|1 John 3:1 |
1 This chapter is wonderful for defining the true hope that saves, of how sin is removed by the Lord, and how a son of God cannot sin. Unfortunately the Greek of several of this chapter's verbs is in the Aorist tense, which can be properly interpreted as past, present, or future tense in meaning. The translators of the Bibles, having been schooled in the doctrines that one is saved and a son of God just by believing in Jesus, chose the tenses of the verbs that supported their erroneous doctrine, which even qualifies the demons as sons of God since demons too believe in Jesus and tremble. Their choice of tenses only supports the hope of the hypocrites.
John himself defined what it takes to be born again as a son of God in 1 John 5: he keeps all the commands of God; he has overcome the world; he has seen in his heart the three witnesses of water, spirit, and blood; he does not sin; he has eternal life, Christ in full measure within; and he is in union with God. Paul tells us that we must continue to work out our salvation with fear and trembling so that we can become sons of God. Phil 2:12-15. So the tenses in this wonderful chapter have to be translated to be in agreement with the rest of the scriptures because:
Clearly in this chapter John is addressing those who are not yet pure, who have not yet seen Jesus, and who yet are not like Him; but they can become pure if they have the hope of seeing Him and being like Him. John plainly states this in verses 2 and 3 without any tense changes necessary:
The tenses of a few verbs in this chapter's verses can be translated correctly as present, past or future. When tenses are chosen to conform with verses 2 and 3 above, (shown in italics for verses 1,2,5 and 8), and to conform to rest of the Bible's many verses, the power, the hope, and the beauty of this chapter increase dramatically, making it a wonderful inspiration to the hope of the true seeker of God.
1 Behold what manner of love the Father has given unto us, that we could be called the sons of God; and we will be. Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know him.1 [Though we are not yet born again sons of God, because we are disciples that deny ourselves to wait on God at every opportunity, and because we are strangers to the excesses of the world's conversation and conduct; to those in the world our inward cross is the aroma of death.]
1 Behold what manner of love the Father has given unto us, that we could be called the sons of God; and we will be. Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know him. The verbs could and will in this verse have the variable Greek Aorist tense and have been typically translated as present tense instead of future tense as above. Yet, you cannot be a Son of God without Jesus first having appeared in you, which John states as a future event in the next verse: it does not yet appear what we will be, but we know that when He is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is.
One is not a son until he has conquered sin, until he has crucified his lust and affections on the inward cross of self-denial, until he has overcome the world, and until God rules his thoughts, words, and deeds. From the Word of the Lord within: "You are a son when Jesus appears in your heart to guide you."