Born of God

The One Year® Chronological Bible, NKJV (Tyndale, 2013), December 25

imagesIn 1 John, the Apostle John refers to the follower of the Lord Jesus Christ as one who is “born of God”:

“Everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him” (2:29, emphasis added)

“Whoever has been born of God does not sin” (3:9, emphasis added)

“He cannot sin, because he has been born of God” (3:9, emphasis added)

“Everyone who loves is born of God and knows God” (4:7, emphasis added)

“Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God” (5:1, emphasis added)

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world” (5:4, emphasis added)

“We know that whoever is born of God does not sin” (5:18, emphasis added)

“He who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him” (5:18, emphasis added)

John writes this epistle in response to false teaching and deceived “professors” (those who proclaim belief in Christ but whose lives are a contradiction to their claims) in the early church. Many claim the new birth but lack corroborating evidence of such a birth.

In the Gospel of John, John records the conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus, where Jesus tells Nicodemus that “unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). (Religious people need to be born again too!) Jesus makes clear that this birth is caused by the Spirit. Every person enters this world “born of the flesh,” separated from God and devoid of God’s Spirit (thanks to the fall of Adam and Eve), and must be born of God’s Spirit to “see the kingdom of God.” Jesus makes it clear: “You must be born again.” (John 3:1-8).

Back to John’s first epistle. He describes believers as those who have “His seed” (3:9). Those who have been born of the Spirit share God’s DNA. Because God is Light (1:5), God is righteous (2:29, 3:7), and God is love (4:8), those “born of God” will desire to walk in the light, act in righteousness, and love others, and will be empowered to do so.

That’s why John exclaims “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” (3:1). What love indeed, that we, the born again children of God, have the very life of God living in our spirits producing Father-resemblance.

Questions from today’s chronological Bible reading (1 Jn. 4:7-5:21; 2 John; 3 John):
What does John’s epistle teach about the devil, about the devil and the believer, and about the devil and those who’ve not entered into a relationship with Jesus Christ?
What distinguishing characteristic does John use to describe believers in 2 John? How are deceivers described?
Describe the difference between Diotrephes and Demetrius in 3 John. What does this comparison reveal about the motives of false teachers and the character of genuine spiritual leadership?