1 John 5:3…”This is love for God: to keep His commands. And His commands are not burdensome.” We were created to love God, but all of us have turned away (Romans 3:12). But God in His grace and mercy has provided a way for us to love Him in Christ. If we submit to Christ’s authority then God’s holy spirit will be in us and we’ll love His ways. Spiritual maturity brings with it a joy in obeying the truth in all of God’s word.
1 John 4:10..”This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” When we consider God’s patience, grace, and mercy in loving us it is humbling. God’s word tells us that we did not love Him first. Therefore, any hint of love we have for Him is from His transformational Spirit working in us. The only way we can have peace with Him is through repentance and faith in His Son, who on the cross bridged the massive chasm between a Holy Creator and sinful people.
1 John 4:5…”They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them.” In context, John is referring to false teachers here. In our day, the prosperity gospel is very popular. However, it is false, and we should recognize it as Christians since it clearly has a “viewpoint of the world.” This life will be marked by trials and any preacher/teacher claiming otherwise should be carefully avoided if we want to grow in understanding and spiritual maturity. God is sovereign, and according to James 1 brings trials our way to make us mature and complete, so we would depend on Him and find contentment in Him increasingly.
1 John 3:16…”This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” Our time is not our own. One of the most subtle barriers to joy for Christians in our post-modern, individualistic culture is being willing to give up our time for others. However, we were created for covenant community, and attempting to live out the Christian life independent of the local church is spiritual suicide. Committing to lay down our lives for the spiritual well-being of others is commanded in scripture. And if we do, it shows we really do have the love of Christ in us.
1 John 3:14…”We know that we have passed from death to life if we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death.” Christian love is marked by a concern for the spiritual well-being of our brothers and sisters in Christ. We display that love particularly in the context of a local church through encouragement and by holding each other accountable to God’s word. This is very difficult because of our unbelief, pride, and selfishness. However, a clear understanding of the gospel allows us to see how much we’ve offended God, and how much mercy He’s extended us in Christ, thus giving us perspective on the offenses of others.
1 John 3:3…”All who have put this hope in Him purify themselves, just as He is pure.” The hope referenced here is the glorious truth that one day we’ll be with Christ forever in heaven. We will be glorified, meaning that these sinful, temporary vessels in which our spirits currently exist will be gone. We will be made like Jesus and finally be able to reciprocate His perfect love toward us forever. He is our only hope, which should motivate us to purify ourselves in this life. All who have this hope will purify themselves, implying that those who do not grow in holiness are not in Him.
1 John 2:24…”See that what you have heard remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father.” If we have heard the gospel and have repented and believed, we are to persist with endurance until the end. Jesus warned (Matthew 13) of those who would hear and even believe initially, but then fall away showing they were never saved, demonstrated by their lack of fruit. Knowing this, we need to humbly pursue Christ each day by desiring to grow through studying the word, praying, and allowing our lives to overlap with other believers by becoming an active member of a healthy local church (Hebrews 10:25).
1 John 1:6…”If we claim to have fellowship with Him and yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.”
Merely saying we believe means nothing (Matthew 13 – Parable of the Sower). Our walk will show what we actually believe . This verse shows that the true believer will produce Christian fruit.
1 John 1:6