1 John 3:1-10

Talks for Growing Christians

The Family Likeness of Righteousness

1 John 3:1-10

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Lesson Number 6

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The family likeness of righteousness is a test of Christian fellowship. Those who practice sin fail the test. Those who practice righteousness pass the test.

Practical Application

  1. Always think of the Lord’s return.


  1. What great truths are found in 1 John3:1?
  2. What great hope is found in 1 John 3:2?
  3. Can you know that someone is a child of God just by looking at him?
  4. How will we one day be like Christ?
  5. What does it mean in the family of God to be “Like Father, like son?”
  6. Refer to 1 John 3:9. Are believers sinless?


  1. As a believer, you are not only a forgiven sinner, but you have been brought into the family of God because of His great love and sacrifice.
  2. One day we shall be like Him (Jesus Christ).
  3. Not yet, but when the Lord returns there will be no doubt.
  4. We will be like Him morally. In glory we will not only be sinless, but we will not be able to sin. See Philippians 3:21.
  5. Believers should exhibit family traits or characteristics of God.
  6. The Greek present tense is used here, which implies continuous action. The idea is that whoever is born of God does not continue to live a life of sin or habitually sin or practice sin.


  1. Refer to 1 John 3:4-10. If you are practicing righteousness it is evidence that you are a true believer, and you really pass the test of Christian fellowship and you really are in the family of God. If, on the other hand, you are practicing sin and not righteousness, then it is evident that you are only a professing Christian and not a true believer, and you are not in the family of God. Are you practicing righteousness? Are you passing the test of Christian fellowship? Are you in the family of God? Examine your heart.
  2. Consider the absolute perfection of our Lord Jesus. Read 1 John 3:5; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:22. The new life that we receive in Christ is righteousness. We are partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). Because of our fallen sinful natures, we will continue to sin until we get our new resurrection bodies in glory. But because of the new righteous life we now have in Christ, we will not live a life of sin; we will not be characterized by sin; we will not practice sin. Are you practicing righteousness? Or are you practicing sin? There is no middle ground. Are you a child of God or a child of the devil? (1 John 3:8)


  1. Read 1 John 3:2-3. When we think of the Lord’s return and the changes that will take place in us then, it will have a sanctifying or purifying effect on our lives now. Try this – every day this coming week, three times a day think of the Lord’s return and say, “Maybe the Lord will return today.” if you do this, it will have a definitely purifying effect on your life as a believer.

Key Verses

  • “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called the children of God!” 1 John 3:1
  • “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him…” 1 John 3:2
  • “Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” 1 John 3:3
  • “Christ was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin.” 1 John 3:5
  • “Whoever abides in Christ does not sin…” 1 John 3:7
  • “He who sins is of the devil…” 1 John 3:8

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