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Read Introduction to 1 John


“Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you.”


Do not marvel,

Christians should not be surprised that the satanic world system hates their view of grace.  If Cain killed his brother Abel over grace, it should not cause wonderment that the world hates Christians for their stand on grace. 

The Greek indicates that John’s readers were already in the process of marveling over the reaction against their message, “Stop marveling over the world’s hatred of grace.” 

my brethren,

John takes up a new mode of address with the words “my brethren.”  This is the only place where John calls his readers “brethren.”  John identifies himself as a brother with them in being attacked for his stand on grace found only in Jesus Christ. 

if the world hates you

The world always hates the grace means of salvation and sanctification (He 11:36-40).  Salvation by grace is inherently inimical to the non-Christian.  Those spiritually dead always hate those spiritually alive. 


The world hates the message of grace because it shows them that they are sinners and need salvation. 


No Christian should be surprised that the world reacts negatively to the gospel of grace.  The gospel is revolutionary, for it changes the very nature of the person.  A Christian receives a new nature at the point of salvation.  This sets him apart from the world system.  The world will hate him for this. 

Non-Christians will always instinctively hate the Christian who makes an issue out of grace in Christ.  Grace always flies in the face of works.  There can be no compromise of grace plus works either because grace and works are mutually exclusive. 

Ro 11:6, “And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.”

The loose living Alcibiades said to Socrates, “Socrates, I hate you, because every time I meet you, you show me what I am.”  Grace always shows the sinner that he needs salvation by grace. 

Aristides was condemned to death in Athens.  When someone asked a juryman why he cast his vote against such a just man, he replied that he was tired of hearing Aristides being called “the just.”  The world hates a mutually exclusive message, a message of authority, a message of grace.