And every man that has this hope in him purifies himself, just as HE is pure 1 John3:3
Now, I'll bet you've heard that this means something like: those who focus their attention on the event of his appearing (or heaven) will curb their sinning. There's a problem with this premise though. For considering the many sermons I've heard about the curbing of (or victory over) sin, not one has had the audacity to suggest that our purity even comes close to HIS. But this is EXACTLY what John said! So, do yourself a favor: whatever you think it means to purify yourself, trash it! Because if it's not the same as HIS then it has nothing to do with the gospel of freedom that John taught.
Consider that the word translated "purifies" is just another form of some very familiar words: Holy and Sanctified. Tell me something, do these concepts sound right to you: a little bit holy, or somewhat sanctified, or partly pure? Do you realize that a partial purity does not exist? There is no such thing as holiness being a little bit. And sanctified either IS or it is NOT.
There is only one reason that we struggle with the meaning behind these words. And that is because we have accepted the perverted idea that we're supposed to keep getting a little more holy as we grow as Christians. In doing so, we put ourselves up against an impossible proposition ... and we sense it. So, we have one of two options in view of the conflict: give up and lose all hope of achieving this (good idea); or else, create the perception that holiness, purity, and sanctification are things to be performed! Do you hear what I am saying to you? Holiness, sanctification, and/or purification CAN'T be performed ... not because it is too difficult, but because they are not the by-products of performance ... not even GOD'S performance. It is what He IS, NOT what He DOES.
So what does it mean? I'm going to give you the traditional definition here: set apart. It's not a bad definition. The problem is found in our attempt to force a statement of reality into the idea of performance. So, we TRY to set ourselves apart from the world, sin, the flesh, the devil, etc., etc. Tell me, do you think God ever had to TRY to be set apart? Yeah, right, fat chance!
What about Jesus? What did he say?
And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth. John17:19
Do you think Jesus ever had to TRY to be holy? Remember, the life of this man was the life of God. Everything Jesus spoke of, as recorded by John, had ONE THING in view: His upcoming death and resurrection. He sanctified himself when he hung on that cross and died and then rose having nothing more to do with sin! Don't miss this ... it's not his PERFORMANCE of dying and coming back, but it was the REALITY that came to be when death and new life took him out of the realm of sinful man, for he had been born under the law. The fact that he never sinned had nothing to do with his sanctifying himself that he mentioned in the above verse, for he sanctified himself in order to sanctify his own. For WE were removed from the realm of sin and law through the death and resurrection of Christ!
What I want to know is: WHO taught us how to divorce a thought from the one that was just before it, and still come off sounding like we know what we're talking about? I refer to the fact that 1 John 3:3 follows 1 John 3:2 ... but you'd never know it by the way we use them.
John, in effect, zoomed-in on the reality yet to be revealed, so that he could zoom-out to our present life where it isn't seen for what it is, so that he could declare a FACT to us about the nature of those who are born of God. The fact? That we who hope in the one who has been totally removed from the realm of sin and law have this same life NOW. This means that our REAL lives are UNTOUCHED by sin and law, for we have been taken out of it through the miracle of being joined with Christ in his death and resurrection.
I know what you're thinking. You're saying to yourself, Yeah, I may be a believer, but I know what I'm REALLY like ... and it's NOT 'holy'! I've got only one thing to say to that fear of yours: you obviously DON'T know what you're really like, then. Of COURSE, when you examine yourself you're not going to see the reality ... because it CAN'T be seen through the examination of the flesh.
Who do you think John had written to? Did you think that his readers didn't also have the same basic problems of perception that you and I do? He wrote it to them because they had been caught up in the same kind of lies that convince us that we MUST be missing something ... that we haven't been given everything. But John went to great extents to tell them that they had received nothing less than the very perfect life of Christ, and that this life was the actual meaning of who they were!
And every man that has this hope in him purifies himself, just as HE is pure. 1 John 3:3
Notice, it does NOT say that he TRIES to purify himself, but instead, it states it as a FACT based on the reality of the preceding verse. Because who we are will be SEEN to be just like HIM, then who we are is walking on this planet right now without being touched by sin. Consider one of John's concluding statements of this letter.
We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him and the evil one DOES NOT TOUCH HIM 1 John 5:18
Your problem with this is simply that you've been looking at the wrong YOU and making your evaluations based on what SEEMS TO BE you right now. Whose evaluation do you suppose would be the more accurate: God's or yours? Do you really think that Jesus went through what he did in order to bring about the pathetic excuse of a new creation that you and I have been judging it as? Well?
In case you want to read the next verse and think it contradicts what I'm telling you then you need to follow it all the way through. John describes those who sin as lawless.
(has NOT) seen Him or knows Him 1 John 3:4
of the devil 1 John 3:8
While his concluding statement about those in Christ is this:
No one who is born of God sins, because His seed abides (lives) in him; and he CANNOT sin, because he is born of God. 1 John 3:9
And then he makes his conclusion that the difference between one who is of God and one is of the devil is OBVIOUS ... even though at this time IT HAS NOT YET APPEARED WHAT WE SHALL BE. Though you cannot see this now by how it appears you can KNOW this for what it is.
Don't think that this is merely theoretical for HIS Spirit is witnessing this reality to OUR spirits even though our eyes would deceive us! You have been given NEW eyes ... use them!