In the third chapter of John’s first Epistle there are five things worth knowing.
1. In the fifth verse we read the first thing worth knowing:
“And ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin.” Not what I have done, but what HE has done. Has He failed in His mission? Is He not able to do what He came for? Did ever any heaven-sent man fail yet? and could God’s own Son fail? HE WAS MANIFESTED TO TAKE AWAY OUR SINS.
2. Again, in the nineteenth verse, the second thing worth knowing:
“And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him.” We KNOW that we are of THE TRUTH. And if the truth make us free, we shall be free indeed. “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36).
3. The third thing worth knowing is in the fourteenth verse:
“We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren.” The natural man does not like godly people, nor does he care to be in their company. “He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.” He has no spiritual life.
4. The fourth thing worth knowing we find in verse twenty-four:
“And he that keepeth His commandments dwelleth in Him, and He in him. And hereby we know that He abideth in us, by the Spirit which He hath given us.” We can tell what kind of Spirit we have if we possess the Spirit of Christ- a Christ-like spirit- not the same in degree, but the same in kind. If I am meek, gentle, and forgiving; if I have a spirit filled with peace and joy; if I am long-suffering and gentle, like the Son of God- that is a test- and in that way we areto tell whether we have eternal life or not.
5. The fifth thing worth knowing, and the best of all, is:
“Beloved, now.” Notice the word “Now.” It does not say when you come to die. “Beloved, now are we the sons of God; and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is” (v. 2).