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1 John 3:10

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

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.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

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.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The sons of God know that their Lord is of purer eyes than to allow any thing unholy and impure to dwell with him. It is the hope of hypocrites, not of the sons of God, that makes allowance for gratifying impure desires and lusts. May we be followers of him as his dear children, thus show our sense of his unspeakable mercy, and express that obedient, grateful, humble mind which becomes us. Sin is the rejecting the Divine law. In him, that is, in Christ, was no sin. All the sinless weaknesses that were consequences of the fall, he took; that is, all those infirmities of mind or body which subject man to suffering, and expose him to temptation. But our moral infirmities, our proneness to sin, he had not. He that abides in Christ, continues not in the practice of sin. Renouncing sin is the great proof of spiritual union with, continuance in, and saving knowledge of the Lord Christ. Beware of self-deceit. He that doeth righteousness is righteous, and to be a follower of Christ, shows an interest by faith in his obedience and sufferings. But a man cannot act like the devil, and at the same time be a disciple of Christ Jesus. Let us not serve or indulge what the Son of God came to destroy. To be born of God is to be inwardly renewed by the power of the Spirit of God. Renewing grace is an abiding principle. Religion is not an art, a matter of dexterity and skill, but a new nature. And the regenerate person cannot sin as he did before he was born of God, and as others do who are not born again. There is that light in his mind, which shows him the evil and malignity of sin. There is that bias upon his heart, which disposes him to loathe and hate sin. There is the spiritual principle that opposes sinful acts. And there is repentance for sin, if committed. It goes against him to sin with forethought. The children of God and the children of the devil have their distinct characters. The seed of the serpent are known by neglect of religion, and by their hating real Christians. He only is righteous before God, as a justified believer, who is taught and disposed to righteousness by the Holy Spirit. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil. May all professors of the gospel lay these truths to heart, and try themselves by them.
Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, 59-60

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 59.3

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Ellen G. White
Sons and Daughters of God, 297

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 297.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 94

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 94.2

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Ellen G. White
The Upward Look, 248

Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee. Job 22:21. UL 248.1

Love for God should lead us to find true enjoyment in learning and doing His will. Thus we become every day better prepared to be overcomers, examples of the power that heavenly grace has to uplift and ennoble human beings. Christ was tempted in all points like as we are, yet He overcame. And today He waits to hear and answer the earnest requests of His children for the grace that will enable them to overcome. UL 248.2

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