1 John 3:23
“And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.”
Jesus simplified all of the commandments into two: love God and love others. John, in like manner, states the requirements of God are both simple and straight forward. He writes, God is commanding us to believe on Christ and love each other.
Belief is commanded because it is the requirement for entrance into heaven. When individuals look at the cross, they realize they are sinners, Christ is the Savior, they put their trust in Him, and are saved. The sins that once kept us from God are washed away in the blood of God, and our names are written on Heaven’s scroll. All the religious activities, social work, or random acts of kindness, are incapable of doing what simple faith in Christ accomplishes. If you are yet to put your trust in Christ, do so now, and watch as He transforms your life.
Love for one another is the chief evidence that we have truly believed in Christ. It is not the only evidence, but it is the greatest. After years of walking with the Lord, encountering others who have put their faith in Him, and lived lives transformed by Him, John concludes that more than anything else, a person who has met Christ should love others. That is not too difficult to comprehend when we examine the life of Christ, and see it was marked by a continual, even growing, love for others. We read that having loved His own, He loved them to the end. (John 13:1)
One of the greatest ways to testify to the reality of Christ, is to go out of your way to express love to others. As you go about your day, keep your eyes open as to how you might express the love of Christ to others in a needy world.
Questions for 1 John 3
1. What was the love that the Father bestows that allows us to be children of God?
2. Sometimes people question whether or not we will be recognizable once we pass from death to life. John doesn’t tell us exactly what we will be, but he does tell us something about us in verse 2. What will we be like?
3. From verse 4-9 John talks about how the child of God does not sin. Although he says we will be without sin, we know that we still fall into sin. This sin he is talking about is the habitual sin that we get stuck in. The child of God should be free from this habitual sin. Is there any habitual sin in your life that you need to have God remove? Take it to the Lord.
4. What is the difference between the child of God and the child of the Devil?
5. John tells us we can have a guarantee that we are a child of God. He says that guarantee is the outworking of love in our life. The Christian is supposed to be loving. Are you being loving? Even to the people that seem impossible to love? How can you work on it?