Love is Commanded

1 John 2:3-6 We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. 4 Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.

When John the beloved disciple wrote to the churches in I, II, and III John, he was writing to a church like many today. They’d lost their real excitement about Christ, had false doctrines penetrating the church, and were having difficulty loving each other.

The philosophies  of that day included three different ideas of how to know God. One was through intellectual speculation and discussion. Another was through emotional experience. The Jewish and Christian thought was that we can know God through revelation because God is seeking to know us and have a relationship with us.

John brings a new perspective. He believes that you can know God as He reveals Himself, but he also teaches that others can tell if you know God. How? By whether or not you follow and live the teachings of Jesus. No excuses. If you know and love Him, you will live as He did.

That’s a tough teaching for a church of people who no longer have excitement and motivation to live what Jesus taught. As the chapter goes on, John reveals this other way that others (and God) can tell that you know Jesus. It’s the way that you love as Jesus commanded. In a selfish culture, love for others is evidence of your relationship with God.

If you could use a boost in your momentum and motivation to serve Christ, this is the Sunday to be there. If there are people in your life who are hard to love, this is the message for you.