2012-02-05 - Love and Command
In the next section John goes on to say, not only does it matter how we live
- but how we live says a lot about whether or not we are actually believers.
And, John isn't saying believers don't sin. He is saying our lives are not
typified by sin. He also reminds us that when we sin, we have and intercessor,
Let us examine the passage, and next we will see just how we have to apply
it in our own life. Here we will strive to make the distinction between the
law and love. We need to make sure we don't confuse obedience with legalism.
We don't want to fall into the trap of using works to validate someone as
a believer versus recognizing works as proof of the quality of the walk of
the believer. Remember we are called to judge spiritual maturity, not whether
a person is save.
Love and Command Verses 3- 6
God's Command Verses 7- 8
An Illustration Verses 9-11
Love and Command
What is the association between obedience to God and relationship with Him?
John starts this portion of his letter by identifying himself with fellow
believers, "We know
." It is important to realize John's salvation is
shown not by the fact he knew Jesus. After all, Judas knew Jesus. It is shown
by the reality of God's presence in his life. No one has ever been reconciled
to God based on personal merit. Even Mary, the mother of Jesus, could never
have been saved unless she accepted her Son's death for her sin, in the same
way we must.
"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes
to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my
Father as well" (John 14:6-7).
And so John's salvation wasn't based on his earthly relationship with Jesus,
but in having accepted Christ's shed blood as payment for sin. As a result,
John does not use his Apostolic position to stand above other believers.
Instead, he identifies with the recipients of this letter. The proof of salvation
isn't a verbal testimony, but a life committed to Christ. The child of God
obeys the commands of Christ. What were Christ's commands?
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and
with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest
commandment. And the second is like it: `Love your neighbor as yourself.'
All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments" (Matthew
The proof isn't a perfect demonstration of love though. John Calvin stated
it this way:
" ...he (John) does not mean that those who wholly satisfy
the Law keep His commandments (and no such instance can be found in the world),
but those who strive, according to the capacity of human infirmity, to from
their life in obedience to God." 1
In other words, the reality of God's presence in our lives is demonstrated
by God's love manifested in our lives
John Calvin, "Calvin's New Testament Commentaries," 1 John, p. 246.
To be continued.
Comments or Questions?
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