1 John 3:7-24
1 John is such a powerful book to highlight the salient or important issues for Gospel living. He is clear about what is essential for our faith. In today's passage John clearly states that words are not enough. If our actions are not righteous then we are children of Satan and not children of God. Notice that he is directing his discourse to believers who are not living what they say they believe, not to unbelievers. He compares them to Satan who was with God until He decided to follow what was evil! Let's analyze this - if once justified (saved), always justified means no matter what we do after our confession, we are still justified, then this entire passage makes no sense. We cannot be a child of Light and dark at the same time! There is an expectation from God that we "do" after our confession that is consistent with that confession. The Holy Spirit is gifted to us through grace after our confession to help us sanctify ourselves via grace! If we do not, we are deceived and are actually children of Satan!
John then returns to another pivotal lesson from Jesus- that we were to love our fellow believers. This is not the full love message from Jesus on face value, but it is consistent. John is talking about living (doing) what has been taught. John's subtext is, if we cannot love and do good to those who believe like we do making us brothers and sisters, how can we ever love a world that will hate us. This is the motive for verse 13 leading into 14. He says that we have passed from death to life eternal when we love our fellow believers. This is not a proof text that we must love only our brothers and sisters. That would be ignoring the context of the passage. Because we love our fellow believers, we can then have success in loving those who are not like us, which is Jesus' clear meaning in the Sermon on the Mount in Matt 5-7.
Finally in chapter 3 John calls a believer who hates his brother and sister a murderer because that person has killed the new creation that Jesus has created due to the confession found in Rom 10:9. This is the meaning of passing from eternal death to eternal life. When we follow this first and second commandments as the aftermath of our confession, we have a guarantee of eternal life as long as we hold true to our confession. Our actions are proof of our belief, not our words. In order to drive this point home, John says that if you love your brother and sister and see them in need and do nothing even though you have the means to help, how can God's love be in that person? You are either a child of God or Satan and our actions, not our words determines that! This is very clear doctrine because John says that it is by command. Family do not be deceived by those who want you to do nothing but make a confession and you are done regardless of what you do. This is a lie from the very pit of Hell. John says that the Holy Spirit which God gave us to dwell within keeps us in close fellowship with Christ by keeping us "doing" the Truth. Simple and clear application of the basic principles of God, not sleep but in action. Praise Him!