1 John 3:7-10 | Two Fathers


To take our study of 1st John starting from verses 3:4-12 would be unfair to the heart in which the Holy Spirit wanted to communicate through John. John made certain that what he was about to say about SIN was coming from the amazing reality of the “Love of the Father” that was lavished upon the Child of God, (3:1-3). In so doing John is not speaking from a judgmental point of view but rather from the point of view that sin separates the believer from being able to fully enjoy the fellowship with their Heavenly Father. The perspective isn’t fear of retaliation but fear of our loss of love that of God that has been graciously given us. “We aren’t afraid of our Father hurting us, we are afraid that our actions would hurt Him and that the love that we’ve enjoyed wouldn’t be experienced.” In verse 4 John made it clear that he wasn’t talking about the occasional falling into sins but rather the “ROOT” of the person who is practicing sin and not the individual “FRUITS” that are being produced by that root! He further describes this person as the person who doesn’t think that the “moral law” applies to them. To further clarify why the “Child of God” would NOT be the person that “practices sin”, John reminds his readers that one of the reasons why Jesus came was to destroy the “sin-root” of fallen humanity and that by His blood we have be transfused with Jesus’ “sinless blood”. So, there is not a possibility that once the “sin-root” has been destroyed and we have Jesus “sinless blood” running through our spiritual immune system us that we would continue to “practices sin”. On a physical plane this is what is behind immunotherapy and stem cell transplants. The first thing that has to be accomplished is that the roots of the blood cancer has to be destroyed. As the cancer is in the blood that means that the stem cells which are produced in the bone marrow have to all be killed so that the New doners cells can produce the healthy stem cells that would provide the immunotherapy that will attack the cancer cells. The spiritual illustration is that if a person claims that they have had the “sin-root” destroyed by Jesus who in turn has supplied the Child of God with His “sinless blood” and yet is still continuing to “practice sin” then something is very wrong. It means that the “sin-root” wasn’t destroyed or that the “sinless blood” isn’t able to cleanse the believer. John says that is impossible as that means that Jesus’ sacrifice isn’t enough or that His blood isn’t able to cure us. The only other possibility is that the person who is claiming that they have had the “sin-root” destroyed by Jesus and have been supplied with His “sinless blood” is not telling the truth!           

Vs.7-8 Fruit determines root

Vs. 7-8 John will state what he just wrote above in the positive in verse 7 and in the negative in verse 8.

  1. Vs. 7 Positive: This starts with John’s statement as who he is addressing is the true “Child of God” as in verse 7 he address them as “little children” or “dearly loved ones”. John after addressing them this way, tells them that the reason for this communication is clarification as he didn’t want anyone to be able to “deceive” them. There were some false teachers that were trying to say that continuing to “practice sin” was completely normal for the Child of God. Instead, John doubles down and says the opposite as he says: “He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He (Jesus) is righteous”. Practicing sin is completely inconsistent with the transformative work of Christ in the life of the believer. I can’t help but notice as well that the Child of God that is practicing righteousness is doing so completely based upon the Jesus’ work of both destruction of the sin-root of fallen humanity as well as the continual supply of the sin immunotherapy of Jesus’ blood. Jesus is the ONLY ORIGN of Righteousness available to humanity. They cannot achieve this by proper diet or vigorous exercise. The only way to become righteous is by NEW BIRTH in Christ!
  2. Vs. 8 Negative: John writes about the true condition of the person who is “practicing sin” and that is that they are still under the influence of the devil and the fallen nature. Simple put they are still rooted and grounded in sin. John lets his readers in on the “root” of practicing sin being that of the devil whom John declares has sinned from the beginning. The root nature of sin in humanity was originally external and the biblical record it’s entrance into humanity in Genesis. What we don’t have is all the information as to its entrance into the universe. That being said John does tells us that it was in the personality of satan long before it entered humanity. We have this testimony of Jesus in Luke 10:18 where He said to His disciples “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” Jesus may have been describing what Isa 14:12-14 prophesied where we are told that, “Howyou are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’” The prophet Ezekiel in 28:12-15 also seem to describe his fall saying, “You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering: The sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created.  “You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; you were on the holy mountain of God; you walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you.” What John does let his readers know is that SIN has its origins in the devil and affects the root of humanity and causes the fruits of rebellion. It causes the person to go against the design of their Creator and act out against the morality that God placed in His likeness. As bad as the “Sin Root” is John want sus to know that Jesus “destroyed” its works into those who have accepted Him as their Lord and Savior. The word “destroyed” doesn’t mean “annihilate” but instead means to “render inoperative, or to rob of its power”.

Vs. 9-10 Born of God

Vs. 9-10 As a result of this fact John continues to share the glorious truth that though a Christian can sin he declares emphatically that true Child of God can NOT LIVE IN SIN! The person who can enjoy deliberate sin and doesn’t see or feel conviction or the need to repentant needs to examine themselves to determine if they really are a Child of God. Again, John states this truth: “Whoever is born of God does not practice sin..” The reason for this is what I stated above God’s seed remains in that person and God has changed the root of sin into the root of righteousness. John states this in a way that is practical not theological. True Children of God can make no excuses for practicing sin, nor can they make any allowances for such a life! The Child of God has been given three things by trusting in Jesus that makes it impossible for the believer to practice sin:

  • Justification: A new standing before God
  • Sanctification: Set apart to God for His work
  • Regeneration: A new Christlike nature        

Physical life can only produce a physical controlled life; but a spiritual life produces a spiritually controlled life. Jesus said this in John 3:6 “That which is born of the Spirit is spirit”. Peter said in 1 Peter 1:23 that the true Child of God has been born again “not of corruptible seed, but incorruptible, by the Word of God, which lives and abides forever.” There is a sharp and visible contrast between the Child of God and child of the devil: The person will always look like their father! Moral wickedness, hatred, lies, pride are all what a child of the devil looks like. They will oppose the character and nature of God in their actions and words. They will oppose the work of Christ and believe that they need to mature and grow in Christ but have already arrived. They won’t love their brother in Christ. They will “profess” one thing while “practicing” another making themselves like their father the devil who is a liar. The true Child of God overcomes the stubborn flesh by yielding their will and life daily to God as a living sacrifice. They spend time with their father and feed their new nature. They seek to daily communicate with their Father agreeing with Him concerning areas that need to mature and grow closer to God. The true Child of God does not practice sin; a counterfeit believer cannot help but practice sin because the root of sin has not been broken and they haven’t been given a new nature.