DIG Gals Bible Study: 1 John, Chapter 3

This is the third of five studies covering the book of 1 John.  Here are chapter 1, and chapter 2, if you missed them.

The DIG (Deep in God) Bible Study is designed to help you get more out of the Word of God than a casual reading would produce. We are studying based on the Inductive Bible Study Method but a more relaxed version.

Grab your tea or coffee, your Bible, coloured pencils, and a notebook or sticky notes and let’s get started. The first thing we will do is pray. The Holy Spirit is willing to help us understand His Word and to open our eyes to see the nuggets that we may otherwise miss.

We welcome You Holy Spirit in our study. Grant us Your anointing to help us to understand Your Word. Teach us, guide us and enlighten our minds to see the truths that are so plainly in view. Help us to recognize the nuggets of gold that are often missed. Help us to hide Your Word in our hearts so that we treasure it above all else. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for dwelling in us, and that you never leave us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Read Chapter 3

Before we go any further, we need to read the chapter so we understand the content.

If you do not have your Bible handy, you can read the chapter 1 John 3 right here. My findings and notes are based on the King James Version. Your version may have a slight difference in the number of times a keyword is mentioned but both versions use the same keywords.

After reading the chapter, what words or phrases stand out to you? Did you notice the word “love?” Also, “sin” is mentioned eight times and “abide” is mentioned four times (KJV).

Keywords for 1 John 3:

  • abide
  • sin
  • know
  • love
  • born of God
  • truth


Did you notice that this chapter begins with a song? Are you familiar with it? The lyrics are similar to the King James Version. In my Bible, I mark the verses that have tunes with the musical staff. That way I recognize them right away. Now 1 John 3:1 has a musical staff next to it.

Checking against the list of keywords, above, read the chapter once for each keyword. That way you are concentrating on one word at a time. If you are familiar with this study method, you could mark two words at the same time, just take it slow so you don’t miss any keywords.

If you need a copy of Kari Dent’s sample keyword markings, you can request access to my Free Library by signing up to the Resource Library, then download or print off any of the study aids you need. Don’t forget to print the 1 John Worksheet.

While you are waiting for your password to the Resource Library, let’s continue with the study.

I like the term of endearment that John uses. This isn’t a keyword but I did notice in the KJV that it is used in chapters 3 and 4. While I didn’t add it to my keyword list, I did mark it as I like what it implies, that John refers to the recipients (to whom he wrote) as someone dear to him. He is also differentiating between the brethren and the heretical teachers.


What We Know

In the last chapter, we learned of several things that we can know and today we will add to that list. Before we proceed, have you had an opportunity to print out the 1 John Worksheet from the Resource Library? This will be helpful to you as we study today and the next two studies. If you began to complete the worksheet for chapters 1 and 2, you will add to it today.

If you studied with me last week, you would have made a chart in your notebook for two columns. One column is “Purpose for Writing” and the other is “What We Know”. Or, if you are using the worksheet, the columns are there for you to complete.

  • 1 John 3:1 – I am called son (daughter) of God by His love BECAUSE the world doesn’t know God
  • 1 John 3:2 – I know that when He appears I shall be like Him BECAUSE I will see Him as He is
  • 1 John 3:14 – I know I have passed from death (spiritual) to life (spiritual) BECAUSE I love my brethren
  • 1 John 3:19 – I know I am of the truth and shall ASSURE my heart before Him
  • 1 John 3:24 – I know He abides in me BY the Holy Spirit He has given me

To capsulize what we know, let’s rephrase it as

“I know that I know”

  • I am a daughter of God because of His love for me
  • that I will be like Him when He appears
  • that I have eternal life because I love my brethren
  • I am of the truth as my heart is assured of this in His presence
  • He abides in me by the power of the Holy Spirit that He has given me

These are pretty powerful things to know! Take a few minutes to let those truths sink in your spirit.

1 John 3 | Bible Study | Inductive Bible Study Method
Free Stock Photo: BossLatina Collection

Sin or Not

John mentioned the subject of “sin” in chapter 2 for a total of five times and in this chapter, he speaks again on the subject of “sin” as he mentions it eight times. To help you mark this important keyword, here are the verses — 4, 5, 6, 8, and 9.

What does John say about sin?

  • 1 John 3:4 – anyone who sins breaks the law because sin is a transgression of the law
  • 1 John 3:5 – Jesus, who lived in heaven, agreed to the Father’s plan for Him to become the manifestation to redeem mankind from sin. Jesus knew no sin as He is perfect but He took on sin for mankind because of His great love toward us.
  • 1 John 3:6 – whoever abides in Jesus, does not sin. This is regarding habitual sin. If a person is habitually abiding in God, there is no room for habitual sin. Those who sin, do not know the Father nor have they seen Him. Remember, John said in John 12:45 and 14:9 that he who has seen Jesus has seen the Father.
  • 1 John 3:8 – those who habitually sin are of the devil because the devil has sinned from the beginning. It was for this purpose, Lucifer’s sin, that Jesus was manifested in the flesh to redeem mankind from sin.
  • 1 John 3:9 – all those born of God, that is, a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, cannot commit sin because God’s seed is in him which makes him born of God. Therefore, we cannot purposefully sin.

Habitual Sin

Did you notice that these verses apply to habitual sin? Jesus came to earth to put to death the works of the devil (v 8). Those who profess that God dwells in them cannot purposefully and willfully sin as it goes against everything that God stands for. Verse 10 sums it up for us, in that the children of God and the children of the devil are known by righteousness. Those who live righteously belong to God and those who live with evil (unrighteousness) in their heart, belong to their father, the devil.


Love – Verb and Noun

1 John is a book about love. Have you noticed that “love” is mentioned 10 times in this chapter alone? You will be surprised how many times it is mentioned throughout the whole book of 1 John. Go ahead, count it! Let me know what you get when we get to the online study starting June 20th.

As we mark this keyword, (I used a red heart symbol over the word), let’s pay attention to how the word is used. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance helped to identify the original Greek meaning of this singular English word.

Agape – noun – affection or benevolence

To further enhance our understanding, the Amplified Bible uses the descriptive words.

  • 1 John 3:1  “incredible quality of love” the Father has shown us
  • 1 John 3:16 “essential” love that Jesus laid down His life for us
  • 1 John 3:17  love of God is not amplified in the Amplified version

Agapao – verb – to love in a social or moral sense

  • 1 John 3:11  “unselfishly” love one another
  • 1 John 3:14  love the brethren is not amplified in the Amplified version
  • 1 John 3:18  let us not love “merely in theory”
  • 1 John 3:23  “that we unselfishly love and seek” the best of one another

Have we learned anything about “love”? Not all uses of this word are identical. Even in English, we say, “I love pizza” or, “I love my husband” or, “I love you”. Each instance has a different meaning and it is the same with the Greek words as well.

I trust that the enhanced meaning of the verb and noun usage of the singular word “love” helps clarify how John uses this word.

There is so much in this book on the subject of ‘love’ that it deserves an in-depth study on its own.



Well, my dear sisters, it is that time again when we conclude our study. Hang on to your notes as we will be using them during our online study. You did hear about that, didn’t you? It begins Tuesday, June 20th at 5 pm PST. You will need to join the DIG Gals Bible Study Online Community. Click this image to take you to Facebook where you can request to join.

In addition, you will need access to the Resource Library on Go – Gather – Grow, so you can download and print the Study Aids and the Worksheet for 1 John.


As always, please let me know your thoughts on 1 John, chapter 3. Did you enjoy this study? Were you able to either make your own chart or download the worksheet as your study aid? I look forward to meeting you in my DIG Gals Bible Study Online Community. Don’t forget to join the group!

One more thing: If you love reading faith-based blogs, here’s a great source for a collection of wonderful blogs. Click on the image to take you there!


















About Cindy

Lovin' the Word of God - reading it - studying it - sharing it - living it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *