In 1 John, the Apostle John refers to the genuine follower of the Lord Jesus Christ as one who is "born of God":
- Everyone who practices righteousness is born of God (2:29)
- Whoever has been born of God does not sin (3:9)
- He cannot sin, because he has been born of God (3:9)
- Everyone who loves is born of God and knows God (4:7)
- Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God (5:1)
- For whatever is born of God overcomes the world (5:4)
- We know that whoever is born of God does not sin (5:18)
- But he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him (5:18)
In the Gospel of John, John records the conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus where Jesus tells Nicodemus that "unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3). (Religious people need to be born again too!) Jesus makes clear that this spiritual birth is one brought about by the Spirit. Every person enters this world "born of the flesh", separate from God and devoid of God's Spirit (thanks to the fall of Adam and Eve) and must be born of God's Spirit in order to "see the kingdom of God". Jesus said "You must be born again." (John 3:1-8)
Back to John's first epistle. He describes believers as those who have "His seed" (3:9). In other words, those who've been born again of the Spirit demonstrate familial characteristics. Because God is Light (1:5), God is righteous (2:29, 3:7), and God is love (4:8), those "born of God" will desire to walk in the light, act in righteousness, and love others and will be empowered to do so.
That's why John exclaims 'Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called the children of God!' What love, indeed, that we, the born again children of God have the very life of God residing in our spirit producing Father-resemblance.
Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading:
1 John 4:1-5:21
- Continue the two column list of contrasts you began yesterday and the list of "know" statements.
- How does John describe false teachers?
- What does John's epistle teach about the devil, about the devil and the believer, and about the devil and those who've not entered into a relationship with Jesus Christ?
- What distinguishing characteristic does John use to describe believers?
- How are deceivers described?
- Describe the difference between Diotrephes and Demetrius.
- What does this tell you about the motives of false teachers and the character of genuine spiritual leadership?
- What was the purpose of Jesus' revelation to John?
- What promise does John make to those who read and hear this revelation?
- How does Jesus appear to John?
- What is John's response to Jesus' appearance?
Turning truth into prayer
Are you walking in darkness in any area of your life? Is there an area in your life that is not upright? Do you struggle loving others? These are spiritual problems with a Spiritual solution. Ask the Holy Spirit to manifest His overcoming power, the love of the Father and the righteousness of Christ in your life today.