In this the children of God are manifest - Here is a fearful text. Who is a child of the devil? He that commits sin. Who is a child of God? He that works righteousness. By this text we shall stand or fall before God, whatever our particular creed may say to the contrary.
Neither he that loveth not his brother - No man is of God who is not ready on all emergencies to do any act of kindness for the comfort, relief, and support of any human being. For, as God made of one blood an the nations of men to dwell upon the face of the whole earth, so all are of one family; and consequently all are brethren, and should love as brethren.
In this the children of God are manifest - That is, this furnishes a test of their true character. The test is found in doing righteousness, and in the love of the brethren. The former he had illustrated; the latter he now proceeds to illustrate. The general idea is, that if a person is not truly a righteous person, and does not love the brethren, he cannot be a child of God. Perhaps by the phrase in this, using a pronoun in the singular number, he means to intimate that an important part of righteousness consists in brotherly love.
Whosoever doeth not righteousness, is not of God - In 1 John 3:7, he had said that “he that doeth righteousness is of God.”
If that is true, then what he here affirms must be true also, that a man who does not righteousness is not of God. The general idea is the same, that no one can be a true Christian who is not in fact a righteous man.
Neither he that loveth not his brother - The illustration of this point continues to 1 John 3:18. The general sense is, that brotherly love is essential to the Christian character, and that he who does not possess it cannot be a Christian. On the nature and importance of brotherly love as an evidence of piety, see the notes at John 13:34-35.
Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not. 1 John 3:6. SD 297.1
A mere profession of godliness is worthless. It is he that abideth in Christ that is a Christian. For “every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” In every clime, in every nation, our youth should cooperate with God. The only way a person can be pure is to become like-minded with God. How can we know God?—By studying His Word.... SD 297.2Read in context »
This is the testimony that must go throughout the length and breadth of the world. It presents the law and the gospel, binding up the two in a perfect whole. (See Romans 5 and 1 John 3:9 to the close of the chapter.) These precious scriptures will be impressed upon every heart that is opened to receive them. “The entrance of Thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple”—those who are contrite in heart. “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” These have not a mere nominal faith, a theory of truth, a legal religion, but they believe to a purpose, appropriating to themselves the richest gifts of God. They plead for the gift, that they may give to others. They can say, “Of His fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.” TM 94.1
“He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only-begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and His love is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in Him, and He in us, because He hath given us of His Spirit.” TM 94.2Read in context »
The truth, deeply rooted in the hearts of believers, will spring up and bear fruit unto righteousness. Their words and works are the channels through which the pure principles of truth and holiness are conveyed to the world. Especial blessings and privileges are for those who love the truth and walk according to the light they have received. If they neglect to do this, their light will become darkness. When the people of God become self-sufficient, the Lord leaves them to their own wisdom. Mercy and truth are promised to the humble in heart, the obedient and faithful. 3T 59.1
Brother K has stood in the way of his children. If he had been consecrated to God, having his heart in the work, and living out the truth he professed, he would have felt the importance of commanding his household after him, as did faithful Abraham. 3T 59.2
The lack of harmony and love between the two brothers K is a reproach to the cause of God. Both are at fault. Both have a work to do in subduing self and cultivating the Christian graces. God is dishonored by the dissensions, and I do not go too far when I say hatred, that exist between these two natural brothers. Brother A K is greatly at fault. He has cherished feelings that have not been in accordance with the will of God. He knows the peculiarities of his brother, B K, that he has a fretful, unhappy temperament. Frequently he cannot see good when it lies directly in his path. He sees only evil and becomes discouraged very easily. Satan magnifies a molehill into a mountain before him. All things considered, Brother B K has in many things pursued a less censurable course than his brother, because it has been less injurious to the cause of present truth. 3T 59.3Read in context »