Faith and love
And this is his commandment: We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us. Those who obey God’s commandments remain in fellowship with him, and he with them. And we know he lives in us because the Spirit he gave us lives in us. 1 John 3:23-24 ESV
As John closes the chapter, once again he reminded the readers of God’s command: “believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another.” He summarizes the command given by God that involves placing one’s life in faith in Him, loving Him with all our hearts, and loving others. “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these’” (Mark 12:30-31). Having faith in God and loving others are inherently related. It is by believing in God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ that we have a relationship with God. Inherent to that relationship is our obedience to Him demonstrated by loving others. John concluded that “Those who obey God’s commandments remain in fellowship with him, and he with them.” When we have God’s Word in our hearts, we abide in Him. “When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love” (John 15:10). It is easy to claim we are biblically grounded because we have sound doctrine yet miss out the blessing of living out His Word by relating in love to others. Christianity is about “faith expressing itself in love” (Galatians 5:6). Our lives in Christ should produce fruit. We bear fruit because of the indwelling presence of the Spirit of God in us. “We know he lives in us because the Spirit he gave us lives in us” (1 John 3:24). This is what distinguishes us from unbelievers. Though we might be rejected by the world, we remain faithful to God’s call producing good deeds. “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith” (Galatians 6:9-10).