An Expositional Study of 1 John Part 5: An Exposition of 1 John 2:29-3:12 -- By: D. Edmond Hiebert

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 146:582 (Apr 1989)
Article: An Expositional Study of 1 John Part 5: An Exposition of 1 John 2:29-3:12
Author: D. Edmond Hiebert

An Expositional Study of 1 John
Part 5:
An Exposition of 1 John 2:29-3:12

D. Edmond Hiebert

Professor Emeritus of New Testament
Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary, Fresno, California

If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him.
See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. And you know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin. No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him. Little children, let no one deceive you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, that He might destroy the works of the devil. No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother. For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another; not as Cain who was of the evil one, and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother’s were righteous (1 John 2:29–3:12).

The conflict between the proponents of anti-Christian falsehood and the adherents to God’s revelation in His Son (2:18–28) is now shown

to be a conflict between the children of God and the children of the devil. The two classes are rigidly distinct in origin and practice. John presented true believers as children of God, characterized by the practice of righteousness and by love as the bond that holds the members of the family together. He set forth the marks of the children of God (2:29–3:3), depicted the revelation from the practice of sin (3:4–8a), held up the provision for deliverance from the practice of sin (3:...

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