Daily Archives: September 30, 2023



“Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. So, they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God. So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God.”
1 John 3:9-10 NLT

How quick we are to judge people!
“This one is in and that one is out! ” Unfortunately, sometimes our judgment is based on personal prejudice rather than biblical standards.

However, John shows us how to make our judgments based on fruit rather than personal opinions. Just as fruit on a tree is the witness to the nature of the tree, said Jesus, so the fruit of a life is the real evidence of the believer’s “new birth”.

So, what is the fruit of a life rooted in Jesus?  John gives us two simple ways by which we can test a person’s confession: righteous behaviour and love for God’s people.

What is doing the right thing? God’s Word is always the measure for righteousness. He gives us His standards, simply and clearly in His Word. No one who claims to be a child of God can use ignorance as an excuse for not knowing what to do in any given situation.

“By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvellous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.”
2 Peter 1:3-4 NLT

God has also given us a personal, indwelling Guide to lead us through our difficulties without succumbing to the pull of the flesh. Grace is always freely available for the asking.

“So, I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.”
Galatians 5:16-18 NLT

Also, included in righteousness is our relationship with fellow believers. Jesus set the stage by washing His disciples’ dusty feet as an example of loving service. Any act of humble service for a brother or sister in need is a gesture of real love. This, above everything else, is a witness to our allegiance to Jesus.

The world takes much, gives little, especially when it comes to fostering harmony in relationships. Not so, God’s children.

“Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.”
Philippians 2:1-5 NLT

John’s counsel to his readers is clear. “If you want know who is in and who is out, look at their lives. Do they do the right thing, even when it hurts? Do they care about others more than themselves? Are they givers rather than takers? How do they relate to fellow believers? Do they reflect Jesus by the way they live? “

If they tick all or most of the boxes, then be confident that they are children of God, born of His Spirit, and on the way to becoming like Jesus.

If they do not tick the boxes, then be sure that they have never been born again. They do not belong to God. They belong to the one they serve and resemble.