Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Thursday after the Last Sunday after Trinity Sunday

Posted on November 29, 2018 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: 1 John 3:1-12 (NKJV)
3:1 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. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
4 Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. 5 And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. 6 Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him.
7 Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. 8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. 9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. 10 In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.
11 For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, 12 not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous.
John speaks here in very pastoral language when he addresses his audience as beloved, but admits we are not yet what we are to be, and assures us that through our hope (faith) in Christ and His grace we shall be what He intends when He again appears in glory.
In the middle section of this pericope John points out the fact that one who is in Christ and has Christ in them cannot continue in sin, for it is a state contrary to their new nature as a member of the body of Christ. Though we see sin in ourselves we can rejoice that as we struggle with being sinner and saint in this life we have the imperishable seed of God’s Word abiding in us through grace by faith.
In verse 11 John points us to Christ and His new commandment, recorded in John 13:34, that will make us manifest to the world as His disciples through our Christian love for one another. He concludes this text by once again pointing out that we are to be as God’s faithful children have always been: righteous. This joyous reality is contrasted with the sad reality that the world and the children of the world are evil, and thus do the unrighteous works of the devil.
We pray: Lord of Light, create in us a love of You and Your Word, nourishing us through Your holy Means of Grace that we may through them be made Your true disciples, reflecting Your light now and forever. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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