Impartial Grace: 1 John 3

Everyone who sins also commits lawlessness. Sin is lawlessness. You know that he was revealed to take away our sins, and in him is no sin. Whoever remains in him doesn’t sin. Whoever sins hasn’t seen him, neither knows him. Little children, let no one lead you astray. He who does righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. To this end the Son of God was revealed, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

(1 John 3:4-8, emphasis added)

Christ Jesus came from His place in heaven. He came in the likeness of His Father and in the likeness of mankind. He is the atoning sacrifice for sins of the world. Every evil thing Satan causes Jesus Christ makes void.

I paraphrase A.E. Knoch’s commentary on these verses from the Concordant Literal Version (CLV). Satan is the Christ’s Adversary. That title is appropriate considering Satan’s goal to disrupt God’s creation even to destroy it. It was in Eden that Satan constructed the lie that led to Eve’s disobedience and subsequently to Adam’s Fall. Peter warns in 1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober! Watch! For your plaintiff, the Adversary, is walking about as a roaring lion, seeking someone to swallow up; ….” It is Satan who inflicts Job with painful boils when Satan challenges God to remove His protection from Job. Satan introduced sin. False doctrines and slanderous thoughts are caused by Satan’s deceits. He is the root of lawlessness. He stands at the door and beckons men to idolize any and everything that is not of the Father.

Jesus came. He lived, preached, was persecuted, punished and hung on a criminal’s cross. He was mercilessly impugned by those He came to save. He died and was placed into the grave. From that grave He was resurrected. In all of this He and He alone annulled all that Satan has done or causes to be done. All sin has been made void. Jesus came and Jesus lives. He has undone what Satan, the Adversary, has done. Eventually the Adversary will be bound and his influence on God’s creation will no longer be. Christ Jesus did not die for the sins of those only who believe Him. He died for the sins of the world.

Satan is the force behind many delusions. Ask yourself if it is even possible, remotely possible, that Satan has been successful in causing yet another delusion? Consider Christian celebrations such as Christmas and Easter which are heavily influenced by pagan festivals. Would Satan, if he could, cause some men to declare other men will burn in hell fire for eternity? Would he give those same men credence in the world to the degree their false proclamation would surpass the love of God?

I believe God’s nature is first and foremost love. Universal reconciliation embraces these verses as literally true. All that evil corrupts, Christ restores. This is Impartial Grace.