Welcome Valley Bible Studies

Lesson 9: 1 John 2:28-3:3

1 John 2:28-29
And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.

Background Information
In the next lesson, we study one of the most controversial sections of the New Testament. The theme of that portion of Scripture begins here in chapter 2 verse 28. You will need to pay careful attention to what the text actually says as you study this lesson and the following one.

In preparation for this challenging study, we need to consider the word “doeth” in 1 John 2:29. Of course, in modern English we would say does rather than doeth. First, you need to realize that your English translation accurately translates the Greek word involved here. This is almost always the case with almost any responsible Bible translation. What you may not have noticed is that the word does is in the present tense. It is also in the present tense in the Greek. The present tense works a bit differently in Greek than it does in English. In English, the present tense always focuses on the time the action occurs, which is now. While the Greek present tense can describe action that is happening now, it focuses more on the fact that the action is happening continuously. In other words, John is talking about the person who continuously or repeatedly does what is right, not just the person who occasionally does some righteous act. It is this characteristic of the Greek language that causes some translators to insert the word “practice” into some parts of 1 John, a translation much debated by Bible students. In this study, we will leave the question of whether the word “practice” is needed to the translators. But it is very important to remember, that 1 John 2:29 and following don’t deal with single righteous or sinful acts, but rather with repeated trends. This observation is based both on the principles of Greek grammar we’ve been discussing and also on what we read in the rest of Scripture.

Related Scriptures
Mark 13:32-37

Luke 12:42-48

John 3:3

Acts 28:1-6 (Especially think about verses 2 and 6.)

1 John 4:17

1. Of the many benefits of abiding in Christ, what one is listed in 1 John 2:28-29?

2. Luke 12:42-48 gives 3 levels of being ashamed when Jesus comes. List them

3. According to 1 John 2, only a person who has been born again can be righteous. In Acts 28, we see some obviously unsaved people doing a righteous act. a) Did this single act make the heathen islanders righteous? b) Would this instance tend to make you think that 1 John 2:28-29’s “every one that doeth righteousness is born of him” is referring to doing righteousness on occasion, or to a life characterized by righteous actions?

4. Can a person who hasn’t been saved be righteous consistently?

5. Can a person who has been saved remain unrighteous?

6. What is the evidence in 1 John 2:28-29 that a person has been born again?

7. What causes a person to be righteous?

1 John 3:1
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

Background Information
The Greek word translated “sons” in 1 John 3:1 can also be translated “children,” or “daughters,” depending on the context. When the King James Bible was translated, it was common to use the masculine form of a word to represent both males and females. Practically speaking then, this verse isn’t just talking to men as “sons” but to all the children of God.

Related Scriptures
John 15:18-27 (Jesus is speaking.)

Romans 8:14-17

Romans 8:32-39

1 Corinthians 3:21-23

Galatians 4:1-7

Titus 3:5-7

1. Have you really stopped to think what it means to be a child of God?

2. Can you list some of the benefits God’s children enjoy?

3. What are some of the ramifications of being a child of God, hence an heir?

4. As part of God’s family, can we expect to be any more popular with a non-Christian world than He is?

5. Will we operate according to the same values and wisdom as those people who aren’t part of God’s family in this world?

6. Can we expect the ways of God’s family to match the ways of those who choose to stay outside the family?

1 John 3:2-3
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

Related Scriptures
Exodus 33:17-23

1 Corinthians 2:9 (In context, this verse covers more than our heavenly state.)

1 Corinthians 15:50-58 (This chapter describes the future of the Christian.) 

2 Corinthians 3:18

Colossians 1:26-28

1 Timothy 6:14-16

1 Peter 1:3-9 (Notice verse 8, especially)

1 John 5:4-5

1. Do we know yet, what God is going to make of us?

2. What will happen to allow us to see Jesus Christ in His full glory as God without dying? (Hint: 1 Corinthians 15:51-54 will begin to answer this question.)

3. Can we look at the changes He is leading us to make in our lives and see some of what He is trying to make us?

4. What does the hope of our eternal state lead us to do here on earth?

5. Which comes first, the promise of Heaven or the purification?

6. We know that God purifies us at salvation. We also hear testimonies of people whom God has delivered from certain temptations such as alcohol or pornography by His miraculous power. We read here about purifying ourselves. a) Would this suggest that sometimes God works along with our efforts rather than simply taking our temptations away? b) How might such a joint effort influence the growth of our relationship with Him?

This study is in the public domain and may be copied and distributed freely.