“This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.”
The blessed circular logic of verses 5 and 6 shows how love and the application of truth to experience are vitally tied together.
Applying God’s principle to experience produces love (v. 5)
Love, in turn, produces the application of truth to experience (v. 6a)
Application of God’s Word to experience produces love (v. 6b)
This is love,
To allay any doubt about the nature of Christian love, John declares that love is, in essence, applying God’s Word to experience. Love consists in appropriating God’s Word to experience. Love finds its manifestation in responding to God’s will.
1 Jn 5::2-3, “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.”
that we walk according to His commandments.
We love other Christians the best when we do God’s will. John interprets love and the application of truth to experience in terms of their reciprocal relationship with each other.
Jn 14:15, 21, “If you love Me, keep My commandments…. 21 “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”
Jn 15:10-12, “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. 12 “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”
Incomplete response to God’s will is derived from incomplete love for God.
Love outside the standards of God’s will and Word can sink into sentimentality. A believer who truly loves God walks “in the truth” (v. 4). Conformity to truth is proof that we love the Lord.
Joshua 1:8, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”
Jn 13:17, “If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.”
Jas 1:22, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”
Don’t believe in love at first sight – at least take a second glance! Shakespeare said, “Love reasons without reason.” That is the opposite of what God says. God says that love always contains content.
Love makes obedience light. Divine love, on the believer’s part, bestows a benefit on the object of his redemption – the Lord Jesus. Keeping God’s will out of a sense of duty and little love for God is not true love. True love is a response to God from the heart.