“Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him.”
The next two phrases put belief and love in close connection. Divine life inevitably manifests itself in love for the family of God.
and everyone who loves Him who begot
Genuine love for God stimulates certain responses to His commandments. If a person loves God, he will love God’s children (4:20,21). The believer loves the Lord and His family because the Lord provides regeneration for him.
also loves him who is begotten of Him
Christians should love God’s family members, the family of God. Everyone who believes in the incarnation is a child of God. Every believer in the incarnation loves God and everyone who loves God loves the family of God. If God loves the believer, other believers should love that believer because he is in the family of God. You cannot love one without the other. If you love the parent, you love the child. Loving other Christians is evidence of the new birth. Every child of God is entitled to our love because he is birthed into God’s family. He is God’s visible representative on earth.
Like attracts like in the family of God.
Like attracts like. Love starts in the family of God. If we tell a mother that we do not like her kids, we will have a problem with that mother. Love for the mother and love for the kids are a package deal. We cannot separate belief and love. One is the source of the other.
If we wish to show love to God, we should show it to God’s visible agent, the child of God, a constituent member of His family. The reason why a fellow Christian is worthy of our love is that he possesses distinguishing features of the family of God, features that the non-Christian does not have.
Love for God shows itself in active love for the family of God, not just emotional love for them. We love other Christians best when we respond to God’s love and command to love. Love for God and God’s children is essentially obedience to God’s commands. It is not so much how we feel about God and other believers but how we choose to relate to them.
The Lord Jesus Christ is the common ground for all Christians. Race, place and face are a distant second to Him. It is very simple to test our love for God. How committed are we to fully apply His principles to our lives? That is the measure of our love. Fellowship with God carries power with it.
The person who puts his trust in Jesus Christ yields himself to God’s principles and standards for life. He receives direction for life from his Parent. Operating out of the identity of the dignity of his spiritual family, he loves members of the family of God.