John here reminds us of something we
easily forget. To love one another in the Lord. Not the love the
world calls love but the pure undefiled love that the Holy Spirit
sheds abroad in our hearts. We can build up this love or reject this
love. We can allow ourselves to yield to the love the Holy Spirit
places within us after we have received Jesus Christ into our lives.
We have the power to choose whether to allow a spirit of bitterness
and hate to overcome us or to yield to the Holy Spirit God gives to
us at our conversion.
Here we see plainly that there is a God
who is the Father and there is a Son who is the Lord Jesus Christ.
Both are deity and both are God. To deny the deity of the Son is to
deny one's salvation. Unless we believe in Jesus, we can't be saved.
To believe in Him is to believe who He is and where He came from and
where He returned. Since we know that Jesus died, we must believe
that He also was raised from the dead and is now at the right hand
of the Father.
This would be a trait of all godly ministers of the gospel. They would rejoice to see believers walking in truth and would be grieved to see anyone lost or going into apostasy. This rejoicing would be present even if those walking in truth would not benefit the minister in any way.
I wonder if the reason John emphasized this commandment to love so much was that he saw what was to happen in just a few years after the death of the apostles. Perhaps he saw the future where those that claimed to be the true church began to persecute those that didn't go alone with changes that were commandments of men instead of commandments of God. Perhaps this change started in Ephesus, the church Jesus warned about that had lost its first love. Those that walk in love and in truth will keep the commandments of Jesus that are all through the New Testament.
False religions do not acknowledge that
Jesus is the Son of God who came from heaven to become a man born of
woman. They do not acknowledge that a person has to receive into
their inner being, the spirit of God that causes one to be born
again. There is a difference in being converted to a religion and
being born again by the Holy Spirit. A big difference. One is where
you change from a lost sinner to one lost in a religion of works or
bondage and the other is where you change from a lost sinner to a
saint of God with the kingdom of God dwelling within you.
If we continually live in sin and break the commandments on purpose without ever repenting or turning from sin, we do not know God. If we know God, we will abide in the doctrine of Christ and both the Father and the Son is within us. The Holy Spirit will convict us if we sin. We should immediately desire to make it right with God. If we ignore the Holy Spirit's prompting, we eventually will become hardened to Him and we will become as one who has never been saved.
If any come to our homes to purposely bring us false doctrine we are not to invite them in or wish them God's blessing. We can be kind but we either warn them that they are not of the truth or we turn them away from our door.
If we have a neighbor that does not believe the truth and believes a false doctrine, we can invite them in our homes for tea or other reasons but not to allow them to promote their false doctrine. Its only if they bring false doctrine that we do not invite them into our homes.
If we say, "God bless you, " to one that teaches falsely, we are agreeing with their doctrine. We should say, "May God open your eyes to the truth." Never is this an excuse to be unkind or physically harm anyone. We must use Jesus as an example of how to deal with unbelievers.
So we see from John's writings that he
emphasizes love but it is clear also that he does not want us to
love false doctrine and put up with false doctrine. True doctrine
though must be proven by the words of Jesus and not church tradition
or doctrines of men. It must be clearly from the word. Most
persecution that occurred during the middle ages was from those that
wanted to stop the truth of the word from returning to the church
and upsetting their control over people. It was not usually against
true heretics that were against the word. Christ never gave us
permission to use cruelty or physical harm any way.
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