Summary: The Christian way of life or walking in the light involves not only fellowship with God & with the brethren (1:5-7), consciousness & confession of sin (1:8-10), obedience by imitation of Christ (2:1-6). Walking in the light also requires love of the breth
1 JOHN 2: 7-11 [LIFE, LIGHT & LOVE SERIES]
LOVE THE BRETHREN
"I just love that hat!"
"Man, I really love the old-fashioned kind of baked beans!"
“But, Mom, don’t you realize that Tim and I love each other?"
Words, like coins, can be in circulation for such a long time that they start wearing out. Unfortunately, the word love (or, as it is now sometimes spelled, luv) is losing its value and is being used to cover a multitude of meanings.
It is really difficult to understand how a man can use the same word to express his love for his wife as he uses to tell how he feels about baked beans! When words are used that carelessly they really mean little or nothing at all. Like the dollar, they have been devalued.
As John describes the life that is real, he uses three words repeatedly: life, love, and light. In fact, he devotes three sections of his letter to the subject of Christian love. He explains that love, life, and light belong together.
The Christian way of life or walking in the light involves not only fellowship with God and with the brethren (1:5-7), consciousness and confession of sin (1:8-10), obedience by imitation of Christ (2:1-6). Walking in the light also requires love of the brethren. A Christian who is walking in light (in obedience) is going to love his Christian brother (CIT).
I. THE COMMAND TO LOVE, 7-8.
II. THE CONTRAST WITH LIGHT, 9-11. [ABIDING IN THE LIGHT]
The Christian way of life has always been the way of love. In verse 7 John advises us as to its mandate and origin. “Beloved, I am not writing a new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word [logas] which you have heard.
John calls his little children beloved [agapçtoi] because he loves them and is instructing them so that they might grow in the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. His previous instruction was about obedience. His instruction here is about love, the central theme of the Christian life. Love and obedience are inextricably interwoven [2:3-4] because all the commandments of God are summed up in the law of love. In the previous paragraph (1 John 2:3-6), John has been talking about "the commandments" in general, but now he narrows his focus down to one single commandment. The Shema, or the John 3:16 of the Old Testament, is “You shall love the Lord you God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” (Deut. 6:5) was quoted daily because it was the greatest commandment. The Jews coupled it with Leviticus 19:8 which commands us to “love our neighbors as ourselves.” The two together are the authoritative summary of all God’s commandments (Mk. 12:28ff). Jesus said all the commandments are based on these two. Paul say “the whole law” is fulfilled in “you shall love your neighbor as yourself (Gal. 5:14; Rom. 13:8-10).
The commandment “love one another” is the fulfillment of God’s Law. When you love people, you do not lie about them or steal from them, or covet what is theirs. You have no desire to kill them or tell tales about them. Love for God and love for others motivates a person to obey God’s commandments without even thinking about them! When a person acts out of Christian love he obeys God and serve others.
In 1 John 2:7, love is declared the very beginning of the Christian life [or, of creation]. The commandment to love one another is not a footnote to our Christian experience, as though God had an after thought. No! It is in our hearts from the very beginning of our faith in Jesus Christ. If this were not so, John could not have written, “We know that we have passed out of death into life because we love the brethren” (1 John 3:14). Jesus said that “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). It is an imperative to God that His forever family love each other.
[By nature, an unsaved person may be selfish and even hateful. As much as we love a newborn baby, we must confess that the infant is self-centered and thinks the whole world revolves around his crib. That child is typical of an unsaved person. “We ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lust and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another” (Titus 3:3). This un-retouched photo of the unbeliever may not be beautiful, but it is certainly accurate! Some unregenerated person do not display the traits here mentioned, but the works of the flesh (Gal. 5:19-21) are present and prowling in their lives.]