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Read Introduction to 1 John


“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.”



The “and” links the conduct of love to the belief upon which it is founded.  Right living grows out of right belief and right thinking in relation to the Son.  One is impossible without the other. 

love one another,

Love is the necessary effect of dynamic faith (Ja 2:17).  Loving the family of God is important because it is “His commandment.”  A condition for answered prayer (previous verse) depends on loving fellow believers.  We count on the authority of Christ for this.  Faith in Christ is perpendicular, whereas love for the saints is horizontal and visible.  We prove our faith by love for the saints. 

Co 3:14, “But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.”

as He gave us commandment

Correspondence between Jesus’ command and our love is equivalent to loving in “deed and truth” (3:18).  Jesus linked the ideas of trust in Him and loving each other. 

God gave us “commandment,” not advice, that we combine belief and love.  These two dynamics follow in sequence.  They are no good if detached.  We must take both of them. 


Belief is not valid if it is detached from love. 


Belief and love are equally balanced and essential to a walk with God.  We cannot detach one from the other without violating one or the other.  The filling of the Holy Spirit or fellowship with God depends on both belief and love.  We cannot have fellowship with God without having both.  One depends on the other. 

The irreducible minimum of the Christian walk is belief and love.  This is the fulcrum of our faith.  These two dynamics reflect the essence of the Christian faith.  Belief is the apparatus by which we respond to God.  Love is how we relate to believers.  We cannot separate the two.  We need both the vertical and the horizontal. 

The onus for deciding to believe and love is on us. God will never jump through our will to decide for us.  When we decide to do His will, He then moves in the power of the Holy Spirit through us.