1 John 3:2 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 John 3:2, NIV: "Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is."

1 John 3:2, ESV: "Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is."

1 John 3:2, KJV: "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is."

1 John 3:2, NASB: "Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is."

1 John 3:2, NLT: "Dear friends, we are already God's children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is."

1 John 3:2, CSB: "Dear friends, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that when he appears, we will be like him because we will see him as he is."

What does 1 John 3:2 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

John next refers to his readers as his "beloved," or dear ones. Being a child of God is not a future event for the believer; we are His children from the point when we believe into eternity future (John 1:12). In addition, our future has not yet completely been revealed. In eternity with the Lord, believers will experience a new body and exist forever in God's presence, in a way far superior to our lives today. Some of this is simply impossible for us to understand; certain things will only be "revealed" to us once Christ appears to bring us home.

John anticipates this appearing will take place at any moment. Believers will see God "as He is" at that time and become like Him. John's words appear to closely connect with passages associated with the rapture, such as 1 Corinthians 15:50–58 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18. Jesus will appear, believers will see Him, receive a new body, and be with the Lord forever.

It is critical to notice John's point that we are not yet what we will be. John's warnings about sin and fellowship, like the rest of Scripture, recognize that even saved believers will not be perfect. The expected result of salvation is a life that grows to become more and more like Christ—but this does not mean an immediate change to perfection. God loves us enough to forgive our sins (1 John 2:1–2), and to help us overcome them (1 John 2:14; 1 John 4:4).