When John says, “by this” (3:19) he is referring back to 3:17-18, where he talks about love expressing itself in practical good deeds. Thus in 1Jn 3:19 John is saying, “When you are troubled by doubts and self-condemnation, don’t focus on your failures. The grammar of 1 John 3:6 indicates that John is speaking of a settled, continued lifestyle of sin. He writes that we are indeed saved by grace through faith. See John 3:28-30 (printed below) Note, also, John 1:19-23 (printed below) You yourselves can testify that I said, I am not the Christ; rather, I have been sent ahead of him. 1 John 3:19–24 “How to Send Your Guilt Trip Packing” NOTE: These notes are mostly exegetical/content oriented. 1 John 3:19-24. On the translation of kardiva (kardia, literally “heart”) as “conscience” see 1 John 3:19. (1 John 3 Commentary) Steven Cole - John’s point is that self-sacrificing love (Ed: Discussed in the entire preceding section - 1Jn 3:11-18) is the mark of the Christian, whereas self-centered hatred is the mark of the world. There should be no question on this fact. 1 John 3:19-24. Summary. As we saw there, John’s point is that self-sacrificing love is the mark of the Christian, whereas self-centered hatred is the mark of the world. 19 By this we shall know that we are of the truth, and reassure our hearts before him 20 whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 3:22 and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do the things that are pleasing to him. John has already told us in 1 John 1:8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. The center of this passage is John’s appeal in v. 23: we should believe in Jesus and love one another. (29) The bride belongs to the bridegroom. Ephesians 2:5 says so explicitly. In several places, such as I John 2:29; 3:3; 3:9-14; and 5:1-4, John expressly states what the responsibilities of a converted person are.In these verses, the work of keeping the commandments is plainly shown. He suggests here in this phrase that this is a rather frequent and oftentimes involuntary experience on our part. How does John respond to the concern expressed by his disciples? The application of Paul's statement in Ephesians 2:10 is becoming ever clearer. We are saved by grace. 2. In 1 John 1:8, the grammar indicates John is speaking about occasional acts of sin. Certainly we have duties and responsibilities, both before and after our sins are forgiven. Believers who have a clear conscience (v. 21) have confidence (v. We are saved when and if God chooses to save us. 1 John 3:22. (1 John 3:19-20 RSV) In that phrase, "whenever our hearts condemn us," the Apostle John is recognizing that the problem we face is that of a condemning heart, a condemning conscience. For the full sermon with illustrations and application, see my 1-3 John: Fellowship in the Family in Preaching the Word (Wheaton: Crossway, 2013), 163-174.
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