1 John 3:1-7

1 John 3:1-7
Eastertide B21


SeeA what loveB the Father has givenC us,

Notes on verse 1a

A “see” = horao. To see, perceive, attend to, look upon, experience. Properly, to stare at and so implying clear discernment. This, by extension, would indicate attending to what was seen and learned. This is to see, often with a metaphorical sense. Can include inward spiritual seeing.
B “love” = agape. From agapao (to love, take pleasure in, esteem; to prefer). This is love, goodwill, benevolence. It is God’s divine love or human love that mirrors God’s love.
C “given” = didomi. To give, offer, place, bestow, deliver. This is give in a literal or figurative sense.

that we should be calledD childrenE of God;F and that is what we are.

Notes on verse 1b

D “called” = kaleo. Related to keleuo (to command, order, direct); from kelomai (to urge on). This is to call by name, invite, to name, bid, summon, call aloud.
E “children” = teknon. From tikto (to beget, bring forth, produce). This is a child, descendant, or inhabitant.
F “God” = Theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.

The reasonG the worldH does not knowI us is that it did not know him. 

Notes on verse 1c

G “reason” = dia + houtos. Literally “because of this.”
H “world” = kosmos. Perhaps from the base of komizo (to carry, convey, recover); from komeo (to take care of). This is order, the world, the universe, including its inhabitants. Literally, this is something that is ordered so it can refer to all creation. It can also refer to decoration in the sense that something is better ordered and, thus, made more beautiful. This is where “cosmos” and “cosmetics” come from.
I “know” = ginosko. This is to know, recognize, realize, perceive, learn. It is knowledge gained through personal experience.

Beloved,J we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed.K What we do knowL is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. 

Notes on verse 2

J “beloved” = agapetos. Related to “love” in v1. From agape (see note B above). This is Beloved or very dear one. It is a title for the Messiah, but also for Christians. Properly, this is one who personally experiences God’s love.
K “revealed” = phaneroo. From phaneros (visible, apparent, clear, shining); from phos (light, a source of light, fire, or radiance; light with specific reference to what it reveals; luminousness whether natural or artificial, abstract or concrete, literal or figurative); from phao (to shine or make visible, especially with rays of light); from the same as phaino (to bring light, cause to appear, shine, become visible or clear). This is to make visible or clear, to make known. Properly, it is to illumine and so to make apparent or bring into open view.
L “know” = eido. This is to know, consider perceive, appreciate, behold, or remember. It means seeing with one’s eyes, but also figuratively, it means perceiving – seeing that becomes understanding. So, by implication, this means knowing or being aware.

And all who have this hopeM in him purifyN themselves, just as he is pure.O

Notes on verse 3

M “hope” = elpis. From elpo (to anticipate, welcome, expect; usually to anticipate positively). This is expectation, hope, trust, confidence faith. The expectation can be abstract or concrete.
N “purify” = hagnizo. 7x in NT. From hagnos (holy, sacred, pure ethically, ritually, or ceremonially; prepared for worship, chaste, unadulterated, pure to the core; undefiled by sin; figurative for innocent, modest, perfect). This is to purify, or sanctify. It is to clean in a ritual, literal, or ethical sense.
O “pure” = hagnos. Related to “purify” in v3. 8x in NT. See note N above.

Everyone who commitsP sinQ is guilty ofR lawlessness;S sin is lawlessness.

Notes on verse 4

P “commits” = poieo. This is to make, do, act, construct, abide, or cause.
Q “sin” = hamartia. From hamartano (to miss the mark, do wrong, make a mistake, sin); {from a (not) + meros (a part or share)}. Literally, this means not having one’s share or portion – like not receiving inheritance or what was allotted to you. This word means missing the mark so it is used for guilt, fault, and acts of sin.
R “is guilty of” = poieo. Same as “commits” in v4. See note P above.
S “lawlessness” = anomia. 15x in NT. From anomos (literally without law; could refer to someone who disregards authority or one who is not under the law (i.e. a Gentile); lawless, wicked, or a transgressor); {from a (not, without) + nomos (what is assigned – usage, law, custom, principle; used for the law in general or of God’s law; sometimes used to refer to the first five books of the Bible or the entire Old Testament; also used to refer to theology or the practice and tradition of interpreting and implementing the law of God); {from nemo (to parcel out, assign)}}. This is lawlessness, disobedience, without law, violation. It is disregarding the law whether human or God’s law, including the harmful impact.

You knowT that he was revealed to take awayU sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abidesV in him sins;W no one who sins has either seen him or knownX him. 

Notes on verses 5-6

T “know” = eido. Same as “know” in v2. See note L above.
U “take away” = airo. This is to lift up in a literal or figurative sense. So, it could mean to lift, carry, or raise. It could also imply lifting something in order to take it away or remove it. Figuratively, this can be used for raising the voice or level of suspense. It can mean sailing off as raising the anchor. It can also correspond to a Hebrew expression for atonement of sin (lift/remove sin).
V “abides” = meno. This is to stay, remain, wait, await, continue, abide, endure. It can mean to literally stay in a place or to remain in a condition or to continue with hope and expectation.
W “sins” = hamartano. Related to “sin” in v4. See note Q above.
X “known” = ginosko. Same as “know” in v1. See note I above.

Little children,Y let no one deceiveZ you. Everyone who doesAA what is rightBB is righteous,CC just as he is righteous.

Notes on verse 7

Y “little children” = teknion. Related to “children” in v1. 8x in NT– 1x in John and 7x in 1 John. From teknon (see note E above). This is the diminutive of teknon, so little child. Figuratively, it refers to someone who is loved, endeared, a darling. It is also used for Christian converts.
Z “deceive” = planao. From plane (wandering – used figuratively for deceit, error, sin, fraudulence, or wandering from orthodoxy); from planos (wandering, misleading, a deceiver or imposter). This is to wander, lead astray, mislead, mistake, seduce, or deceive. Generally used to refer to sin – going off the right path or roaming from truth/virtue. This word shares a root with “planet” (as a heavenly body that wanders).
AA “does” = poieo. Same as “commits” in v4. See note P above.
BB “right” = dikaiosune. From dikaios (correct, righteous – implies innocent; this is that which conforms to God’s notion of justice, uprightness); from dike (the principle of justice; that which is right in a way that is very clear; a decision or the execution of that decision; originally, this word was for custom or usage; evolved to include the process of law, judicial hearing, execution of sentence, penalty, and even vengeance; more commonly, it refers to what is right); may be from deiknumi (to show, point out, exhibit; figurative for teach, demonstrate, make known). This is judicial or divine approval of character or action. This is righteousness, justice, justness, divine righteousness.
CC “righteous” = dikaios. Related to “right” in v7. See note BB above.

Image credit: “Photos of the town of Grande Cache, Alberta, and area” by “Rural Health Professions Action Plan from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada,” 2017.

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