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  1st JOHN 3:1-3

Although it at first appears to be a rather circuitous route, the goal of this great Passage is to reveal the "key" to purity in the Christian life!

"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. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." 1st John 3:1-3


 A Preacher in his Study





In order to be "balanced" in one's ministry, the whole counsel of God must be preached. Paul the Apostle could, in good conscience, say this: "For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God." Acts 20:27

And if a Preacher does sincerely try to preach all the Word of God, passages on separation from sin will surface regularly!

We simply must, in these days of apostasy and compromise, raise our voices against the epidemic of iniquity that's sweeping the land.

There even seems to be a special blessing to those who live uncontaminated lives, holy and pure. "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." 2nd Corinthians 6:17-18

The Text before us now, 1st John 3:1-3, would qualify, although in an unusual way, as a "separation" Passage! "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. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure."

This is such a captivating Passage that John begins it with the word "Behold!"

An exclamation!

Actually "behold" is a verb.

It means something like, "Look!"

"Eido" implies seeing in an intellectual sense, or spiritual sense.

Look and see ... with understanding!

Look and see ... through the eyes of faith!

The verb is framed as an imperative. John is preaching to his "little children" in Christ. These are saved folks.

The upcoming verse contains something we need to "see!"

As an imperative aorist verb, in the exact form found here, I can locate "eido," actually "idete," only eleven times in the whole New Testament.

Here are a few of those glorious "beholds," just to give you some concrete Bible samples.

"He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay."

"Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have."

"Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?"

Whatever 1st John 3:1-3 teaches, it is important!

Very important!

So much so that we are admonished to "behold" it before it's ever presented!

Don't miss this!

"Behold ... what manner of love!"

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




The statement is clear and plain. “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.” 1st John 3:1

The Heavenly Father loves His Own children!

The expression “what manner of” is certainly interesting! It means “from what country!” “Potapos” implies that which is not quite human, beyond the natural! That could be “supernatural” then!

God cares for us with a love that is grammatically “out of this world!”

Using this “out of the country” term, concerning Jesus it is asked in Matthew 8:27, “What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!”

Some unusual rocks are so described as well, at the Temple of Herod! “And as he went out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here!” Mark 13:1

This is depicting the announcement of Jesus’ coming Virgin Birth! “And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.” So wondered Mary in Luke 1:29

In an insulting way “potapos” appears in Luke 7:39. “Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.”

Then onward to some Bible prophecy. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?” 2nd Peter 3:11-12

In each case an unusual degree of particularity is noticed!

So with God’s love to us!

There’s nothing quite like it!

The noun “love” itself is, of course, “agape.” I just read where one Strong’s Concordance definition wonders if “agape” is derived from “agan,” which means “much” in Greek!

Much Love!

Inexhaustible Love!

Everlasting Love!

Unquenchable Love!

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:35-39

Yes, this is indeed an “out of sight” kind of love!

And how is it acquired?

Not by works!

Not by human merit!

Solely by Grace!

It is, as our Text says, “bestowed” upon God’s children! It’s a Gift!

“Hath bestowed” translates “didomai,” a Greek verb but here in its indicative perfect active form. It means “given, granted, permitted, appointed or established."

Once, in Acts 19:31, “didomai” is rendered as “adventure.” Paul wanted to, but his friends prohibited, his “adventuring” into that noisy theatre in Ephesus while the deadly riot was in progress!

God then, using King James terminology, “adventured” to us His great incomparable Love!

And, I testify to you, it has been an “adventure” superb!

Chew on these words today, meditate on every nuance and shade of meaning the Holy Spirit suggests, and you will be thrilled beyond measure!

In fact, try that again tonight too, as you recline on your bed. You will merely duplicate David’s experience. “My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips: when I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches.” Psalm 63:5-6


God loves us, dear Christian friend!

If I were lost today, that alone would bring me to Jesus I sincerely believe! 

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




The expression "sons of God" is heavy with meaning.

In the Old Testament Book of Job, God Himself asked the Patriarch "Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?" These "sons of God" in Job 38:7 perhaps were angels who rejoiced at the beauty and glory of God's creation.

Then in Genesis 6:1-2 we find, "And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose." Two opinions prevail here. Either these "sons of God" were righteous human beings who wrongly intermarried with wicked mates or were fallen angels who cohabited with humans.

Again in Job, this time Job 1:6, "Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them." Angels, we presume again.

But by the time we reach the New Testament, "sons of God" has acquired some new dimensions! For example, John 1:12-13, "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." These "sons of God" are therefore not only human beings, but now "born-again" ones as well!

Then add Romans 8:14, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." And Philippians 2:15, "That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world."

"Sons of God," a beautiful expression!

Again, how did we become such? Paul clearly answers that in Galatians 3:16. "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus." We were saved!

This designation however, "sons of God," is perhaps elevated to its highest honor in 1st John 3:1. "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God." Glory to God!

God the Father has loved us Believers so much, and this is an out-of-this-world kind of love too, that He has literally given us positions as His sons! We have been placed into His Family! Two ways! By supernatural birth, being "born again," and by adoption, placed legally into His Family as adult sons!

The pronoun "that" is spelled "hina" in Greek and introduces a clause that explains the result of God's having loved us so!

The verb "called" is "kaleo" in its subjunctive aorist passive form. It indeed means "called," but in this sense: "invited, summoned or even named!" One day He called my name! Its passive voice tendency means that I did not do anything to activate this call. I did not call myself! I did not deserve it or earn it in any way. It was performed upon me! I was the recipient of such a great thing, by Grace too! And, as a subjunctive mood verb, "kaleo" expresses a desire or wish John possesses. But in this case it's a desire that is already fulfilled, at the very moment of salvation! Often in purpose clauses, as here, the subjunctive mood is used, though the outcome is certain.

I did not take such a lofty name upon myself, "son of God."


It has been given me by my Father in Heaven!

He so named me!

What a high and lofty honor! "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God."

Now let's discuss the noun "sons." In Greek "teknon" means sons or daughters, children or offspring of a family. Descendants, posterity! The gender here is neuter, thus both boys and girls are indicated. "Teknon" may ultimately go back to the Greek noun "time," pronounced tee-may', meaning "value, price, honor, that which is precious!" God values His children!

But "teknon" also has this nuance of meaning according to some experts, it emphasizes the fact of birth. Not adoption here, but one having been delivered by means of the womb! Birth pangs! Love engendered! Blood shed! Danger! Then joy! It can mean "a son who is like his father" too! Or a daughter like her Daddy! Family likeness is implied!

Whereas the other Greek noun for "sons" is "huios," stressing the dignity and character and honor of such a familal relationship!

Surprisingly here, John, led by the Holy Spirit, pens "teknon" instead of "huios!" We submit to that wording too! Such vocabulary makes the verse all the more beautiful!

However, in several New Testament Passages "huios" is used instead of "teknon." For example, Matthew 5:9, where Jesus taught: "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God."

Either way, it is a unique blessing!

Honorable and special, "huios," and also developing to be more like our Father, "teknon," by Grace through faith in Jesus' shed Blood ... we are the sons of God!

What love!

                                                                                     --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




The Bible is filled with logic.

God's logic!

Man, having fallen into sin long ago in Eden, often has a skewed sense of reckoning. "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." Proverbs 14:12

Logic, as God knows it, is one of the very Names given to God the Son! "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God." John 1:1 uses the Greek noun "logos" for the Word, for Jesus! Jesus is the Logos of God! Logos is the foundation for our English word "logic!"

Jesus is Logic!

Jesus is Logos!

Here's one of the Bible's most simple statements of logic. "Therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not." 1st John 3:1, it's last clause printed here, tells us of a beautiful truth. "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."

Those who are saved are recipients of an amazing "manner of love!" One that by Grace through faith in Jesus Christ and His Death on Calvary has been given to us! One thought conveyed by the lovely expression "manner of love" is "out of this world" or "from another country!"

This "gift" God has bestowed upon us, salvation itself, has literally and miraculously translated us from the kingdom of darkness into the very family of God! "Sons of God" says our verse!

"Therefore," being a statement of logic, means something like "consequently." As a result of the foregoing facts ... "for this reason!" A preposition in Greek, "dia" is found 647 times in Scripture.

Because we Believers in Jesus are now among the sons of God ... "therefore the world knoweth us not."

Because we have entered into a relationship whereby we can call God our Father ... "therefore the world knoweth us not."

But even more so, because we have been given a love that is "out of this world" or "from another country" ... of course, "this world knoweth us not."

"World" translates "kosmos," an orderly arrangement or a harmonious constitution of a group of things. This "world," in the Biblical sense of the word, is an organized system of ungodliness headed by the devil himself! Not only is Satan "the prince of the power of the air" as Ephesians 2:2 says, he is also "the prince of this world!" Jesus used that title for the devil three times, John 12:31 and 14:30 and again in John 16:11. And the devil is, if anything, systematic! That's why Scripture uses terms like "this present evil world" in Galatians 1:4. Jesus, "Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father," it says boldly!

The world's systems of entertainment and education and medicine and politics and law and everything else too are arranged like the Devil would have them. They represent his logic!

No wonder then, for the true born-again Blood-washed saints of God, "the world knoweth us not."

We are "in" Jesus!

His love is deposited within our souls, our hearts, our lives!

Jesus is "in" us too! Paul, clearly addressing saved folks, writes of "Christ in you, the hope of glory" in Colossians 1:27.

1st John 3:1 then LOGICALLY concludes ... "therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not."

The verb "knoweth," used twice in this short clause, is "ginosko" in Greek. This specialized verb often means "knowing" in the sense of acquired knowledge. Something you gained by effort! Whereas "oida" means to know in the sense of "seeing" intellectually or spiritually, perceiving something! "Oida" knowledge is generally not earned or acquired knowledge but granted, bestowed, inherent knowledge!

The world can not learn spiritual things!

It simply knoweth us not!

After all, we're merely strangers and pilgrims here says 1st Peter 2:11. We are no longer "native" to this cosmos! Our love and outlook and manner of life are "from another country!"


                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Good news!

In fact, maybe the best news ever heard.

"Beloved, now are we the sons of God." 1st John 3:2

To those who have believed on Jesus Christ as their Saviour, those who have been saved by the Grace of God, this statement is made.

"Beloved, now are we the sons of God."

Using a word heavily freighted with meaning, John describes the sons of God as "beloved." Wrapped in the most profound of all the Greek words for love, "agapetos" means  "dear ones, esteemed ones," even at times "favorite ones!" Usually in the King James Bible the term is compounded in some way. For example, "dearly beloved" 9 times and "well beloved" 3 more times.

John is a loving Preacher anyway. He learned that from Jesus His Lord! Four times in the New Testament John is designated as "that disciple whom Jesus loved" also.

We should love those who are in the same family we are, the family of God! John felt so strongly about this that he elsewhere wrote: "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." And, "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren." John 13:35 and 1st John 3:14

Next John gives us an adverbial note about our being the sons of God, having been washed in the Blood of the Lamb.

"Now," we are the sons of God, he says.

"Nun" is the Greek spelling and means "at this time, presently," or even "henceforth."

Not once we get to Heaven!

Not fifty years after we are saved!


Let Jesus tell us again, just in another way. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but Is passed from death unto life." I have capitalized some of the PRESENT TENSE verbs here in John 5:24, those that indicate immediate salvation!

"Beloved, now are we the sons of God."

Even the clause's major verb, "are," translates the present tense indicative mood form of "eimi." It means "to be!" We now live in the state of "being sons of God!" What an enjoyable condition, being sons of God! No human, godly as he or she could be, would ever take that title upon himself. But this lofty position is "bestowed" upon us at the moment of our salvation! Given us by our loving Heavenly Father!

"Beloved, now are we the sons of God."

The noun "sons" is again "teknon." That's a child, a born child, who is already taking on himself the traits of his or her father! Adoption here is just not part of the situation. "Born again" better fits this picture!

"Of God" is a genitive phrase, revealing possession. It is grammatically saying that we are God's children! Owned by Him!

Of all the many things Christians, real Christians, are ... this is the greatest, sons of God!

Yes, we are His servants.

And we are His ambassadors.

And witnesses.

And even friends!

But as good as these are ... "sons of God" is just, well, it's just ... "out of this world!"


"And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ." Romans 8:17

Need any more be said?

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




What theology John the Apostle could pack into one verse!

Really, the Holy Spirit is the Author of all Scripture, including 1st John 3:1-3.

For example, "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." This is verse two only.

For today, "It doth not yet appear what we shall be."

John, when writing this sentence, has not yet been banished to the Isle of Patmos. He has not yet been "raptured" to Heaven to see God's Throne and that emerald rainbow and those 24 elders and the living creatures who worship God day and night for ever and ever! He has not yet been "in the Spirit on the Lord's Day." By then he would have understood more, a little more anyway, of "what we shall be."

Nor had he apparently studied Paul's great Epistle to the Corinthians, Second Corinthians specifically, where we're told: "For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: if so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life." And that: "We are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: For we walk by faith, not by sight: We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord." And 1st Corinthians which adds: "Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?"

So John wisely asserts: "It doth not yet appear what we shall be."

The verb "appear" is certainly the right idea too! "Phaneroo" means "to make manifest, to make visible, to expose to view." It is often associated with a bright and sudden flash of light also! This "appearing" will occur in a brief point of time also, aorist being the verb's sense of timing. One second we do not know, the next second we do!

The adverb "yet" is spelled "oupo" in Greek and means just what it says, "not yet." Or "hitherto not" or "no as yet." It's coming, but has not yet arrived!

The verbal package "shall be," actually "we shall be" due to its 1st person plural suffix, means "to be, to exist, to happen, to take place" ... but in the future!

Something, Someone really, is coming! When He arrives and does to us this great thing, "We shall all be changed," something personal and dramatic and miraculous is going to occur!

Paul perhaps knows more, "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." 1st Thessalonians 4:16-17

But even then, John is right. We still don't know fully!  "It doth not yet appear what we shall be."

So, rather than concentrating on what we do not know, John shifts to what we do know!

"It doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him." How about that? Still we're in 1st John 3:2.

Jesus is coming again!

And when He appears, using the same verb as earlier, "phaneroo," but this time as a subjunctive, Jesus will burst back into time and space, lighting all of creation with His Glory, making Himself indescribably beautiful to His Own precious children!

This "appearing" will fulfill one's of John's greatest longings, one of His deepest desires, hence that subjunctive mood!

This last clause is more than we can study in one sitting. More tomorrow, Lord willing.

It's enough right now just to know Jesus is coming!

We can live on that a long time!

The Disciples did! Here's how Jesus encouraged them: "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."

Yes, He's going to "appear" some day, maybe soon!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Just three little words!

Two in Greek really!

"But we know!"

Look at their location in 1st John 3:2. "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is."

The New Testament has more than one way to convey the idea of "knowing."

One can be aware of something simply because he or she has been "taught" that fact. "Didasko," the verb "to teach" is built upon a stem that is spelled "dao," meaning "to learn."

More to the point is "ginosko." It also means "I know." But this verb implies that such knowledge was acquired. Its owner had to study, to get into the books, in order to master a subject.

Then comes our verb here, "eido" or sometimes "oida." This one literally means "to see." Yet most often it's "to see with perception, with understanding."

But "oida" or "know" here, as usual, likely has this connotation. It is not describing knowledge that has been acquired or earned or achieved.  Rather, this is a certainty that has been given to someone, bestowed upon them! It is inherent knowledge, placed deeply down within a soul or mind or spirit! At least that's what a Greek scholar taught us one day.

When John, in the middle of this great verse on Jesus' Return, says: "But we know," he is about to declare a divinely revealed truth!

Some things a child of God knows just because God has enlightened him or her through the power of the Holy Spirit! Illuminated of God!

This kind of knowledge is surely a part of that "unction" or "anointing" that John later mentions. Here's the "heart" of "oida" knowledge. "But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him." This is 1st John 2:27. Now we are not here talking "vocabulary!" This is theology, the "enlightening" power of God the Holy Spirit!

Here's inherent knowledge again being described, by the Lips of Jesus nonetheless! "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." John 14:26

Then Paul, not alluding to a classroom somewhere either, preaches: "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Or, "I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Knowledge placed within Paul's heart by the Holy Spirit of God!

That's what John has in mind when he says, "but we know!"

Tomorrow, Lord willing, we're going to discover what "we know!" For those of you who can't wait: "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is."

There it is!

Glory to God!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell


Additionally, here "oida" is structured as an indicative verb. One that's catalogued as being "perfect active 1st person plural." Let analyze this for further "light." It's "mood," indicative, means that a fact is being presented. A statement of truth is being made! No question about it! It is not expressing a mere desire or wish either. This is without error!

We can know some things fully and absolutely and beyond doubt!

It's "perfect" sense of timing is also instructive. This is an awareness, a perception, a knowing, that once given ... stays with its new owner! Not forgotten knowledge! Knowledge given us in the past, but that remains with us until we get to Heaven, even for evermore then!

The "active" voice here involved suggests that, while it's knowledge placed within us by God Himself, we still must accept it! It will not be forced upon us! Much like saving faith, I must believe it!

Then comes that "1st person plural" part. John knows these things, having been inspired by the Holy Spirit to write them. But this particular bit of knowledge is not John's alone! He possesses it in the company of others, "we know!" This is plural, at least two or more! Probably he has in mind the whole body of Believers whom he was currently shepherding. "Private" or "exclusive" knowledge is something the New Testament seldom mentions. The Holy Spirit often imparts knowledge collectively! "No prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation." So 2nd Peter 1:20 reminds us.

Let's thank God today for these facts of "grammar." Really, each little divinely inspired word of the Bible can teach us so much, even prepositions or adverbs! After all, they were chosen and crafted by the dear Holy Spirit to convey divine Truth!




John the Apostle believed in the Second Coming of Jesus!

He also knew that when Jesus did come, "we" would be made like unto Him.

What a miracle this describes, or series of miracles really!

John writes about Jesus, nearly every word being a monosyllable: "When He shall appear, we shall be like Him." 1st John 3:2

The adverb "when," a conjunction in Greek, is spelled "ean" and is used to indicate an unknown moment of time. John does not know exactly when Jesus is coming, so this specific word is chosen. Much more could be said about this little word, but the major emphasis of this clause is yet to come.

"He shall appear," one of two verbal units in this short statement, translates "phaneroo." It here is built as a subjunctive aorist passive! "Phaneroo" literally means "to make visible, to show oneself." It's verbal heritage goes all the way back to "phos," meaning "light!" Jesus, when He next appears, will be brilliantly shining, like the brightest light we've ever seen! His Glory will be absolutely radiant! As a "subjunctive" verb, "phaneroo" also introduces the idea of  personal desire. John is excited about Jesus' Return! He can hardly wait! Its being "aorist" also indicates that the Coming, the Second Coming, is viewed here as an accomplished fact! In God's Eyes, that now yet future event is so sure, so definite, so concrete that He describes it as though it's already occurred! Paul does this in Romans 8:30 too. When He uses the word "glorified," talking about us Believers in Jesus, he frames it as an aorist, completed action, although it will not occur until Jesus comes again! It's that sure! Then the passive voice needs to be mentioned. Here Jesus is not being depicted as coming back on His Own! He is the Responder to His Father's Command to return! Jesus is being acted upon by Another! He's still doing everything to please His Father in Heaven! He certainly did that while on earth! "The Father hath not left Me alone; for I do always those things that please Him." John 8:29

Then, when Jesus comes again, "We shall be like Him!" So promise John and the Holy Spirit and Almighty God!

This verb, "shall be," is a form of "eimi," just in its future tense indicative voice form. It's the major state of being verb in Greek. We shall thereafter "exist" in a state like that of Jesus, Glorified Jesus! Now using the future tense, John tells us this event has not yet literally occurred, but will some day. As of this writing, in 2007, it still has not happened, but will. The indicative mood just says that a fact has now been declared! Not a wish, not a question, not even an exclamation here ... an absolute positive fact! It's the Truth!

But, what shall we be?

When Jesus comes?

"Like Him!"

What a thought!

What we would call a preposition in English is stated to be an adjective in Greek. "Like" is a translation of "homoios." It means "similar in appearance and character!" One textbook says, "of the same nature as," but use caution here. Jesus is GOD/Man, all in One now! Remember, He still inhabits His now glorified eternal body in which He lived while on earth! Best I can tell, it still even has scars from His Crucifixion! We will not become Gods when this event occurs. Like Him, but not identical to Him, not usurping any of His Unique Person! Thayer's Lexicon says of "homoios," that which "resembles" another.

We are literally going to be "conformed to the image of God's Son," just like Romans 8:29 promised!

John is describing what we now call the Rapture!

Paul worded it this way. "Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." 1st Corinthians 15:51-52


Even so, come Lord Jesus!

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Paul called it the "Blessed Hope" of the Christian. He described it this way: "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." Titus 2:13-14

The Blessed Hope, according to what we just read, is the "glorious appearing" of our dear Lord and Saviour!

John talks about it too!

Plainly he says, in 1st John 3:2, "For we shall see him as he is." He's talking about the Second Coming of Jesus.

John, being one of the Twelve, had seen Jesus already!

Many times!

On earth!

He tells us about it in summary in 1st John 1:1-2. "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; for the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us." John saw Jesus! John heard Jesus! John touched Jesus, handling Him with respect and awe!

But John died hoping to see Jesus again! In fact, by the time John died, he had indeed seen Jesus again! The Resurrected Jesus I mean! This happened while John was imprisoned on the little Island of Patmos in the Aegean Sea off the coast of Asia Minor. He couldn't describe this encounter briefly! "I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea. And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; and in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; and his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death." Revelation 1:9-18 is a glimpse of John and Jesus, together again!

But John goes even further. When writing to us Believers, he promised that we shall some day see Jesus too!

Again our Text today: "We shall see him as He is."

At the Second Coming!

The verb "see" here is "optanomai." It shares an affinity with "horao," both meaning "to gaze or stare at something with wide-open eyes, as at a remarkable sight!" This definition differs from that of "blepo," which simply implies "simple voluntary observation," a quick look!

This verb then involves seeing in such a way that the beholder is impacted forever, changed by the very Sight! In other words, it's in the middle voice.

Its indicative mood proves that a fact is being stated! John knows this to be so! No question about it at all!

The pronoun here used for Jesus, "Him," is a masculine personal pronoun in the accusative case. Jesus is the object of our vision! He is the One Whom we shall behold!

John again writes: "Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him." Revelation 1:7

But note this too. We shall not see Him as a dead Saviour! Nor as a mocked Saviour, belittled by the scoffing world!

Nor as a defeated Saviour!

We shall see Him "as He is!"

The adverb "as" is spelled "kathos" in Greek and means "just as" or "to the degree that" or "in so far as." What He is, we  shall see!

At times when Jesus appeared in His post resurrection ministry, folks did not recognize him. It happened, for example, to a man and his companion on the road to Emmaus. "And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. But their eyes were holden that they should not know him." Luke 24:15-16

They did not know Him, at first anyway.

Mark even teaches us that the resurrected Jesus could appear in "another form!" Here it is: "After that He appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country." Mark 16:12

But, don't worry!

When we see Him, no "other form" will be employed!

We shall see Him "as He is!"

The verb "He is" translates a form of "eimi." It is of course in the present tense! Jesus is eternally in the present tense, the always "I am" One!

And you know what?

When we see Him like that, we will be changed!

Changed into His very Image!

A bit of time looking at the Glory of the Lord will change us all! "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." 2nd Corinthians 3:18


And John has already told us ... when "we shall see him as he is," we shall also be made "like Him!"

Read it: "But we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is."

Lord, we await that glad day!

The day we see you!

As you are!

That grand event, that sighting of our Lord, will according to Scripture trigger a chain of events the likes of which the world has never seen!

Anybody reading here today want to see Jesus?

Then, tell Him so!

He likes to hear such talk!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




I would call it one of the greatest verses in the entire New Testament!

When taken in conjunction with its context, it gives the child of God the very secret to a pure life!

Here's the Verse: "And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." Here 1st John 3:3 does not quite stand alone. It begs for illumination from nearby verbs, nouns and adjectives!

So, "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. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." 1st John 3:1-3

The "hope" that 1st John 3:3 mentions is, obviously, the hope of Jesus' Return! That is ... His Second Coming, which involves both the Rapture of the Church, our being "caught away" into His Presence, and later Jesus' actual literal descent to earth to rule and reign for a thousand glorious years!

What a hope!

It's the "Blessed Hope" of Titus 2:13. It may even have linkage or be an allusion to Jeremiah 17:7. "Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is." Amen!

The noun "hope" is spelled "elpis" in Greek. It is defined in various ways: "an expected and awaited good," or "trust in a divinely provided future." Its Hebrew counterpart suggests "that in which one confides" or "that to which one flees for refuge." Its verbal root, "elpo," means "to anticipate," usually with pleasure the texts say.

New Testament hope is not a "rabbit's foot in the pocket" or "cross your fingers" kind of thing, not luck or fate or chance at all! It's belief and trust and confidence that God is going to keep His Word, fulfill His promises, just like He said!


That being said, here's the promise on which the hope mentioned in 1st John 3:3 is based: "Jesus is coming again!"

Again, "And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure."

How does one get such a hope "in" himself? This little preposition, "epi" in Greek, certainly means "in," but with this sense: "upon, over, towards, above, towards." Saturated with that hope! Imbued with it! Overcome by it!

This indwelling hope is available to all who believe in Jesus to the saving of their souls! Like this, quoting Peter: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time." 1st Peter 1:3-5

The subject of 1st John 3:3, along with its modifier in English, is "every man." In Greek it's merely "pas." This adjective indicates the entire or the whole entity being discussed. It's absolute too! If a man thinks of Jesus' Return, is overwhelmed by it, driven by its possibility and imminence, he will, no exceptions, have this hope! "Pas" is in the masculine gender, hence the "man" rendering here. But ladies experience this hope too, saved ladies!

But there's a participle to be considered. It strengthens and enlightens the coming verb. It's "hath," a translation of "echo" in Greek. It means " to possess, to hold on to, to hold fast, to keep, to retain!" It's present tense teaches us that this is a habitual mindset! Always holding on to the said hope!

This verse has us Christians living under the dominant thought of Jesus' Second Coming! Paul spoke of "them also that love His appearing" in 2nd Timothy 4:8, nearly the last thing he ever wrote!

John, in Revelation, laid down his pen, concluding Holy Scripture, with the words, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus." Revelation 22:20

Now to the main verb, "purifieth."

It's "hagnizo." The word for "Holy" in Holy Spirit is "hagios," a cognate of "hagnizo." To "purify" oneself deals with the topic of being holy! The word is associated with personal "cleansing." Older English readers will want to see the proper name "Agnes" in "hagnizo!" That beautiful old-time name means "pure one!" That was my Grandmother Greene's name!

"Hagnizo" is usually associated with ritual purity, removing anything that would keep one from fellowship with God, from intimate worship and communion with one's Redeemer! It then came to meal "moral purity." Here in our Text it's an indicative present active verb. It speaks a fact, the truth, and is habitual in its effects. It's also constant and durative, plus it cries for personal involvement on the part of its beneficiary! We must do some things to be pure, better yet, maybe refrain from doing certain things!

That last "himself" is not just some "expressed" word in the Verse. No, it is literally present! "Eautau" is an accusative masculine singular pronoun. John is preaching to individual Believers now! To me and to you! Here's a pronoun that's present solely for emphasis!

The more I think about Jesus' Second Coming ... the more I will generally tend to be pure! I myself, at least to some degree, control the process ... as I cooperate with the precious Holy Spirit of God!

Maybe that's enough for one Lesson.

More tomorrow, Lord willing.

Think through these great words, fundamental to the Christian faith!

"And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself."

Thank you, Lord!

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




It is truly a beautiful passage!

Called a "pericope," these three verses are tremendously helpful in allowing us to see God's Path to purity!

This Text reveals one of the true keys to victory in the Christian life.

By the way, "pericope" is pronounced "pe-rik'-e-pee." It literally means "to cut" (from Latin, "koptein" being the infinitive) "around" (from Latin, "peri" being both the prefix and a preposition), and thus means a selection of verses "cut out" of a larger body of literature for special study. It's an extract or selection from a book, especially Scripture.

So, 1st John 3:1-3 is our pericope, yet we do not fully ignore its context or surrounding verses either.

"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. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure."

This whole sequence builds to one grand conclusion, the "purity" of the saint of God!

First, there's Love, God's Love!

Then there is the resultant alienation from the world, which is really wickedness personified. Apparently this rejection is as much on the world's part as ours! "They" know "us" not, because the Love of the Father dwells in us. Because we are sons of God ... and live like it!

Next is a glimpse at our future, glorious and ineffable! Part unknown, yet part very well known ! The "what" of Heaven is at times a little blurry, but the "Who" of Heaven is extremely clear! Jesus is! Like the Psalmist said, "As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness." Psalm 17:15

Then we are introduced to a Hope, "He shall appear!" This is a life-altering Hope too! The implication is that every day we should function in light of the fact of Jesus' possible Return! The trumpet could sound any instant!

Then a miracle! When He appears, "We shall be like Him!" That's because "we shall see Him, Jesus our Lord!"

Finally, the result of such a hope, a "blessed" hope Paul says and a "lively" hope according to Peter! We "purify" ourselves!

Cleanness of life!


Separation from sin!

Clinging to Jesus, abiding in Him!


What a series of thoughts!

Based upon an amazing series of events and facts!

But ... here's the question, how "pure" can a saint of God become?

And the answer here just shows the power of the Blood of Jesus! The strength that lies in God's Plan of Salvation and the great Doctrine of Imputation!

Here's how pure: "And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure."

"Even as He is pure," as Jesus is pure!

No Preacher would have ever preached that on his own!

No Believer would have even thought or hoped so!

Maybe we could be 5% or 10% pure as Him, but certainly not "as" pure!

Here it is again, "And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure." 

The adverbial phrase "even as" is represented by "kathos" in the Greek Text. Here's a composite of the basic lexical information concerning the word's meaning: "just as" or "inasmuch as" or "in so far as" or "to the degree that." That's nearly overwhelming!

 Actually "kathos" is a blended word. Two primary Greek particles have been joined here. Define them and the work is done! "Kata" is a preposition meaning "down" or "about" or "according to" and "hos" is a pronoun meaning "which, how" or adverbially, "in that manner." Others say "hos" simply means "as." Kathos thus equals "according to the same manner!" Or, "accordingly just as." What a truth!

Remember too that "kathos" has occurred earlier in the pericope.

"We shall see Him as He is," with "as" being "kathos."

Now, with the thought of this Second Coming of Jesus dominating our lives, we purify ourselves, even miraculously and by the power of the Hoy Spirit the Sanctifier, "even as He is pure!"  The "even as" is "kathos."

The consistent thought of the unobstructed SIGHT of Jesus ... consequentially produces in the SAINT godly purity!

Purity like that of the Saviour!

Folks, that's all these words can mean!

And if you're having trouble with this concept, remember that you will never go to Heaven until Christ's Righteousness becomes your own! You can only be saved by being washed, covered, cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! Literally Paul says that when we are born-again, "We are made the righteousness of God in Him." 2nd Corinthians 5:21

By the way, you as a Believer already possess several other things that Jesus also possesses! Don't forget that we are even now "joint-heirs" with Christ! See Romans 8:17.

The very power that raised Jesus from the dead is in you right now! Available! "And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead ...." Ephesians 1:19-20

And even Jesus' Glory! You dear saint are going to have a glorified body just like His! "And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one!" This is Jesus praying to His Father just before His vicarious Death on the Cross. Awesome! John 17:22.

Even Jesus' life is within us. He indwells us! Paul says it best: "Nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me." In us!

And, astoundingly, the very Love the Father has for the Son now resides in you, you Blood-washed Christians! "That the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them," continues Jesus at prayer in John 17. This is Verse 26, the very end of His prayer.

Therefore, if we already enjoy Jesus' Power and Glory and Life and Love and Righteousness ... certainly it is not far-fetched to add His "Purity!"

We must!

That is, to those who love His Appearing! Those who live hoping and believing and trusting in Jesus' Return, His Second Coming!

"And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure." 


                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell


Just one cautionary thing however, while all these facts are undeniably Biblical, we must acknowledge the fact that the Son of God is Special and Unique and Alone in His Position and Person!

We do share His Life, but He alone IS eternal life!

We share His power, but He alone is omnipotent, possessing all power!

We share His Glory, but He alone IS Glory personified!

We are God's sons too, but He IS the only begotten Son, the Second Person of the Godhead!

We become like Him, we do not become Him!

We are not gods!

We are still sinners saved by Grace, He is sinless eternally!

He never fell, not once!

I've said all that to properly uplift our great Lord and God and Saviour, Jesus Christ!

He is worthy!



Jesus in His great "Sermon on the Mount" promised: "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God." Matthew 5:8

Think about that!

If one is saved, filled with the Holy Spirit, really living for God ... he or she shall see God! Some day, literally, truly see Him Who saved us by His amazing Grace! He Who shed His incorruptible Blood that we might be born again!

But maybe these words imply even more!

Maybe the more godly I live here on earth, seeking to please the Lord in all I do, the more I even now shall see the things of God! Truth in the Scriptures! God's "footprints" in daily life! His Hand in world affairs! His next Move in preparation for Jesus' Return!

If so, these words of Jesus certainly are a great encouragement to holy and pure living!

"Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God."

Then, later, comes the Apostle John, pen in hand, and writes a complimentary truth! The inverse of the pure in heart seeing God!

John affirms that those who are by faith "seeing" God now, reflecting upon His great love for us, how we are even now the sons of God, and pondering His Second Coming, will become more "pure" in our hearts!

Watch how this three-verse Text ends. "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. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." 1st John 3:1-3

Get it?

Jesus said the pure in heart shall see God!

John says those who see God, even now by faith, shall be pure!

Who is right?

Both, of course!

We're reading from the Word of God!

It's an inerrant Book, no mistakes!

Live right, being pure ... see God!

Think about God, day and night, seeing Him via the eye of faith ... you will be more and more pure!

This great Truth apparently is workable two ways!

It has a "snowball" effect spiritually!

The more I am pure, through the Power of the Holy Spirit, the more I shall see the things of God!

No doubt!

Equally so, the more I think about God, especially His love for me and His Second Coming to catch me away from this sinful place, the Rapture, the purer I shall live!


Let none of us henceforth say we know not how to be clean and holy and pure and separated and dedicated to God!

We do know, two ways!

                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell


Our prayer is that this verse-by-verse Bible Study will help us all to live lives that are more pure and godly! After all the Text certainly teaches us how!


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