The proof of new life is love for our brothers and sisters in Christ. We need to not only be challenged in our love for others and be reminded of the call to love, but we also need to evaluate ourselves before God–whether or not we are showing God’s love towards others.
As we have gone through 1 John, we have seen that the gospel not only demands right belief about who the real Jesus is, but also that once our sins are forgiven the gospel demands a certain moral response from us as well, as our beliefs about God now turn into action. And one of those actions is to love others. There is a gospel demand to love.
We See 4 Actions in 1 John 3:11-18—
1) Love! (1 John 3:11)
2) Examine! (1 John 3:12-15)
3) Do! (1 John 3:16-18)
4) Behold! (1 John 3:16) – Look at the love of Christ for you so that you can love God and others.
The way that we will grow in our love for others is by growing in understanding Jesus’ love for us. If you’re having a hard time loving others, look to Jesus!
It is fascinating that John the Apostle called himself “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” His identity was not rooted first in being a lover of Christ, but first in being loved by Christ.
This changed him from a “son of thunder” to “the apostle of love.”
Find your identity first in Jesus’ love for you, and second in loving Jesus in return. This will spill over into loving others with Jesus’ kind of love.