“We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.” (1 John 3:14).
Death Unto Life
It really cannot be spelled out any simpler than that. What John says makes it very clear. We know, we intellectually understand and comprehend that our being, our very essence has gone from death to eternal life because we have a Godly love for the brethren. Now that Godly love first and foremost means we love God with all of our heart, mind, spirit, soul, being and strength. And it is this love for God and all the attributes that go with it that we apply to our fellow man. We don’t just “love” someone because we are children of God. We apply our love for God towards other people. This enables us to act graciously and patiently towards all men, whether they deserve it or not or whether we even like them or not.
God’s love is not predicated on our love towards man but rather our love for God. When you love God you will love God’s children. But if you “love” man first, you probably don’t have room for God. This type of love differs from Godly love. Love of man and love for man is based on worldly passions and lusts. Nothing could be further from God.
A Godly love is rooted and founded in our Lord and Savior and is based on truth, righteousness, love, peace, joy, patience and forbearance.
Man’s love takes what it can get. God’s love is an endless stream of giving. Man’s love is death. God’s love is eternal life.
“Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” (1 John 3:15)
It is impossible to hate your brother if you are in Christ and Christ is in you. Let’s reverse engineer this. Does your fellow man aggravate you? Do you find that minimal contact with people is the best contact with people? Do you feel people are bad in general and the best thing to do is to avoid them? Then you can’t have the love of God in you.
To love God is an intersection not a two way street. The cross proves this point. Notice how the cross has an up and down direction? That’s your relationship with God. The cross also has a left and right direction. That’s your outreach towards God’s other children. The intersection of the cross is where all three meet together.
If you just love God then there is no outreach to other people. And it’s impossible to truly love other people without first establishing the main post in the ground.
We have passed from death unto life because of our love for God and our outreach to other people. We apply God’s attributes unto those we come in contact with. We are children of God and we are supposed to act like it.
“And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.” (1 John 3:23-24)
We have passed from death unto life