Holy spirit guide us as we journey in life, and draw closer to you. Let us know your truth and live from the love you pour out on us.
In today’s passage we are challenged to test the spirits. v2 ‘Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God.’ Those who deny his incarnation into this world, are not from God. It is clear in scripture that some will acknowledge him and others will not. We are to be wary of those who do not acknowledge him, but not fear them. Rather we are to be encouraged. v4 ‘You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.’ The Holy Spirit indwelling in us is greater than the spirits of this world.
Therefore, the author implores us once again to love one another. v11 ‘Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.’ God is love. v18 ‘There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.’
Colin Kruse, a theologian in this area, expresses it this way, “Perfection in love here involves a love of God which is based upon our sense of God’s love for us, and this relationship is what removes our fears as we face the day of judgement.” We need not fear punishment because of what Jesus has done on the cross and we need not fear the spirits in this world for the Spirit indwelling within us is greater than those in the world.
Therefore, we are free to love one another. Wholly, completely, not out of our own need, but out of the love God has poured out on us. Verse 21, ‘And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love one another.’ Who will you demonstrate God’s love to today? How will your life be based on love, not fear today?