons afvallig word, op watter manier ook al, verdor die geestelike kennis wat deur God self aan ons gegee is en benadeel ons selfbeeld.  Dit is vir ons belangrik om na God terug te keer.


Wanneer ons poog om soos Christus te lewe en in God volhard het ons die kennis van God.  Dit sal manifesteer deur ons geloof en dade.  Wat meer is, deur die Gees van God verkry ons mag oor die vlees sowel as oor die kragte van die duisternis (Ps 91:1; Joh 15:11; 1Joh 2:24; 2:27; 3:17; 4:13).


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Fosloo, W. & van Rensburg, F.J. 1999. Die Bybelmellenium eenvolumekomentaar. Goodwood: Christelike Uigewersmaatskapy Vereniging.

Die Bybel, 1933. Bybelgenootskap van Suid Afrika: Sewende uitgawe (Naslaan) 1996 (Herset) Tweede druk 1998. Goodwood: Nasionale boekdrukkery

Hayford, J.W. (eds.) 1991. The Spirit Filled Bible. USA: Thomas Nelson inc.

Henry, M. 1706. Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible: complete and unabridged in one volume. Twelfth Printing 2001. USA: Hendrickson Publishers.

Jerome, AD 350 - 520. The New Jerome Bible handbook. First published 1992. Norfolk: The Barth Press.

Louw, J.P. & Nida, E.A. (eds) 1993. Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament based on the Semantic domains. Volume 1. Goodwood: Bible Society of South Afrika

Louw, J.P. & Nida, E.A. (eds) 1993. Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament based on the Semantic domains. Volume 2. Goodwood: Bible Society of South Afrika

Strong, J. 2000. The New Strong's Concise dictionary of Bible words. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers

Deist, F. 1985. A concise dictionary of theological related terms. Hatfield: J.L. van Schaik

Meyers, R. 2000. E-Sword; Equipping Ministries Foundation. USA: E-Sword Bible software. Shareware.


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