Christians Live in Fellowship: 3:1-10.
Everyone who practices righteousness is truly born of God and he will continue in fellowship with Christ. They live in anticipation of the return of Christ with joyous confidence. How thankful we should be that God’s great love brought us into his family. The world does not recognize that we are the children of God because they do not know him. When Christ returns we shall be like him in glory because we shall see him as he is. This does not mean we shall look like Christ but we will be morally perfect like him. The process of becoming like Christ will be completed on that day. Believers will be recognizable by their own features in heaven. Everyone who has this hope in Christ keeps himself pure just as he is pure. Christian hope is not a wish-full thinking but the confident expectation in the unshakable promises of God. We have this hope because of the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit within us (Rom 8:9). False teachers do not have this hope because they do not have the Holy Spirit. Sin is lawlessness. Genuine believer does not have a life style of sinning because they have a new nature (2 Cor 5:17). Christ came to take away our sins and to destroy the work of devil. Only the sinless one could become ransom for our redemption. God's very purpose of saving us is that we should be conformed to the image of his Son (Rom 8:29). False teachers may try to convince true believers that a person could be saved and still live in sin. It does not mean that he never sins again but his life no longer characterized by sin. True believers cannot sin habitually because they have a new nature. One day they shall completely resemble Christ. Such hope should motivate us to live in righteousness. The children of God are loved as much as Jesus is loved by the Father. Anyone who does practice sin is still in darkness and at enmity with God (3:8).
Those who are in Fellowship Love One Another: 3:11-24.
Christ taught the disciples that they should love one another as He loved them (John 13:34-35). This sacrificial love is the identifying mark of Christians. Hate is a sure sign that we are still under the control of Devil. Cain who was of the evil one, hated his brother and killed him because Abel’s deed was righteous. So do not be surprised if the world hates you. Loving one another is the proof that we have passed from death unto life. Everyone who habitually hates his brother is a murderer and has no eternal life. Christ manifested the example of love when he laid down his life for us. We love him because he first loved us. One who has enough material goods and refuses to help his brother in need is not a true believer. Action speaks louder than words. Those who love the brethren will look forward to Christ’s return with confidence. When we confess and forsake our sins, we will have a clear conscience before God. This gives us the confidence to pray according to the will of God and he will answer our prayers. This is the commandment that we must believe in the name of Jesus Christ and love one another. Those who abide in Christ's love will bear much fruit (John 15:5). The presence of this love gives us assurance in the face of suffering and uncertainty. John also speaks of the presence of the Spirit as another proof that God abides in us (3:24). The new belief and affections generated by the Spirit are evidence of our relationship with God (Rom 8:5-7). The children of God bear their family resemblance.