Love in action
Now this is his command: that we believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another as he commanded us. The one who keeps his commands remains in him, and he in him. And the way we know that he remains in us is from the Spirit he has given us. 1 John 3:23-24 CSB
Closing this section on confidence in knowing that a believer belongs to Jesus, John reiterates the two commands that Jesus gave: “That we believe in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another as He commanded us.” This comes from Matthew 22:36-40, “‘Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Faith to God and love toward others sum up Christian living. Through the love of the Lord, Jesus Christ, love for others is possible. Faith in God “is working through love” (Galatians 5:6). It is easy to talk about faith and yet not live it out through our actions. On the other hand, some would say that love is all that matters and not belief. What John is conveying in these passages is that we cannot detach our claim of having faith with our actions. Once a person is justified by faith by placing his life to Christ, God’s love should work its way to his heart being shared to others. Such actions would lead to obedience to God’s commands. This is why John follows up with this statement, “the one who keeps His commands remains in Him, and He in him.” To stay obedient to Jesus’ Word leads to a faithful walk with Him. A mark that Jesus is in the believer is through the Holy Spirit being sent as a helper that resides within the believer to help keep these commands. It is the Spirit of God within that provides the believer courage to obey God’s commands. Though false teachers tried to dissuade the believers, John countered by reminding them of their love for Jesus and love for His commands. So, to overcome the challenges against a believer’s faith, one must first wholly love the Lord with everything, and through that commitment, can continue to be faithfully following His commands.
Isaac De Guzman