Christian’s are often labelled by our world as hypocrites, people who say one thing but do another, and unfortunately, there is sometimes truth in the label. We are not perfect people, we are sinners, yet we seek to live as Jesus did and model his love to the world. This passage simultaneously reminds us that while we are sinners for whom Jesus is the atoning sacrifice (v1-2) we are also strongly called to live out our faith in obedience to God’s commands and demonstrated in our love for one another (v3-11). We don’t always get it right and for that, we have grace offered to us in Christ, but we are called to keep modelling our lives on Christ.
Verse 3 suggests that “we know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands.” Our relationship with God is seen in our actions, particularly in our obedience to his commands. Jesus taught us that the greatest commandments were to love the Lord with all your heart and to love your neighbour as yourself. If we claim to be in a relationship with Christ, but our actions don’t demonstrate it, this passage calls us “liars” (v4) and “still in the darkness” (v9). We can’t hate others yet claim to follow Jesus who called us to love. We must seek to live out our faith in obedience to his commands.
We are reminded in the final section of today’s passage that we have been forgiven, and because of our relationship with God we have overcome the evil one, and God’s word lives in us (v12-14). In this struggle, the power is on our side. Grace is offered through Jesus, the Spirit is our Advocate, and we know the love of the Father.
“The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever” (v17). Let us persist in seeking to model our lives on Christ, demonstrating his love to the world, and seeking to do his will each day, even if we don’t always get it right.
Today, how will demonstrate today that you know, love and serve God through all you do?