This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.
This verse is the conclusion of a passage about sin. We already have heard from the Apostle John that we all sin and if we claim that we don’t, we lie (1 John 1:8-10). Actually the text says that we make Him out to be a liar… which makes us the liar. There is no sinning with God. He is truth.
Here in chapter 3 John goes deeper into this subject of sin. His main thoughts are:
• Jesus came to remove sin from us (vs. 5)
• No one who is in relationship with Christ continues to sin. We will sin, but continuous sin does not mark the one who knows Jesus (vs 6,9)
• Righteousness and love for others indicate who the children of God are (vs. 10)
Externals do not make you acceptable before God Almighty – but they do show whether you are in relationship with Him or not.
I need to allow the good things that are coming from this relationship with Christ to be seen. Jesus said not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men to be seen by them (Matthew 6:1), but this does not mean that I hide those acts. Yes, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing (Matthew 6:3-4), but what does Jesus mean? He is talking about our motivation. If we do it for people to see, there’s our reward.
Righteousness lived out among people is an indicator of a relationship with God. Righteousness lived out is encouraging to people (because they are blessed and helped by it!) and it points them to God. Since I am in a relationship with God, this will happen.
Lord Jesus, You are the Vine and I am one of Your branches (John 15:1). Any good thing that is produced by this branch will come from You. Make Yourself seen and known through me this day. Thank You for removing all of my sin from me! I live for You.