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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 John 3:5

 

 

You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin.

Adam Clarke Commentary

And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins - He came into the world to destroy the power, pardon the guilt, and cleanse from the pollution of sin. This was the very design of his manifestation in the flesh. He was born, suffered, and died for this very purpose; and can it be supposed that he either cannot or will not accomplish the object of his own coming?

In him is no sin - And therefore he is properly qualified to be the atoning sacrifice for the sins of men.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 1 John 3:5". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/1-john-3.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And ye know that he was manifested - The Lord Jesus, the Son of God. “You know that he became incarnate, or appeared among people, for the very purpose of putting an end to sin,” Matthew 1:21. Compare the notes at 1 Timothy 3:16. This is the “second” argument in this paragraph, 1 John 3:4-10, by which the apostle would deter us from sin. The argument is a clear one, and is perhaps the strongest that can be made to bear on the mind of a true Christian - that the Lord Jesus saw sin to be so great an evil, that he came into our world, and gave himself to the bitter sorrows of death on the cross, to redeem us from it.

To take away our sins - The essential argument here is, that the whole work of Christ was designed to deliver us from the dominion of sin, not to furnish us the means of indulgence in it; and that, therefore, we should be deterred from it by all that Christ has done and suffered for us. He perverts the whole design of the coming of the Saviour who supposes that his work was in any degree designed to procure for his followers the indulgences of sin, or who so interprets the methods of his grace as to suppose that it is now lawful for him to indulge his guilty passions. The argument essentially is this:

(1)That we profess to be the followers of Christ, and should carry out his ends and views in coming into the world;

(2)that the great and leading purpose of his coming was to set us free from the bondage of transgression;

(3)that in doing this he gave himself up to a life of poverty, and shame, and sorrow, and to a most bitter death on the cross; and,

(4)that we should not indulge in that from which he came to deliver us, and which cost him so much toil and such a death. How could we indulge in that which has brought heavy calamity upon the head of a father, or which has pierced a sister‘s heart with many sorrows? Still more, how can we be so ungrateful and hardhearted as to indulge in that which crushed our Redeemer in death?

And in him is no sin - An additional consideration to show that we should be holy. As he was perfectly pure and spotless, so should all his followers aim to be; and none can truly pretend to be his who do not desire and design to become like him. On the personal holiness of the Lord Jesus, see the Hebrews 7:26 note, and 1 Peter 2:23 note.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 John 3:5". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-john-3.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

1 John 3:5

And in Him is no sin

The personal history and character of Christ: the influence of character

It has always been felt, even by men who did not view the matter from the Christian standpoint, that the immediate effects of the mission of Christ must be largely ascribed to the influence of that Divine personality which He allied with human nature, and which brought Him into contact, at every stage of His earthly sojourn, with the sorrows, the necessities, and the sympathies of life.
The same feeling has brought it to pass that the love of Christ, rather than any other form of the religious sentiment, represents the very heart and centre of the Christian character. “The love of Christ constraineth us,” says the apostle; and the love of Christ alone supplies the strong and overruling motive which can conquer the unrighteousness, the impurity, the selfish darkness of the world. It is a leading principle thus suggested by the history of Christ that the power of individual character, with all the special force of sympathy, self-sacrifice, and love, is the most essential element in every kind of influence which has ever brought about great movements or given a right direction to the impulse of change. It is true that the influence must be followed up and perpetuated by a wise organisation; but the best organisation will go for little or nothing if it is not permanently actuated by this individual power. Never has this fruitful principle received so grand an illustration as when the Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us. The amazing power which our Lord exerted lay not so much in His words and deeds as in the character from which they sprang, not so much in His maxims of charity as in His life of love. This is a more than sufficient answer to the cavils of some who have endeavoured to depreciate the greatness of our Saviour’s teaching by trying to prove that it has no new message that He brought into the world. Be that as it may, it was something greater then a new message--it was above all things a new life. When Gibbon mockingly wrote that he had read the golden rule of doing as we would be done by in a moral treatise of Isocrates, written four hundred years before the publication of the Gospel, his words were true enough, but perfectly irrelevant. No one need be in the least surprised to hear it. He might have found much that sounds like the golden rule in a hundred places; hut what he would have found was the shadow, not the power. The mere precept was nothing better than a well-sounding phrase till it was lifted into life and energy by the quickening influence and example of the love of Christ. The power of Christ was both Divine and human--exerted by One who was the Son of Man aa well as the only begotten Son of God. Consider how these two elements were always blended together to constitute the unprecedented manifestation of the Gospel. The life of Christ, then, is the noblest example of the power of influence, just as the Church of Christ is the grandest illustration of the value of system, that have ever yet been made known among mankind. Here we are dealing with a law of universal application. For the two things, influence and system, are the elements which meet in all great institutions; the one to give force and impetus; the other to supply a preservative and perpetuating power. In God Himself these two principles are united in completeness and perfection. His power is as supreme as though no such thing as law existed. His order is so perfect that He is “a law unto Himself and to all other things besides.” While both of these are illustrated in the life of Christ and in the Church, both of them rank among the best gifts which God has bestowed on His creatures for the discharge of their work and the improvement of their race. The life of influence is indispensable to give vigour to system; the protection of system is just as requisite to prevent the life of a new impulse from evaporating and loving itself when the motive power has been withdrawn. For such as ourselves the strongest element of personal influence will be found in the sympathy of simple human fellowship--a sympathy which will lead us, in spite of all differences of education and position, to lay mind to mind and heart to heart in dealing with those whom influence can reach, so that, lowly as may be the object which we seek to elevate, a loving and unselfish sympathy may enable us, if the word be not too bold, and if only we may be so highly privileged to lift their nought to value by our side. There never was a time when it was more important to realise this great social gift of sympathy. (
Archdeacon Hannah.)

The secret of sinlessness--abiding in the Sinless One as manifested to take away our sins

I. Consider, first, for what end He was manifested. It was to “take away our sins.” John has just described sin as “the transgression of the law” (verse 4). He has fastened upon this as constituting the essence of sin. He is of the same mind with Paul (Romans 8:7). His, like Paul, knows that as our sins are against the law, so the law is against our sins. In the grasp and under the power of the law, as condemned criminals, we are fettered; and can no more get rid of our sins than a doomed felon can shake off his irons. An impotent sense of failure deadens and depresses us, while the feeling of our prostrate bondage in our sins irritates our natural enmity against God. And if we do not relapse into indifference, or take refuge in formality, or sink into sullen gloom, we are shut up to the one only effectual way of ending this miserable struggle between the law and our sinful nature--the way of free grace and sovereign mercy; the way of embracing Him whom “God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood.” Then indeed “sin shall no more have dominion over us, when we are not under the law, but under grace”; when “there is now to us no condemnation because we are in Christ Jesus.” All this, I think, must be held to be comprehended in the fact stated--“He was manifested to take away our sins.” And it is all consistent with the object for which John reminds us of it: our purifying ourselves, as He is pure. He was manifested to take away our sins, root and branch. Their power to condemn us He takes away; and so He takes away also their power to rule over us. Nor is this all. In virtue of His being manifested to take away our sins, we receive the Holy Ghost. The obstacle which our sin, as a breach of the law, interposed to His being graciously present with us and in us is taken away. A new nature, a new heart, a new spirit, as respects the law of God and God the lawgiver, a new character as well as a new state, is the result of Christ being manifested to take away our sins. We know that, personally, practically, experimentally, and our knowledge of it is what enables as well as moves us to purify ourselves as Christ is pure. It is so all the rather because, secondly, we are to consider that He is manifested as Himself the Sinless One--“In Him is no sin.”

II. With this sinless person we are one, “abiding in Him as the Sinless One manifested to take away our sins.” And that is our security against sinning--“Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not.” This is the statement of a fact. Between abiding in Christ and sinning there is such an absolute incompatibility that whosoever sinneth is for the time not merely in the position of not abiding in Christ, but in the position of not having seen or known Him.

1. We abide in Christ by faith; by that faith, wrought in us by the Spirit, which unites us to Christ. Our abiding in Him by this faith implies oneness, real and actual oneness. When we sin, when we suffer any such thought, or feeling, or wish to find harbour in our breasts, we cease for the time to be abiding in Him.

2. We abide in Christ by His Spirit abiding in us. That is a filial spirit--the Spirit of God’s Son in us crying Abba Father--the Spirit of adoption in us whereby we cry Abba Father. (R. S. Candlish, D. D.)


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "1 John 3:5". The Biblical Illustrator. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/1-john-3.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

And ye know that he was manifested to take away sins; and in him is no sin.

In him is no sin ... Even the sins of Christians who are "in Christ" are cleansed automatically by the blood of Christ as long as they so remain. There is no compatibility whatever between Christ and sin.

He was manifested to take away sins ... For more on what Christ came into our world to do, see under 1 Peter 1:19.

And in him is no sin ... Although in the present tense and bearing the meaning noted above, this is also true in the past tense of our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus committed no sin (1 Peter 2:22); he was holy, guileless, undefiled, and separated from sinners (Hebrews 7:26); he knew no sin (2 Corinthians 5:21); he was without blemish and without spot (1 Peter 1:19), etc.


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James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 1 John 3:5". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/1-john-3.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And ye know that he was manifested,.... This is a truth of the Gospel the saints were well instructed in and acquainted with; that Jesus Christ, the Word and Son of God, who is here meant, who was with the Father, and lay in his bosom from all eternity, was in the fulness of time made manifest in the flesh, or human nature, by assuming it into union with his divine person; in which he came and dwelt among men, and became visible to them: the end of which manifestation was,

to take away our sins; as the antitype of the scape goat, making reconciliation and satisfaction for them, through the sacrifice of himself; which was doing what the blood of bulls and goats, or any legal sacrifices or moral performances, could never do: and this he did by taking the sins of his people upon himself, by carrying them up to the cross, and there bearing them, with all the punishment due unto them, in his body; by removing them quite away, and utterly destroying them, finishing and making an end of them: and by causing them to pass away from them, from off their consciences, through the application of his blood by his Spirit:

and in him is no sin; neither original, nor actual; no sin inherent; there was sin imputed to him, but none in him, nor done by him; and hence he became a fit person to be a sacrifice for the sins of others, and by his unblemished sacrifice to take the away; and answered the typical sacrifices under the law, which were to be without spot and blemish: and this shows that he did not offer himself for any sins of his own, for there were none in him, but for the sins of others; and which consideration, therefore, is a strong dissuasive from sinning, and as such is mentioned by the apostle; for, since sin is of such a nature that nothing could atone for it but the blood and sacrifice of Christ, an innocent, as well as a divine person, it should be abhorred by us; and since Christ has taken it away by the sacrifice of himself, it should not be continued and encouraged by us; and since in him is no sin, we ought to imitate him in purity of life and conversation; the end of Christ's bearing our sins was, that we might live unto righteousness, and to purify to himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works; and his love herein should constrain us to obedience to him: so the JewsF12Sepher Tikkunim, fol. 112. 1. apud Rittangel, de ver. Rel. Christ, p. 68. speak of a man after the image of God, and who is the mystery, of the name Jehovah; and in that man, they say, there is no sin, neither shall death rule over him; and this is that which is said, Psalm 5:4; neither shall evil dwell with thee.


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on 1 John 3:5". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/1-john-3.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

6 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.

(6) An argument taken from the material cause of our salvation: Christ in himself is most pure, and he came to take away our sins, by sanctifying us with the Holy Spirit, therefore whoever is truly a partaker of Christ, does not give himself to sin, and on the contrary, he that gives himself to sin does not know Christ.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 1 John 3:5". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/1-john-3.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Additional proof of the incompatibility of sin and sonship; the very object of Christ‘s manifestation in the flesh was to take away (by one act, and entirely, aorist) all sins, as the scapegoat did typically.

and — another proof of the same.

in him is no sin — not “was,” but “is,” as in 1 John 3:7, “He is righteous,” and 1 John 3:3, “He is pure.” Therefore we are to be so.


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 John 3:5". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/1-john-3.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

He (εκεινοςekeinos). As in 1 John 3:3; John 1:18.

Was manifested (επανερωτηephanerōthē). Same form as in 1 John 3:2, but here of the Incarnation as in John 21:1, not of the second coming (1 John 2:28).

To take away sins (ινα τας αμαρτιας αρηιhina tas hamartias arēi). Purpose clause with ιναhina and first aorist active subjunctive of αιρωairō as in John 1:29. In Isaiah 53:11 we have αναπερωanapherō for bearing sins, but αιρωairō properly means to lift up and carry away (John 2:16). So in Hebrews 10:4 we find απαιρεωaphaireō and Hebrews 10:11 περιαιρεωperiaireō to take away sins completely (the complete expiation wrought by Christ on Calvary). The plural αμαρτιαςhamartias here, as in Colossians 1:14, not singular (collective sense) αμαρτιανhamartian as in John 1:29.

And in him is no sin (και αμαρτια εν αυτωι ουκ εστινkai hamartia en autōi ouk estin). “And sin (the sinful principle) in him is not.” As Jesus had claimed about himself (John 7:18; John 8:46) and as is repeatedly stated in the N.T. (2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:15; Hebrews 7:26; Hebrews 9:13).


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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on 1 John 3:5". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/1-john-3.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Ye know

John's characteristic appeal to Christian knowledge. Compare 1 John 2:20, 1 John 2:21; 1 John 4:2, 1 John 4:14, 1 John 4:16; 1 John 5:15, 1 John 5:18; 3 John 1:12.

He ( ἐκεῖνος )

Christ, as always in this Epistle. See on John 1:18.

Was manifested

See on John 21:1. Including Christ's whole life on earth and its consequences. The idea of manifestation here assumes the fact of a previous being. John various terms to describe the incarnation. He conceives it with reference to the Father, as a sending, a mission. Hence ὁ πέμψας με Hethat sent me (John 4:34; John 6:38; John 9:4; John 12:44, etc.): ὁ πέμψας με πατήρ theFather that sent me (John 5:37; John 8:18; John 12:49, etc.): with the verb ἀποστέλλω tosend as an envoy, with a commission; God sent ( ἀπέστειλεν ) His Son (John 3:17; John 10:36; 1 John 4:10; compare John 6:57; John 7:29; John 17:18). With reference to the Son, as a coming, regarded as a historic fact and as an abiding fact. As a historic event, He came ( ἧλθεν , John 1:11); this is He that came ( ὁ ἐλθὼν , 1 John 5:6). Came forth ( ἐξῆλθον ; John 8:42; John 16:27, John 16:28; John 17:8). As something abiding in its effects, am come, hath come, is come, marked by the perfect tense: Light is come ( ἐλήλυθεν , John 3:19). Jesus Christ is come ( ἐληλυθότα , 1 John 4:2). Compare John 5:43; John 12:46; John 18:37). In two instances with ἥκω Iam come, John 8:42; 1 John 5:20. Or with the present tense, as describing a coming realized at the moment: whence I come ( ἔρχομαι , John 8:14); compare John 14:3, John 14:18, John 14:28; also Jesus Christ coming ( ἐρχόμενον , 2 John 1:7). With reference to the form: in flesh ( σάρξ ). See John 1:14; 1 John 4:2; 2 John 1:7. With reference to men, Christ was manifested (1 John 1:2; 1 John 3:5, 1 John 3:8; John 1:31; John 21:1, John 21:14).

To take away ( ἵνα ἄρῃ )

See on John 1:29.

Our sins ( τὰς ἁμαρτίας ἡμῶν )

Omit ἡυῶν ourCompare John 1:29, τὴν ἁμαρτίαν , the sin. The plural here regards all that is contained in the inclusive term the sin: all manifestations or realizations of sin.

In Him is no sin ( ἁμαρτία ἐν αὐτῷ οὐκ ἔστιν )

Lit., in Him sin is not. He is essentially and forever without sin. Compare John 7:18.


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Bibliography
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on 1 John 3:5". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/1-john-3.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.

And ye know that he — Christ.

Was manifested — That he came into the world for this very purpose.

To take away our sins — To destroy them all, root and branch, and leave none remaining.

And in him is no sin — So that he could not suffer on his own account, but to make us as himself.


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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on 1 John 3:5". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/1-john-3.html. 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

He was manifested; Christ was manifested, that is, appeared upon this earth.


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Bibliography
Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on 1 John 3:5". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/1-john-3.html. 1878.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

5.] Additional argument for the incompatibility of sin with the life of God’s children; that He, Christ, in and by whom we have this adoption (John 1:12), and by being in whose likeness alone we can be perfectly like God, was manifested to take away all sins, being Himself sinless. And ye know (the Apostle assumes it as known by those who had an anointing from the Holy One and knew all things, ch. 1 John 2:20) that He (now clearly Christ, from the context, which (see above on ἐκεῖνος, 1 John 3:3) can alone decide the reference in each case) was manifested (viz. by His appearing in the flesh, and all that He openly and visibly did and taught in it, or may be known, by the Spirit, to have done and taught) in order that He may (might) take away (aor. “take away by one act and entirely”. The meaning, “take away,” and not “bear,” is necessitated here by the context. Sin is altogether alien from Christ. He became incarnate that He might blot it out: He has no stain of it on Himself. If we render ἄρῃbear,” this coherence is lost. Of course this fact is in the background, that He took them away by bearing them Himself: but it is not brought out, only the antagonism between Him and sin. See, on the word, the note on ref. John) sins ( τὰς ἁμαρτ., all sins, not merely certain sins. The object of his manifestation is stated not only categorically, but definitively. Compare the striking parallel Hebrews 9:26, εἰς ἀθέτησιν ἁμαρτίας διὰ τῆς θυσίας αὐτοῦ πεφανέρωται); and in Him sin is not (as His work, in being manifested, was, altogether to take away sin, so likewise is He himself free from all spot of sin. The καί serves to co-ordinate the last clause with the first, not to subordinate it, as many Commentators have supposed, and even Aug(43): “In quo non est peccatum, ipse venit auferre peccatum: nam si esset et in illo peccatum, auferendum esset illi, non ipse auferret:” and Œc., τὸ καὶ ἀντὶ τοῦ διότι: and afterwards, ἵνα ὡς μὴ ἁμαρτίαν ποιὴσας τὰς ἁμαρτίας ἡμῶν ἄρῃ: so also Corn.-a-lap., Lorinus, Baumg.-Crus., Sander, Neander. This interpretation is confuted by the ἐστιν, which should have been ἦν: and by the following context, in which this fact of the sinlessness of Christ serves as the foundation for what is said, 1 John 3:6. The most palpable violations of the construction and sense are made by the rationalists, of whom Grotius may serve as an example: “præsens pro præterito: peccatum in eo non erat, nempe cum vitam mortalem viveret.” Socinus, feeling that this could not be, tries to explain away peccatum, as meaning “non vitium aliquid in moribus,” but the consequences of sin, “omnia mala, omnesque perpessiones, una cum ipsa morte,” from which Christ is now (hodie) for ever free, “utpote beatissimus, et impatibilis atque immortalis.” And strange to say, Calvin so far misunderstands what is here said as to write “non de Christi persona hic agit, sed de toto corpora. Quocunque vim suam diffundit Christus, negat amplius locum esse peccato.” This would deprive ἐν αὐτῷ μένων, 1 John 3:6, of all its meaning as referring back to the ἐν αὐτῷ here, and make it merely tautological. It is only by holding fast here the personal reference to Christ in himself, that we keep the logical coherence between that verse and this: the reasoning from that which He is not, and cannot be, to that which they that abide in Him are not and cannot be).


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Bibliography
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on 1 John 3:5". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/1-john-3.html. 1863-1878.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

5And ye know that he was manifested, or, hath appeared. He shews by another argument how much sin and faith differ from one another; for it is the office of Christ to take away sins, and for this end was he sent by the Father; and it is by faith we partake of Christ’s virtue. Then he who believes in Christ is necessarily cleansed from his sins. But it is said in John 1:29, that Christ takes away sins, because he atoned for them by the sacrifice of his death, that they may not be imputed to us before God: John means in this place that Christ really, and, so to speak, actually takes away sins, because through him our old man is crucified, and his Spirit, by means of repentance, mortifies the flesh with all its lusts. For the context does not allow us to explain this of the remission of sins; for, as I have said, he thus reasons, “They who cease not to sin, render void the benefits derived from Christ, since he came to destroy the reigning power of sin.” This belongs to the sanctification of the Spirit.

And in him is no sin He does not speak of Christ personally, but of his whole body. (78) Wherever Christ diffuses his efficacious grace, he denies that there is any more room for sin. He, therefore, immediately draws this inference, that they sin not who remain in Christ. For if he dwells in us by faith, he performs his own work, that is, he cleanses us from sins. It hence appears what it is to sin For Christ by his Spirit does not perfectly renew us at once, or in an instant, but he continues our renovation throughout life. It cannot then be but that the faithful are exposed to sin as long as they live in the world; but as far as the kingdom of Christ prevails in them, sin is abolished. In the meantime they are designated according to the prevailing principle, that is, they are said to be righteous and to live righteously, because they sincerely aspire to righteousness.

They are said not to sin, because they consent not to sin, though they labor under the infirmity of the flesh; but, on the contrary, they struggle with groaning, so that they can truly testify with Paul that they do the evil they would not.

He says that the faithful abide in Christ, because we are by faith united to him, and made one with him.


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Calvin, John. "Commentary on 1 John 3:5". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/1-john-3.html. 1840-57.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

WHY CHRIST CAME

‘Ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins.’

1 John 3:5

Here is a subject on which men have often worried and perplexed themselves; they have asked themselves, from time to time, why should the scheme of our salvation be what it is? Why must Christ come?

I. Why Christ came.—What was the practical side of the coming of our Blessed Lord Jesus Christ, of His manifestation, as St. John calls it? ‘To save sinners,’ says St. Paul; could there be any announcement more brief, more precise, more attractive, than the aims and purposes of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ? Who is a sinner? Who is meant by this explanation? A sinner, as the original word implies, is a man who has missed the mark; a man who has failed to hit the aim and object of his being; one who, created for a definite purpose, has failed to realise that purpose; one who, designed to do a certain work and to attain a certain thing, has neither attained the one nor reached the other. That is a sinner. Of course we know the work appointed for God’s creatures and the destiny they are made for. Made originally in God’s image, in God’s likeness, endowed with reason, conscience, sense of duty, power of choice and action, capacity for communicating with their fellow-men and even for holding communion with God, having God’s favour over them now as a present blessing, and God’s eternal presence in their future home, how has the privileged race of mankind demeaned itself? How has it sinned? We know it has broken right away from its proper centre, it has been disloyal to its rightful owner, boasting in a freedom which is no honour, saying, ‘My powers are my own law for me.’ Can we in any way so well express the condition of mankind as we know it as by that one word ‘sinners’?

II. Personal recognition.—Such then was the race which our Blessed Lord contemplated having before Him when He came into the world. He came to save sinners, and on His coming He said Himself, ‘I came not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” And so we see that, unless we can recognise ourselves under this description, then neither can we count ourselves the objects of recognition. We must know ourselves to have missed the mark if we would count ourselves in the number of those for whom He offered the salvation of Himself. St. Paul could see himself among that number. ‘Sinners,’ he said, ‘of whom I am chief.’ How true it is that each one of us knows more about himself than he can possibly know about anybody else. And so when he takes into account the warnings, the opportunities, the forbearances which have marked his course through life, and then, on the other hand, the follies and the backslidings, the obstinacies and the sins with which he has gone astray and done crookedly, then he feels that however it may be with others, he can without affectation take upon his own lips St. Paul’s words, and say that if Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners He came to save those of whom I—even I myself—am among the chief.

III. ‘Comfortable words.’—‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners’; truly the Prayer Book rightly calls them comfortable words. He came to save those who had missed the mark, to knit again into the bonds of affection children who had left their father’s home and were wasting their goods in selfish misery in desert and distant lands. He came to make God once more known and honoured to those whose special misery it was to feel they had lost sight of Him, who had flung away all the assurance they might have had. He came to take away the sting of death and to give life for evermore. In order to do this—for without it we should be missing the surest basis—He came to take our sins upon Him by dying for our sins. Christ, the sacrificed, and now Christ the Risen and Ascended Lord, came out of the boundless compassion of the Father’s love, to die for us—for our sins, and not for our sins only, but for those of all the world. ‘He was manifested to take away our sins.’ Let us then be continually thinking of this purpose, and so we shall find an increasing power to resist and conquer sin.

—Rev. Lewis Gilbertson.

Illustration

‘Christ’s purpose is to take away, not certain sins, but all our sin, to sanctify us wholly, to present us faultless. He is not partial to the sins which we tolerate. Here, then, is a strong motive, the strongest possible, in the purpose of Christ’s manifestation. How can we, for whom He was manifested, live in the sins which He came to take out of us? How hopeful sanctification is if His purpose was such.’


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Bibliography
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on 1 John 3:5". Church Pulpit Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/1-john-3.html. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.

Ver. 5. To take away our sins] Shall sin live that killed Christ? Shall I drink the blood of these men? said David of those that but ventured their lives for him. Oh that each Christian would turn Jew to himself, and kill the red cow, &c.; present himself a whole burnt sacrifice to God; not going about to frustrate the end of Christ’s incarnation and passion, by retaining that sin that he came to take away, lest that doleful sentence be passed upon him, that was once upon the stubborn Jews, "Ye shall die in your sins," John 8:21; John 8:24.


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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 John 3:5". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/1-john-3.html. 1865-1868.

Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae

DISCOURSE: 2444

CHRIST MANIFESTED TO TAKE AWAY SIN

1 John 3:5. Ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.

AMONGST the numberless advantages which the light of revelation has conferred upon us, one of particular importance is, the strength of the motives which it suggests to us for the mortification of sin. A heathen could devise no argument beyond what related to our own welfare, and that of society at large. But Christianity discovers to us wonders, of which unassisted reason could form no conception: it declares to us, that Almighty God himself assumed our nature for the express purpose of counteracting the effects of sin, and of destroying its power. To those therefore who have embraced Christianity, here is an argument that is wholly irresistible, if once it be admitted into the mind, and suffered to have its due operation upon the soul. St. John avails himself of it in the passage before us. He is shewing to the Christian world that they must aspire after universal holiness, and purify themselves “even as their incarnate God was pure:” and the more effectually to enforce his exhortations, he makes this unanswerable appeal to all of them without exception: “Ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him was no sin.”

The destruction of sin being the great scope and end of our ministry also, we will,

I. Open to you his appeal—

The great end of our Saviour’s incarnation was to take away sin—

[Sin has separated man from God, and God from man [Note: Isaiah 59:2.]: nor was it possible that they should be re-united in mutual love and amity, unless this evil were removed. But removed it could not be, either as to its guilt or power, by any efforts of man: nor could all the angels in heaven render to him any effectual aid. God therefore of his own love and mercy “laid help for us upon one that was mighty [Note: Psalms 89:19.],” even upon his coequal, co-eternal Son, whom he sent into the world on this benevolent errand, to “put away our sins by the sacrifice of himself [Note: Hebrews 9:26.],” and to “subdue our iniquities” by the efficacy of his grace [Note: Micah 7:19.].

For this the Lord Jesus Christ was well fitted, by reason of his own spotless character. This I conceive to be particularly intimated in our text. The connexion between the two clauses of the text does not at first sight appear; but we apprehend, that the mention of the spotless character of Jesus is intended to convey this idea, namely, that, being himself without sin, he was fitted for the work assigned him; and could present to God such an offering as our necessities required. Under the law it was especially appointed, that the sacrifices should be without spot or blemish. The Paschal lamb was set apart four days before it was offered, on purpose that it might be scrutinized to the uttermost, and thus be proved fit for its destined use [Note: Exodus 12:3; Exodus 12:6.]. The Lord Jesus too went up to Jerusalem four days before his crucifixion, and underwent the strictest examination at different tribunals, and was declared innocent, by Pilate his judge, by his fellow-sufferer on the cross, by the Centurion who presided at his execution: all his enemies thus unwittingly attesting, that he was indeed “a Lamb without blemish and without spot [Note: 1 Peter 1:19.],” and that, being “just himself,” he was every way fit to “suffer in the place of us the unjust [Note: 1 Peter 3:18.].”

In another view too his spotless character subserves this great end of his mission: for, “being without guile himself, he has set us a perfect example:” and the best possible way of avoiding sin is, to imitate his example, and to “tread in his steps [Note: 1 Peter 2:21-22.].”]

This was known and acknowledged through the whole Christian world—

[No one who believed in Christ was ignorant of the end for which he had come into the world. Hence the Apostle could appeal to all without exception, and could say, “Ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins.” The whole Scriptures bore testimony to this. All the types of the Mosaic law shadowed it forth. All the prophecies from the beginning of the world attested it. It was in this way that “the Seed of the woman was to bruise the serpent’s head.” “To finish transgression, to make an end of sin,” and to establish universal righteousness, this was to be the work which should distinguish his reign: “A sceptre of righteousness was to be the sceptre of his kingdom.” The very name that was given to him imported this: “he was called Jesus, because he was to save his people from their sins.”]

This truth being acknowledged by all at this time, no less than in the apostolic age, we shall make the same appeal to you; and,

II. Found upon it a particular address—

As Christians you all “know” that Christ came to deliver you from sin: but do you all consider it, as you ought?

1. Ye who live in wilful and habitual sin—

[Do you consider what has been done to rescue you from your bondage? Do you consider that the Son of the living God, “Jehovah’s fellow,” the Creator of the universe, has come down from heaven, and assumed your nature, and died upon the cross for your redemption? Ask yourselves then, whether he would have done this, if sin had been so small an evil as you judge it to be? Can you conceive that such means would have been used for your recovery, if the state into which sin had brought you was not beyond measure terrible? Had no misery awaited you, or a misery only that was light and transient, do you suppose that God would have had recourse to such a method of delivering you from it; or that, after he has used such means to take away your sin, you incur no danger by holding it fast? You may “make a mock of sin,” if you please; but you will not think so lightly of it when you come to stand in the presence of your Judge. When the Lord Jesus Christ shall remind you of what he endured to deliver you from it, what will ye say to him? Will ye then make the foolish excuses that ye now do? No, verily: your mouths will then be shut: you will be amazed and confounded at your present folly and impiety: and it will be no consolation to you then that there are so many in the same condemnation with yourself. The antediluvian scoffers, when warned of the approaching deluge, thought it impossible that such a judgment should ever be inflicted; or consoled themselves, perhaps, that they should be in no worse plight than others. But when the deluge actually came, did they find their own terrors less appalling, or their sufferings less acute, because they were endured by others also? Nor will ye in that day find the wrath of God a whit more tolerable because of the multitudes that shall bear it with you. Had the Saviour never come, you would have had to endure the wrath of God; but since he has come, and been despised and rejected by you, you shall have to bear “the wrath of the Lamb [Note: Revelation 6:16.],” even of that Lamb whom you “crucified afresh [Note: Hebrews 6:6.]:” and hell itself will be sevenfold more terrible, in consequence of the means which have been used to deliver you from it. Yes, the punishment of Sodom and Gomorrha will be light in comparison of yours [Note: Matthew 10:15.]. O that you were wise, and would consider this, ere it be too late!]

2. Ye who found your hopes of mercy on your own self-righteous endeavours—

[What can ye think of yourselves, when ye recollect the principles which you yourselves acknowledge? You know that Christ was manifested to take away your sins: how then do you presume to imagine, that you can remove them by any efforts of your own? Is there any such virtue in your own tears or almsdeeds, that you will rely on them, rather than on the atoning blood of Christ? Or is there any such strength in your own resolutions, that you will trust to them for the subduing of sin, rather than to the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ? Does it never strike you, that whilst you are entertaining such proud thoughts as these, you are thrusting the Lord Jesus Christ from his office, and virtually declaring, that, whatever he may be to others, he shall be no Saviour to you? Why will ye thus presume to set aside the very ends for which He came into the world? Why, when he has actually girded himself with the towel, and presented himself before you, will you say with Peter, “Thou shalt never wash my feet!” Know you not, that “unless he wash you, you have no part with him [Note: John 13:4; John 13:8.]!” Be assured, he never came to make you your own saviours, but to offer you a free and full salvation. And if you will conceit yourselves to be “rich and increased in goods, and in need of nothing, when you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked,” nothing re-remains for you but to reap the bitter fruits of your pride and folly [Note: Revelation 3:16-17. See also Romans 9:31-32; Romans 10:3.] — — —]

3. Ye who, whilst ye profess to believe in Christ, are walking unworthy of your holy profession—

[I call on you also to consider this subject. You profess that the Lord Jesus Christ has borne your sins, and that you therefore expect that no condemnation shall come upon you. But do you think that he will be satisfied with performing half his office? Do you suppose that he will take away your sins as far as relates to their guilt, and leave them unmortified as it respects their power? This he never will do: and he declares to you that he never will. Only hear how strongly St. John speaks on this subject in the words following my text: “Whosoever abideth in Christ, (as you profess to do,) sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you. He that doeth righteousness, (as you profess to do,) is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil [Note: ver. 6–8.].” What now will ye say, who are still under the dominion of pride, envy, malice, wrath, and whose conduct in your families, instead of exhibiting the image of the Lord Jesus, and constraining all to admire the excellence of vital godliness, causes religion to stink in their nostrils? What will ye say who have lewd hearts and licentious tongues? or ye who are covetous and worldly-minded, and who are in such bad repute for truth and honesty, that men would rather deal with a worldly character than with you? Ye may boast as ye will about the freeness and fulness of the Gospel salvation; but ye shall never taste of it, unless ye “put off the old man with his deeds, and put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness [Note: Ephesians 4:22-24.].”]

4. Ye who are bowed down with desponding fears—

[I must not overlook you; for the text speaks powerfully to you also. In the habit of your minds you are saying, “My sins are too great to be forgiven; or, my lusts are too strong to be subdued.” But is Christ unable to effect the work he has undertaken? Was he manifested to take away your sins, and has he proved incompetent to the task? Are we not told that “the blood of Jesus Christ will cleanse from all sin?” And that “his grace is sufficient” for all who trust in him? What then is there in your case that renders you an exception? Oh, do not so dishonour your adorable Saviour, as to doubt his sufficiency for the work that has been assigned him. Know that his blood is a sufficient “propitiation, not for your sins only, but also for the sins of the whole world;” and the weakest creature in the universe is authorized to say, “I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me.” Put away then your unbelieving fears; and look to him to “accomplish in you all the good pleasure of his goodness.” So shall you find that “he is able to save you to the uttermost;” and soon you shall join in that blessed song, “To Him that loved us and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and our Father, to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen [Note: Revelation 1:5-6.].”]


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Bibliography
Simeon, Charles. "Commentary on 1 John 3:5". Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/shh/1-john-3.html. 1832.

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

1 John 3:5 contains a new proof of the incompatibility of the Christian life with sin; this exists in Christ, to whose example the apostle has already pointed in 1 John 3:3. Of Christ John states two things, while he appeals to the consciousness of his readers ( οἴδατε; the same is the case with the reading of א : οἴδαμεν)—(1) that His manifestation ( ἐφανερώθη, an expression which refers to the previously unrevealed existence of Christ in heaven) had this purpose: ἵνα τὰς ἁμαρτίας ἄρῃ; and (2) that He is without sin.

τὰς ἁμαρτίας αἴρειν may, of course, mean in itself “to bear our sins,” i.e. as the atoning sacrifice, in order thereby to procure their forgiveness, but here it means “to take away, to remove our sins;” for even although the Hebrew expression נָשָׂא עָוֹן signifies both, yet the LXX. translates this in the second sense only by αἴρειν, but in the first sense by φέρειν (comp. Meyer on John 1:29, and my comm. on 1 Peter 2:24); moreover, αἴρειν with John constantly means “to take away;” comp. John 11:48, John 15:2, John 17:15, John 19:31; John 19:38; and the context is also decisive in favour of this meaning, for even though in the thought that Christ bore our sins, inasmuch as He suffered for them, there lies a mighty impulse to avoid sins, yet the antagonism of the Christian life to sin appears more directly and more strongly if the taking away of sins is described as the purpose of the manifestation of Christ. Köstlin (p. 180) rightly says: “the expression signifies to take away the sins themselves, but not their guilt or their punishment, for it is added: καὶ ἁμ. ἐν αὐτῷ οὐκ ἔστιν, and in 1 John 3:8 : ἔργα τοῦ διαβόλου.” This interpretation in Calvin, Luther, Russmeyer, Paulus, Baumgarten-Crusius, Neander, Frommann (p. 449), Düsterdieck, Myrberg, Ebrard, Braune, etc., contrary to which Lücke, de Wette, Erdmann, etc., explain αἴρειν = “to bear;” Lücke: “the object of the manifestation of Christ is the bearing of sins as a holy offering in His death;” while others, as Bede (“tollit et dimittendo quae facta sunt et adjuvando ne fiant et perducendo ad vitam, ubi fieri omnino non possint”), Socinus, a Lapide, Spener, Sander, Besser (also Lücke in his 1st ed.(204)), combine both meanings. Weiss, it is true, interprets αἴρειν correctly, but thinks that the plural ἁ΄αρτίας “can only signify actually existing sins” which Christ takes away, “inasmuch as His blood cleanses us from their guilt;” but in the whole context the subject is not the guilt of sins, but the sins themselves. The plural, however, by no means renders that interpretation compulsory.

The pronoun ἡμῶν after τὰς ἁ΄αρτίας (see the critical notes) is regarded by Lücke and de Wette as genuine; Lücke: “because John would otherwise have written τὴν ἁ΄αρτίαν;” de Wette: “because its omission appears to be occasioned by the interpretation of αἴρειν = to remove;” Düsterdieck remarks against ἡμῶν, that in the whole section 1 John 3:4-10 there is no direct application expressed; from internal grounds it cannot be decided, inasmuch as τὰς ἁ΄αρτ. ἡ΄ῶν can be taken quite as generally as the simple τὰς ἁ΄αρτίας. In regard to the plural τὰς ἁ΄αρτίας, Düsterdieck rightly says that “thereby the form of representation is made so much the more vivid, as the whole mass of all individual sins is taken into view.” It is to be observed that John does not regard Christ, according to the Pelagian mode of thought, only as the motive for the free self-determination of man, but as the active living cause of sanctification determining the will of man. It is His crucifixion especially from which proceeds, not only the forgiveness of sins, but also (in and with this) the new life, in which the believer purifies himself ( ἁγνίζει), even as He is pure ( ἁγνός).

The second thing which John states of Christ is: καὶ ἁ΄αρτία ἐν αὐτῷ οὐκ ἔστι. The meaning of these words is not that in those who are in Christ there is no sin (Calvin, Paulus), but that Christ Himself is without sin; comp. 1 John 3:3; 1 John 2:29. This clause is not meant to confirm the preceding one (a Lapide: ideo Christus potens fuit tollere peccatum, quia carebat omni peccato, imo potestate peccandi; so also Oecumenius, Lorinus, Baumgarten-Crusius, Sander, Neander); but it is co-ordinate with it (Lücke, de Wette-Brückner, Düsterdieck, Braune), in order to serve as a basis for the following statement.

The present ἐστί is not used instead of the preterite (Grotius), nor is it to be explained in this way, with Winer (p. 239, VII. 251), that “the sinlessness of Jesus is considered as still present in faith;” but it rather denotes, as in 1 John 3:3, the character of Christ in its eternal existence.


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Bibliography
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on 1 John 3:5". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/1-john-3.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

1 John 3:5. ἐφανερώθη, was manifested) in the flesh.— τὰς ἁμαρτίας ἡμῶν, our sins) inasmuch as they are especially displeasing to Him.— ἄρῃ, He might take away) John 1:29, note.— ἐν αὐτῷ, in Him) The sentence, He is righteous, 1 John 3:7, has reference to this.


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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on 1 John 3:5". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/1-john-3.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Implying how great an absurdity it were, to expect salvation and blessedness by our sinless Saviour, and yet indulge ourselves in sin, against his design, not only to expiate our sins, but make us sinless like himself.


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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 John 3:5". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/1-john-3.html. 1685.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Was manifested to take away our sins-in him is no sin; two reasons why God’s children cannot allow themselves in sin. It is contrary to both the work of Christ, and his character. Christ takes away our sin by expiating it, and cleansing our hearts from its pollution.


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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on 1 John 3:5". "Family Bible New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/1-john-3.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

5. That sin is incompatible with Divine birth is further enforced by two facts respecting the highest instance of Divine birth. The Son of God [1] entered the world of sense in order to put away sin; and therefore those who sin thwart His work: [2] was Himself absolutely free from sin; and therefore those who sin disregard His example.

οἴδατε. [696] and the Thebaic read οἴδαμεν. As in 1 John 3:2 and 1 John 2:21, the Apostle appeals to that knowledge which as Christians they must possess. The translation of ἐφανερώθη here must govern the translation in 1 John 3:2 and 1 John 2:28, where see note. Here, as in 1 John 3:8 and 1 John 1:2, the manifestation of the Λόγος in becoming visible to human eyes is meant,—the Incarnation. The expression necessarily implies that He existed previous to being made manifest.

ἵνα τὰς ἁμαρτ. ἄρῃ. Literally, that He might take away the sins, i.e. all the sins that there are. If ‘our sins’ means ‘the sins of us men’ and not ‘the sins of us Christians,’ the rendering is admissible, even if the addition ἡμῶν ([697][698] Thebaic) is not genuine. As already stated, the article is often used in Greek where in English we use a possessive pronoun. ‘To take away’ is the safest rendering; for this is all that the Greek word necessarily means (see on John 1:29). Vulgate, tolleret; Augustine, auferat. Yet it is not improbable that the meaning of ‘to bear’ is included: He took the sins away by bearing them Himself (1 Peter 2:24). This, however, is not S. John’s point. His argument is that the Son’s having become incarnate in order to abolish sin shews that sin is inconsistent with sonship: the way in which He abolished it is not in question.

καὶ ἁμ.… οὐκ ἔστιν. This is an independent proposition and must not be connected with οἴδατε ὅτι. The order of the Greek is impressive; sin in Him does not exist. And the tense is significant. Christ not merely was on earth, but is in heaven, the eternally sinless One. He is the perfect pattern of what a son of God should be. This, therefore, is yet another proof that sin and sonship are incompatible. Comp. John 7:18. Nemo tollit peccata, quae nec lex quamvis sancta et justa et bona potuit aujerre, nisi ille in quo peccatum non est (Bede).


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"Commentary on 1 John 3:5". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cgt/1-john-3.html. 1896.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

5. Ye know—By the old apostolic teaching from Christ himself, that so far is our Christianity from admitting that transgression is consistent with regeneration, he was manifested for this very purpose, to take away our sins—our violations of law—whether in single act or permanent state.

No sin—Either of act or character. He violated not God’s law, but was in perfect conformity to it.


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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 John 3:5". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/1-john-3.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Two more facts believers know highlight the seriousness of sin. Jesus Christ became incarnate to remove sin, and there was no sin in Him. This is a strong assertion of Jesus" sinlessness (cf. 1 John 2:1; John 8:31-59; John 10:30; John 17:22; 1 Peter 2:22)

"Because Jesus was holy, and without sin, this can become the character of those who abide in him (cf. Hebrews 2:10 to Hebrews 4:16; Hebrews 5:9)." [Note: Ibid, p158.]

"The dominant thought here is not that of the self-sacrifice of Christ, but of His utter hostility to sin in every shape." [Note: Westcott, p103.]


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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on 1 John 3:5". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/1-john-3.html. 2012.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

1 John 3:5. The purpose of the Incarnation was to “take away the sins”—atone for the sins of the past and prevent sins in the future, αἴρειν, properly “lift up and carry away” (cf. Mark 6:29; John 2:16), but the idea of expiation is involved since it is “the Lamb of God” that “taketh away the sins”. ἐκεῖνος, see note on 1 John 2:6. ἁμαρτία, “sin,” i.e. the sinful principle: see note on 1 John 1:8.


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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on 1 John 3:5". The Expositor's Greek Testament. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/1-john-3.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary


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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 1 John 3:5". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/1-john-3.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

was manifested. Same as "appear", 1 John 3:2.

to = in order that (Greek. hina) He might.

take away Greek. airo. Compare John 1:29. Colossians 2:14.

our. The texts omit.

is no = there is not (App-105).


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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 1 John 3:5". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/1-john-3.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.

Additional proof of the incompatibility of sin and sonship: the very object of Christ's manifestation in the flesh was to take away (by one act) entirely [aorist, aree (Greek #142)] all sins, as the scapegoat did typically. And - another proof.

In him is no sin - not 'was,' but "is," as 1 John 3:7, "He is righteous," and 1 John 3:3. Therefore we are to be so.


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 John 3:5". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/1-john-3.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.
he
1:2; 4:9-14; John 1:31; 1 Timothy 3:16; 1 Peter 1:20
to
1:7; Isaiah 53:4-12; Hosea 14:2; Matthew 1:21; John 1:29; Romans 3:24-26; Ephesians 5:25-27; 1 Timothy 1:15; Titus 2:14; Hebrews 1:3; 9:26,28; 1 Peter 2:24; Revelation 1:5
in
2:1; Luke 23:41,47; John 8:46; 14:30; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:15; 7:26; 9:28; 1 Peter 2:22; 3:18

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 John 3:5". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/1-john-3.html.

The Bible Study New Testament

You know. "The very reason that Christ appeared in human form was for the purpose of taking away men's sins! This shows how certain punishment is if you purposely go on sinning!" There is no sin in him. "This proves he does not allow us to continue to sin! We are like him when we QUIT sinning!"


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on 1 John 3:5". "The Bible Study New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/1-john-3.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

In him is no sin. This is what is meant in John 14:30 where Jesus says the prince of this world

(Satan) cometh "and hath nothing in me." No sacrifice could have atoned for the sins of the world if attempted by a person who was himself tainted with sin.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on 1 John 3:5". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/1-john-3.html. 1952.

The Apostle goes on to tell us that we have deliverance in our Lord Jesus Christ. The law is on one side of the cross, and the Christian is on the other side of the cross. This does not mean that Christians never sin. It does mean that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin, and that He is our righteousness.

1 John 3:5. And you know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin.

Two things are mentioned about our Lord in this verse. The one has to do with His work, and the other concerns His Person. We will consider the statement concerning his Person first.

. In Him there is no sin.

He is the absolutely sinless One with no trace of rebellion in Him. He is the exact opposite of what we are. In order to get a realistic look at ourselves, we must look at the Saviour.

Jesus is God's perfect Man. Jesus, as He walked among men, lived the life that God wants men to live. Jesus could say to the religious leaders of His day,

"Which of you convinceth Me of sin?" ( John 8:46).

His life was an open book. He could tell the high priest that He had done nothing in secret. I wonder, my friend, whether we would like others to see the secrets of our lives. Remember that Pilate had to acknowledge that he could find no fault in him at all ( John 18:38).

There are other Scriptures which refer to the truth that Jesus Christ is the sinless One.

"For he hath made him to be sin for us, WHO KNEW NO SIN that we might be made the righteousness of God in him" ( 2 Corinthians 5:21).

"WHO DID NO SIN, neither was guile found in his mouth" ( 1 Peter 2:22).

"For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, YET WITHOUT SIN" ( Hebrews 4:15).b

WHICH OF YOU CONVINCETH ME OF SIN?" ( John 8:46)

"IN HIM IS NO SIN" ) 1 John 3:5).

His work, that which He has accomplished for us, is the basic, essential, blessed truth of the Gospel. He had no sin in Himself, but He was manifested to take away our sins. The sinless One became sin. He was a fit sacrifice, and He put away our sin by the sacrifice of Himself. We should make no apology or allowance for sin when we realize that our Lord was manifested to take away our sins.

"Thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins" ( Matthew 1:21)

"Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" ( John 1:29).

"Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from the present evil world" ( Galatians 1:4).

"But now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself" ( Hebrews 9:26).

"But this Prayer of Manasseh , after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God" ( Hebrews 10:12).

"All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all" ( Isaiah 53:6).


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Bibliography
Mitchell, John G. D.D. "Commentary on 1 John 3:5". "Mitchell's Commentary on Selected New Testament Books". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jgm/1-john-3.html.

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