1 John 3:1-10 (NLT2)
1 See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him. 2 Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. 3 And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure. 4 Everyone who sins is breaking God’s law, for all sin is contrary to the law of God. 5 And you know that Jesus came to take away our sins, and there is no sin in him. 6 Anyone who continues to live in him will not sin. But anyone who keeps on sinning does not know him or understand who he is. 7 Dear children, don’t let anyone deceive you about this: When people do what is right, it shows that they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous. 8 But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil. 9 Those who have been born into God’s family do not make practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God. 10 So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God.
John was a no-nonsense kind of guy. Apostle of love? YES, but if you’re going to talk love, you better live love. He points to God as the One whose actions always match His words.
God calls us His children because we are and we are because He loves us. The world can tell there is a difference between them and us because we align ourselves with purity and righteousness and that ignites conflict with their system of thought.
True believers are passionate about purity and never content to go easy on sin or sinning. Habitual sinning indicates a relationship with the devil, not Christ. Hating instead of loving points the same way. So it’s really quite easy to identify believers and unbelievers. That helps us have the assurance of salvation . . . do you have assurance?