SUMMARY.--The Marvellous Love of the Father. Sons of God Should Be Sinless. Christ Manifested to Remove Sin. Love the Proof that We Abide in God. The Spirit a Proof that We Abide in God.
13-18. We know that we have passed from death unto life, etc. If our hearts are filled with brotherly love this shows that we are God's children; and the opposite is also true. 15. Whosoever hateth . . . is a murderer. Has the germs from which murder springs lurking in his heart. Hatred led Cain to murder; so it does many others who sin likewise. No murderer. It is impossible for a man to have the spirit of murder in him and yet have eternal life. 16. Hereby perceive we the love. The love of God in Christ is meant. His love is shown on the cross. Christ is love. If we love as he loved, we must be willing even to die for each other. 17. But whoso, etc. If this be true, what shall be said of one who refuses to succor his suffering brother with all his goods? 18. Let us love not in word. Our love must not show itself in empty professions.
19-22. Hereby we know, etc. Because our love is active and practical. Assure our hearts. Have a good conscience. 20. For if our heart condemn us. If we have a troubled conscience because we have not kept the law of love, God, who is greater and whose condemnation is a far more serious affair, knoweth all things and seeth our failure in duty. 21. If our heart condemn us not, etc. Then we have a conscience void of offense before God and are assured that he will hear us. 22. And whatsoever we ask. We can then believe that he will hear our prayers because we are keeping his commandments.
23, 24. And this is his commandment. The commandments may be summed up in one, with two parts, viz.: Faith in Jesus Christ, and love of the brethren. 24. He that keepeth his commandments. By keeping them we dwell in him and he in us. See John 14:23 . We know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit. The Spirit that dwells in us is manifest by its fruits. If we bear the fruits of the Spirit in our lives it is proof that Christ dwells in us. If we are led by the Spirit we are the sons of God ( Rom. 8:14 ).