1 John 3:1-3
“See how great a love the Father has given us, that we would be called children of God; and in fact we are. For this reason the world does not know us: because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope set on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”
Called children of God: John is writing this letter to affirm the identity of Christians as God’s children. All who believe in Jesus are actually, truly, children of God. John emphasizes our adoption as God’s children multiple times in this passage because it is such a significant reality. We are told to see, in faith, this reality of God’s love that has been so freely given to us.
Purifies himself: John is talking about behavior. People are not purifying themselves in their hearts. God has given believers a new heart and nature. Instead, John is talking about Christians living from their new nature and identity as God’s children. Christians have every power to live pure and righteous lives. But these righteous lives come not from following rules and regulations, but from trusting in the person and character of Jesus Christ.