How can John say that love is a mark of believers and hate is a mark of non-believers when we know believers who struggle with hate and non-believers who genuinely love others?
“God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all.” Therefore, genuine believers will:
- 1 John 1:5-10 – know that they are sinful
- 1 John 2:1-11 – long for holiness
- 1 John 2:12-17 – not hunger for things of this world
- 1 John 2:18-29 – confess that Jesus is the Christ
- 1 John3:13-24 – show self-sacrificing love for others
- Cain murdered Abel because Abel trusted God and the darkness hates the light.
- Compare with John 15:18-20
- Compare with Luke 10:16.
- Compare with Matthew 5:20-22
- Jesus claims that we all fall short. John says everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. How do we reconcile those two statements?
- No one who lives in rebellion to God is saved.
- “passed out of death into life” — no longer controlled by death the way we used to be controlled by it as slaves to sin and death.
- Loving others is a mark of saving faith. Loving others is not something we do left to ourselves. It’s part of the gift of saving faith.
- How is love a mark of a Christian in a way that it is not in a non-Christian? A sign of a genuine Christian is the desire to love not only those who love you, but those who do not love you
- What about Jesus are we to emulate (1 John 3:16)? We are to emulate Christ’s willingness to give up His own rights for the sake of another.
- The hate which is a mark of unbelief is a hate the results from a lifestyle of rebellion to God
- The love which is a mark of belief is a love which is not self-centered, and which seeks to love the unlovable regardless of the return.
- Your heart — your feelings, emotional perceptions, subjective conclusions — is not a valid indicator of your spiritual status.
- Even YOU can’t condemn yourself if God has forgiven you. And if EVEN YOU cannot condemn yourself, then you can have confidence before God.
- The objective standard is: Do you accept or reject Jesus’ claim to be the Messiah?
- “whatever we ask we receive” – this is not a blank check. The context is our status as children of God. We can have confidence that our request for grace and forgiveness and a place in the kingdom of God will be granted.