1 John 3: We Shall be Like Christ
John opens with a very powerful explanation of the Love of God, more specifically the love that God has for us; “…what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the Sons of God… now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” (1 John 3:1-3) Isn’t this powerful? We are literally God’s offspring, making us the sons and daughters of the God the Eternal Father! John explains that when we see Him, we shall be LIKE HIM! After all we were made in His image. This means that we have UNLIMIMITED potential!
John also explains that; “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin…” (1 John 3:9) Therefore little children cannot sin. This means that little children do not need to be baptized, for baptism is for the remission of sins.
As followers of Christ we will often be ridiculed, but John says; “Marvel not, my brethren, If the world hate you.” (1 John 3:13) It is inevitable, if you are following Jesus Christ, the world WILL hate you. If we follow God and His commandments then “…whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.” (1 John 3:22) Beyond loving Jesus Christ, we also need to love our fellow man, this combined with the keeping of the commandments will ensure that we have His spirit with us always.
John 15: The World Hates the Truth
Jesus explains that He is; “…the true vine, and [His] Father is the husbandman.” (John 15:1) Jesus tells us that everyone must abide with Him, because any branch that brings forth bad fruit will be cut off from Him. In this way the Father gets only the best fruit. Jesus explains; “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.” (John 15:9-10) Jesus has made it clear that we cannot love Himself or God, if we do not follow His commandments. But Jesus promises us that the commandments are for our own good; “These things I have spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” (John 15:11) Simply put, following the commandments and living a righteous life, will lead to joy and happiness. Living a life of wickedness that is void of commandments, will only lead to pain and sorrow.
Jesus imparts the most important commandment, which truly does cover all commandments; “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” (John 15:12) If we Love one another, we will automatically follow all of God’s commandments.
Jesus explains that we “…are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth; but I have called you my friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever yer shall ask of the Father in my name he may give it you.” (John 15:14-16) Jesus loves us so much that we are not only His friends, but His family. Anything the Father has revealed to Him, He has revealed to us.
Jesus knew that shortly after His now impending death, that the Apostles and followers of Christ would be persecuted, and would be persecuted throughout all time. So, He leaved His followers with some encouragement; “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.” (John 15:18) He explains that as they have persecuted Him, so will they persecute anyone who believes on His name. He reminds everyone that; “…They hated me without a cause.” (John 15:25) So will those who persecute the believers of Christ, be persecuted without a cause.