1 John 2:29 to 1 John 3:3. Because God, made known to us in Christ, is righteous, those who claim to be His children must be like Him, with a goodness which the world does not understand and which at Christ's manifestation will be perfected.
1 John 2:29. (read mg.) connects most naturally with the argument that follows. He in he is righteous ought, in view of 1 John 2:28, to refer to Christ, whilst begotten of him, according to general NT usage, should mean begotten of God. The somewhat loose use of the pronoun is an illustration of the ease with which John's thought passed from God to Christ and vice versa, the identity between them being regarded as so complete.
To commit sin is a breach of God's law, a frustration of God's work of redemption, and the manifestation of a principle which betrays kinship with the devil. A man begotten of God will be in moral affinity with God, for which reason righteousness and brotherly love will characterise him.
1 John 3:4. sin is lawlessness: i.e. not the absence of law, but opposition to it. Law does not cease to exist for the Christian, and all opposition to it, so far from being morally unimportant, is rebellion.
1 John 3:9. Paul speaks of our being risen with Christ, and, therefore, of our duty to reproduce Christ's moral perfection. John prefers to speak of conversion as a new birth, the entrance into us of a new vital principle whose product must be in accord with its essential nature.
1 John 3:12. as Cain was of the evil one: John has been teaching that each man has a moral ancestry as well as a physical one. We are not told either here or elsewhere the condition which made Cain's works evil and Abel's righteous.
The hatred of the world is to be expected, but within the Christian brotherhood there must be love, manifesting itself in deeds of self-sacrifice in imitation of Christ's love. If we possess this spirit we shall be able to silence inward misgivings as to our standing before God, because we obey Him in that we believe in Christ and love one another. Such obedience ensures His indwelling, attested by the gift of His Spirit.
1 John 3:16. In Christ and His Cross love at length found a perfect manifestation, and human conduct in consequence was given a new standard.
1 John 3:19 b, 1 John 3:20. A true parallelism would be obtained and difficulties in the original relieved if, in harmony with several minor MSS., because was omitted in 1 John 3:20 b. The rendering would then be: We shall reassure our heart before Him, because, if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart. In any case the teaching is that God knows us and all the conditions of our life better than we ourselves do. Hence there will be occasions when God will not endorse the condemnation we pass upon ourselves. Heart is here almost equivalent to conscience.
1 John 3:23. name is in this and kindred phrases almost equivalent to revealed nature, so that to believe in the name of Christ is to commit ourselves to Christ as He stands expressed in the Gospel.
1 John 3:24. hereby: i.e. by the inward activity of His Spirit; the word refers to the close of the verse. The Holy Spirit has been given by Christ to His Church, and has been bestowed on each individual believer.