John Stott: “Our parentage is either divine or diabolical.”

Commenting on 1 John 3:10 (“By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.”) Stott writes:

Our parentage is either divine or diabolical. The universal fatherhood of God is not taught in the Bible, except in the general sense that God is the Creator of all (Acts 17:28). But in the intimate, spiritual sense God is not the Father of all people, and not all people are his children. Indeed, John here is only echoing what Jesus once said to certain unbelieving Jews: ‘You belong to your father, the devil’ (John 8:44; cf. Matt. 13:38; Acts 13:10).

The way to become a child of God is, on the human side, by believing on or receiving Christ, and on the divine side, by new birth (John 1:12-13). Meanwhile God’s children (1 John 3:9) and the devil’s (1 John 3:8) may be recognized by their moral behaviour. ‘By their fruit you will recognise them’ (Matt. 7:20). John now writes negatively, with the sinful and unloving heretics in his mind: “Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.” The lack of righteousness and love proves the lack of a divine birth.

John Stott, The Letters of John: An Introduction and Commentary (Tyndale New Testament Commentaries), 131

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About cteldridge

A beggar trying to tell other beggars were the Bread is.
This entry was posted in Conversion, Salvation, Sanctification, Scriptural exposition, Theology. Bookmark the permalink.

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