Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


1 John 3:21

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

If our heart condemn us not - If we be conscious to ourselves of our own sincerity, that we practice not deceit, and use no mask, then have we confidence toward God - we can appeal to him for our sincerity, and we can come with boldness to the throne of grace, to obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. And therefore says the apostle,

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Beloved, if our heart condemn us not - If we so live as to have an approving conscience - that is, if we indulge in no secret sin; if we discharge faithfully every known duty; if we submit without complaining to all the allotments of Divine Providence.

Then have we confidence toward God - Compare the 1 John 3:19; 1 John 2:28 notes; Acts 24:16 note. The apostle evidently does not mean that we have confidence toward God on the ground of what we do, as if it were meritorious, or as if it constituted a claim to his favor; but that we may so live as to have evidence of personal piety, and that we may look forward with a confident hope that we shall be accepted of him in the great day. The word here rendered “confidence” - παῤῥησίαν parrēsian- means properly “boldness;” usually boldness or openness in speaking our sentiments. See the notes at 1 John 2:28. The confidence or boldness which we have toward our Maker is founded solely on the evidence that he will graciously accept us as pardoned sinners; not in the belief that we deserve his favor.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Here is the condescension, the miracle, the mystery of Divine love, that God would redeem the church with his own blood. Surely we should love those whom God has loved, and so loved. The Holy Spirit, grieved at selfishness, will leave the selfish heart without comfort, and full of darkness and terror. By what can it be known that a man has a true sense of the love of Christ for perishing sinners, or that the love of God has been planted in his heart by the Holy Spirit, if the love of the world and its good overcomes the feelings of compassion to a perishing brother? Every instance of this selfishness must weaken the evidences of a man's conversion; when habitual and allowed, it must decide against him. If conscience condemn us in known sin, or the neglect of known duty, God does so too. Let conscience therefore be well-informed, be heard, and diligently attended to.
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
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, 161

Selfishness marks the course of many. “But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.” 2T 161.1

Divest yourselves of selfishness and make thorough work for eternity. Redeem the past and do not represent the holy truth you profess where you now live as you have where you have lived hitherto. Let your light so shine that others by seeing your good works may be led to glorify our Father in heaven. Stand upon the elevated platform of eternal truth. Regulate all your business transactions in this life in strict accordance with the word of God. 2T 161.2

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Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 327.4

The love of Jesus in the heart will always be revealed in tender compassion for the souls of those for whom Christ paid so dear a price. “Let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.... And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight” (1 John 3:18-22). There is no such thing as a loveless Christian.... TDG 327.4

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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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