One of the themes throughout the book of 1 John is the correlation between belief and action. Today, we look at the correlation between how you love others and what that says about your love for God.
Loving others is juxtaposed with the hatred that leads to murder, with Cain and Able being the Biblical example. The hatred of others is described as murder, abiding in death, and not a true believer! This might seem harsh to us, but I wonder if it only seems harsh because we don’t take seriously enough the correlation that the Bible draws between how we love others and how we love God.
Verse 16 shows that the reason that we are to love others is that Christ laid down his life for us. If Jesus was able to sacrifice for sinners, then surely we are able to love others.
Verse 18 shows that love is not something that is theoretical: “Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” The way we love God and others is something that is not to be talked about or hoped for but acted on.
Finally, the correlation between loving God and others is made explicitly clear in verse 23:
And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.
John, nor anyone else in the Bible, ever separate loving God and loving others; they are one and the same. When you think about how you have treated people recently, at home, work, on Nicholasville Road at rush hour, what does that ultimately say about your love for God?
By: Graham Withers — Pastoral Ministry Associate