Do you love your brother?


“Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning. Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth. He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.” 1 John 2:7-11

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Where this love of God for lost sinners accomplishes its end and goal, sinners repent, trust in Christ Jesus for forgiveness and life and, as a fruit of their faith, love God and their fellow man.

Though “love is the fulfilling of the law” (Rom. 13:8-10; Deut. 6:4-5; Lev. 19:18), John reminds his readers of Jesus’ command to love one another. Jesus said: “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:34-35).

Those who walk in Jesus’ love, knowing and believing that God loves them and accepts them as His own dear children for the sake of Jesus and His atoning sacrifice on the cross, will love God and also love their fellow human beings because of God’s love for them. They will love others as Christ loved them and gave Himself for them (Rom. 5:5-8; Eph. 5:1-2).

Since the darkness brought about by sin is passing away and the true light of God’s love and mercy is shining on us whenever we hear the Gospel of God’s love and forgiveness toward us in Jesus, we have every reason to share God’s love for mankind. God loved us, and Christ died for us, so we also love others and extend to them God’s love and mercy in Christ Jesus.

Therefore, the one who says he is in the light — that He knows and trusts in Jesus who loved us and gave Himself for us — if he hates his brother, remains in darkness. He does not know or receive in faith God’s love for lost sinners. The darkness of sin has blinded his eyes so that He does not see and walk in God’s love.

On the other hand, the one who partakes of God’s love through faith in Christ and also loves others and shows mercy and forgiveness toward them walks in the light of God’s love.

God grant that we receive in faith God’s love and mercy toward us in Christ Jesus and that Christ’s love for us move us to share in His love for others.

In love, O God, You sent Your Son to suffer and die on the cross to bear our sin and punishment that we might be pardoned and given life in communion with You forevermore. Move us to grasp Your love for us in faith and extend Your love to others. We ask this for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

[Scripture is quoted from the King James Version of the Bible.]