“Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
we also ought [to be indebted] to love one another
An onus falls on those who are the recipients of God’s love. How can a Christian not love someone God loves? God’s love is a motivation for love of fellow Christians. It is incumbent upon us to love as Jesus loved. None of us has gone to the extent of the cross for others. The very nature of the cross is selflessness. If God loved us without our loving Him, then we ought to love others without their loving us.
The word “ought” is a contraction of two English words: owes it. We owe love to fellow Christians for God’s sake and for the sake of His love for us. We ought to serve them and minister to them. There is no question that the believer falls under a moral obligation to love fellow Christians. This is the third time we have met this word “ought.”
2: 6 “He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.”
3: 16 “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”
If God loved us without our loving Him, then we ought to love others without their loving us.
Every Christian is under a divine and moral obligation to love other Christians. This is not manufacturing emotions by operation bootstraps but an attitude of grace that shows itself by extending an act of grace to another Christian. You forgive their wrong against you. You extend a helping hand in the face of their wrong against you.
Ro 13: 8 “Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.”
The word “ought” suggests the idea of duty. Some Christians think that the principle of grace does not put someone under any obligations at all. This is error. Response to grace catalyzes Christians to do what they ought to do such as love fellow Christians.
Ro 1: 14 “I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise.”