2012-09-02 - Fruit of the Believer
The Epistles of John ~ Part 58 ~ 1 John
What is the fruit of the believer versus the fruit of the lost? One contrast between the righteous and the unrighteous is love of God and others, versus hate of God and His children. A second difference that John identifies is spiritual condition. When we accept Christ, we move from life to death.
"I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me, has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life" (John 5:24).
John identifies the proof of our life: it is the love we demonstrate. This is in contrast with the unbeliever, who is dead. And the proof of this is the sin of Cain, hatred of his brother.
"Anyone who claims to be in the light, but hates his brother, is still in the darkness" (1 John 2:9).
Notice by the way, John says that anyone who does not love "remains"? In other words, if God comes into the life of the unbeliever, he will love, and he will no longer be dead.
Remember the words of Jesus during His sermon on the mount?
"But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, `Raca,' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, `You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell" (Matthew 5:22).
It seems that the ultimate testimony of rebellion against God is hatred of one's brother.
To be continued.