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Love and hate

This is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another. We must not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and killed his brother. And why did he kill him? Because Cain had been doing what was evil, and his brother had been doing what was righteous. So don’t be surprised, dear brothers and sisters, if the world hates you. 1 John 3:11-13 NLT

John in the epistle continues to remind his readers that the admonitions from God are not nothing new for they “have heard [them] from the beginning.” He previously told the believers that the command to love one another is what they should strive for after they have experienced the love of Christ. “Dear friends, I am not writing a new commandment for you; rather it is an old one you have had from the very beginning. This old commandment—to love one another—is the same message you heard before. Yet it is also new. Jesus lived the truth of this commandment, and you also are living it” (1 John 2:7-8). Loving one another is foundational in the life of every believer. It is inconsistent for a Christian to say that he loves God and yet hate his brother. This is why John tells them to “not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and killed his brother.” Since believers in Christ were already freed from a life of darkness because of their relationship with God, they are expected to do what is righteous. We do what is right because we belong to Christ. “All who do what is right are God’s children” (1 John 2:29). Love is not a natural virtue that we possess but because of Christ living in us, we are abiding in His Word, and we rely in the power of the Holy Spirit within then we are now able to do what we cannot do before. Cain did what he did because he “belonged to the evil one.” “The evil things he does--He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44). In this world where the evil one rules, God has called His children to shine the light by manifesting the love of God. Let us dispel the darkness by continually living the life that God gave us. But just like what John says, “don’t be surprised, dear brothers and sisters, if the world hates you” (1 John 3:13). This echoes what Jesus told His disciples while He was still with them: “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you” (John 15:18-19). Despite the rejection, keep the faith and remain true to God’s calling.



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