Thank you for joining me for the last part of 1st John Chapter 3. If you are new to my study on 1st John, then take a look at The Christianity Test Part 1 to learn how to mark your text and make lists.
Printed copy of 1st John from lesson 1
3 different colored highlighters
1. Read through 1 John 3:10-24
2. Mark with one of your highlighters the Purpose of John’s Writing (there are none in chapter 3)
3. Mark verses for the Genuine Christian
4. Mark verses for the Counterfeit Christian.
5. Print out the three lists at the bottom of this lesson.
Are you a Genuine Christian or a Counterfeit Christian?
In chapter 3, John continues giving characteristics of Genuine Christians and Counterfeit Christians. I hope as you have studied this book, that you will examine your own salvation. If you suspect that a friend or family member is not saved, then pray about how to approach him or her. You might experience some persecution if you immediately tell them you believe they are lost.
So far in 1st John we have learned that a Genuine Christian will live a godly lifestyle. The Christian can sin, but will not continue in a lifestyle of sin. Many people call themselves Christians, but you will be able to recognize the true believer by the fruit they bear.
The Christianity Test – What do we learn in 1 John 3:10-24 about Genuine and Counterfeit Christians?
- Genuine Christian
We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren (v. 14)
We also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren (v. 16)
- Counterfeit Christian
Does not practice righteousness (v. 10)
Does not love his brother (v. 10)
Abides in death (v. 14)
Whoever hates his brother is a murderer (v. 15)
No murderer has eternal life (v. 15)
Whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? (v. 17)
The theme of 1 John 3:10-24 is LOVE
In our society, many people do not understand the true meaning of love. People say they love food, dogs, and famous people. They fall “in love” and “out of love”, but do they find true love? The Greek word John uses for love is agape, meaning a Christian kind of love. According to Vine’s Dictionary, this type of love was never used before in Greek literature. This is not the affectionate type of love, which most of us refer to as love. This is a self-sacrificing type of love, where Christians are asked to give their lives for one another.
In 1 John 3:18, we see a perfect definition of agape love, “Let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth”. This type of love comes only from Genuine Christians as a gift from the Holy Spirit. It cannot be counterfeited.
The word brother or brethren is used several times in chapter 3. Except for the reference to Cain, this word is referring to Christians either male or female. We should have a special type of love for other Christians, which is a sacrificial love. Do most Christians display this type of love in our churches?
What do we learn about prayer in 1 John 3:22?
As a result of keeping His commandments and obeying the voice of the Lord, God will answer our prayers. This doesn’t mean that He will answer them precisely as we have asked, but He will answer prayer.
The Bible gives us several conditions to meet in order to have answered prayer. Take a look at this post to find out the conditions: Does Prayer Really Work?
This concludes today’s lesson. I hope you are keeping running lists for the Genuine Christian and the Counterfeit Christian. These will become a valuable tool for you and for others.
Vine, W.E. Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1984, 1996.