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1See what love the Father has given 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.


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1Jo 3:1-24. Distinguishing Marks of the Children of God and the Children of the Devil. Brotherly Love the Essence of True Righteousness.

1. Behold—calling attention, as to some wonderful exhibition, little as the world sees to admire. This verse is connected with the previous 1Jo 2:29, thus: All our doing of righteousness is a mere sign that God, of His matchless love, has adopted us as children; it does not save us, but is a proof that we are saved of His grace.

what manner of—of what surpassing excellence, how gracious on His part, how precious to us.

love … bestowed—He does not say that God hath given us some gift, but love itself and the fountain of all honors, the heart itself, and that not for our works or efforts, but of His grace [Luther].

that—"what manner of love"; resulting in, proved by, our being, &c. The immediate effect aimed at in the bestowal of this love is, "that we should be called children of God."

should be called—should have received the privilege of such a glorious title (though seeming so imaginary to the world), along with the glorious reality. With God to call is to make really to be. Who so great as God? What nearer relationship than that of sons? The oldest manuscripts add, "And we ARE SO" really.

therefore—"on this account," because "we are (really) so."

us—the children, like the Father.

it knew him not—namely, the Father. "If they who regard not God, hold thee in any account, feel alarmed about thy state" [Bengel]. Contrast 1Jo 5:1. The world's whole course is one great act of non-recognition of God.




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