Reading For Friday 1 John 3:11-4:21
In Christ, we are to love our brothers and sisters and not just our biological siblings, but also the members of the family of God. John explains that the demonstration of love is the evidence of genuine faith. Love is the proof that one has passed out of death into life. Eternal life will not be found in the one who hates his brother. The revelation of love came in the sacrifice of Jesus. It is not enough to only speak of love, it must be accompanied by deeds and truth. Love is the means by which we know that we are of the truth, and our hearts are offered reassurance. John says that when we love others, we are able to have confidence before God. The evidence that we belong to Jesus is found in love and obedience. When are walking in obedience to God, we are abiding in him by the Spirit.
John exhorts the beloved to test the words of those who claimed to speak for God because of the possibility of false prophets. The test these false prophets were to be judged by is the acceptance of Jesus Christ as God’s Son, who came in the flesh. John recognizes that this news might come as a shock to the readers struggled with the presence of false, but he assures them that the victory belonged to them because of God's greatness. He also indicates that the worldly message of the false prophets would attract an audience that was eager to listen.
John again underscores the importance of showing genuine love. Our love as an inclination finds its origin in the divine nature. The greatness of the divine love for us leaves us with an incentive to love one another. Our practice of love for one another provides evidence that God’s love for us has attained its goal. The Spirit applies the finished work of Christ so that the believer the new impulse of the heart is love toward God and love toward our fellow man. Believers must live their lives daily in the domain of divine love and so demonstrate that they genuinely live in God’s presence and have God living in them. This love provides confidence on the day of the coming judgment and will lead to a genuine concern for fellow Christians.
Things To Consider:
- How do we know love?
- Why should we not be surprised when the world hates us?
- Why is it much easier to talk about love than to actually love others?
- What does this passage teach us about God the Spirit?
- How do you test the spirits?
- What role does the scripture play as we seek the truth?
- Why does salvation have everything to do with the way we believe about Jesus?
- How is God the origin of love?
- What does love have to do with the day of judgment?
- Nobody loves God first, so what does this tell us about salvation?