1Jn_3:10-12. In this the children of God are manifest and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning that we should love one another. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.
Some people try to deceive us with the notion that all men are the children of God; but John, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, shows how false that idea is. Holiness and love distinguish the children of God from the children of the devil.
1Jn_3:13. Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.
As Cain hated Abel, so worldlings hate the saints, whose holiness is a continual rebuke to the ungodly.
1Jn_3:14-16. We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. Such self-sacrifice as this is the very highest form of love to the brethren, and is a following of the example of Christ, who “laid down his life for us.”
1Jn_3:17-18. But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
Love that consists only of words is utterly worthless, if it is true love, it must prove itself by kind deeds and gracious actions.
1Jn_3:19. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.
The love that will pass this test will bring a restful assurance of peace to the heart.
1Jn_3:20-22. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater that our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments. And do these things that are pleasing in his sight.
It is not everyone who can have whatever he chooses to ask of God in prayer. This privilege is only granted to those who “keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.”
1Jn_3:23. And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.
Faith and love-faith in Christ, and love to one another,-are here most happily joined together; let us never put them asunder.
1Jn_3:24. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.
Though this great truth of our dwelling in God, and God dwelling in us, is a great mystery, it is a mystery concerning which we need not be in doubt if we will learn of the Holy Spirit what he delights to teach us.