1 John 2:28 – 3:10

We enter today the second section of the epistle (see Analysis).

  1. 2:28-3:3. The apostle, having begun in verse 29 to show that the test of sonship is righteousness of life, is carried away by the marvel of the new birth into a rapturous outburst of wonder and joy. Where does our sonship come from? How does the world regard it? What will be its future glory? How should this affect us now? Cf. Col. 3:4, 5.
  2. Chapter 3:4-9. These verses resume and expand the truth of 2:29. What five reasons are given to show that sinning is utterly incompatible with being a child of God?


  1. 2:28. This verse gives clear proof that John, no less than Paul and Peter, believe in the Lord’s second coming. See also 3:2; 4:17.
  2. 2:29. ‘Born of him’: the first reference to sonship in this letter.
  3. 3:6, 9. These verses do not mean that a Christian is incapable of sinning, nor that one sin is proof of an unregenerate nature, but that it is impossible for a true child of God to persist in habitual sin.