What does 1 John 3:1 mean?
ESV: See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
NIV: See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
NASB: See how great a love the Father has given us, that we would be called children of God; and in fact we are. For this reason the world does not know us: because it did not know Him.
CSB: See what great love the Father has given us that we should be called God's children--and we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it didn't know him.
NLT: See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him.
KJV: Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
NKJV: Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
Verse Commentary:
Verses 1 through 3 focus on God's love, and how His love results in believers becoming children of God. Becoming a child of God is seen as a great sign of love from God the Father. John specifically mentions that believers are not only "called children of God;" believers truly are God's children. This theme closely connects with the words of John 1:12: "But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God." God's children are those who both receive Jesus as Lord and believe in His name as the risen Messiah.

John highlights this concept using the Greek term ideate, meaning, "look at this!" The idea that God would love us enough to make us His children is just one of the amazing aspects of the gospel.

John then notes why unbelievers do not "know" believers: Unbelievers do not know Christ. As used by John, the concept of "knowing" involves more than just information. It refers to a sense of intimacy, fellowship, and connection. The unbelieving world does not have a relationship with Christ. Therefore, they have no relationship with His children. God's children are to become increasingly like the Father, regardless of whether others recognize us.
Verse Context:
First John 3:1–3 highlights the amazing love God has for us. Not only is He willing to call us His children, we actually are His children. Some of that transformation is immediate, but not everything we will be has been revealed, yet. Only when Christ returns will we see everything He has in store for us. John also connects a relationship with Christ to ''pure'' living.
Chapter Summary:
The third chapter of 1 John focuses mostly on the concept of love. Because of His love, God not only calls us His children, He actually makes us His children. John also explains how sin, including hate, is never the result of a proper relationship with God. Christians, in contrast to the world, are supposed to do more than simply ''feel'' love; we are to act on it, as well
Chapter Context:
Chapters 1 and 2 introduced the stark differences between those who truly have fellowship with Christ, as opposed to those who are ''in darkness.'' Chapter 3 continues this discussion, with a particular emphasis on love. This serves as a bridge, between John's descriptions of lives lived abiding either in darkness or light, to an explanation of how God's faithfulness gives us confidence as Christian believers.
Book Summary:
First John seems to assume that the reader is familiar with the gospel. Rather than re-state these facts, John is concerned with building confidence in Christian believers. At the same time, his words encourage believers to examine their own lives for signs of their relationship with Christ. This letter also challenges false teachers and their incorrect claims about Jesus. Many themes are shared with the Gospel of John.
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