1 John 2:28–3:10 (ESV)
Children of God
28 And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. 29 If you know that he is righteous,
you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.
3 See what kind of love the
Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not
yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 3 And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
4 Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. 5 You know that he appeared in order to take away sins,
and in him there is no sin. 6 No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. 7 Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices
righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. 8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.
9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God. 10 By this it is evident who are the children
of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.
False teachers and false believers
had excuses and rationalizations for not showing true Christian love for the whole family of God. But Jesus taught, “You will recognize them by their fruits” (cf Mt 7:15–23). We are often tempted to rationalize and excuse our sin. But no
one born of God wants to give in to sinning. Those who give themselves over to sin will not be exonerated by the excuses they put forward. Through daily repentance and the practice of righteousness, we show ourselves to be true children of God and will not
be ashamed when our Lord Jesus appears on the Last Day. Then we will be like Him and see Him as He is in all His glory.
I pray: Heavenly Father, forgive my sinful excuses
so I may remain in Christ through Your Word and love everyone as He has loved me. Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 2176.