7472 - Children of the Devil - 1 John 3:10

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We rejoice when you join us for a study in God’s Word.

We are blessed as we progress through our study of the First Epistle of John. John writes this epistle near the end of his life. It is amazing that John has been silent with his pen for perhaps sixty years since the ascension of the Lord Jesus. But in the late years of his life the Holy Spirit inspires John to write his four books. They are powerful in bringing forth the truth from a different perspective. John is eager to encourage those in the young church to live for Jesus in an obedient lifestyle.

We have been digging into the early verses of chapter 3 of First John. In verses 4-10 John gives two contrasting lifestyles. We have discussed the expected lifestyle of those who have been born of God. These people are expected to live obediently to what Jesus taught and to what God has shared through the New Testament writers. In fact in the whole of this book John shines the light several times on three vital signs which show that certain people are truly children of God. He says that people may know that they are born of God because: 1) of their obedience to His commands, and 2) because of their deep love for their Christian brothers & sisters and 3) because people can see the supernatural work of God’s Spirit who lives within believers. Several times John emphasizes each of these points.

The contrast to this lifestyle is given four times in verses 4-10 of chapter 3, but verse 10 seems to summarize his words. Verse 10 says:

“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; neither is anyone who does not love his brother.”

Whereas the believer, as to lifestyle, does what is right as he follows the commands of God in an obedient manner; the children of the devil do not do what is right.

And whereas those born of God, as a lifestyle, evidence a deep reflection of God’s love for the others who are in the family of God; the lifestyle of those who are children of the devil do not portray a love for others.

Be very certain that these actions in the life of those who are born of God, as well as those who are children of the devil, is not the focus of God’s evaluation. These means of conduct in each life only indicate what is in the heart of each individual, and that is what is important to God. To say this another way –– the conduct is not the important ingredient in life, but rather the character is the essential element to be evaluated. It has been noted by wise men through the ages that the character of the parents place a deep stamp upon the character of the children. Now this principle is transferred into the spiritual arena of life.

If the devil is the parent or the authority in the life of a person, then how would you expect this individual to act? Of course, like the parent –– the devil. We should expect those who follow the devil to mirror the flaws in his character through the conduct of their life.

There’s another message imbedded in the study. In 1 Corinthians (15:33) we are told: “...Bad company corrupts good character.” This is a warning to Christians against being tempted to compromise their character when observing the character of the children of the devil.

The Bible also tells us that the devil has blinded the minds of many of his followers so that they cannot see, understand, and accept the light of the gospel regarding the glory of Christ. Therefore the children of God need to pray for these who are dead in sin, living in the darkness, with hearts which are hardened against truth.