“Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him.2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments.” (I John 5:1-2)
One of the ways to accurately study, interpret, teach the Bible is by reading observantly. Believers in Christ must observe the genre of literature they are reading, the figures of speech such as similes and metaphors, along with any cause and effect statements.
The Epistle of I John contains many cause and effect statements. Today’s text is one example. I John 5:1-2 contains three cause and effect statements declaring God’s truth.
First, the Apostle John writes that, “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God.” We know that according to John 3:1-3, the ability to believe originates from a prior work by the Holy Spirit called regeneration. In fact, regeneration precedes faith. This is what John is saying. The person who trusts in, commits to, depends upon and honors and worships Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord has been born of God. The ability to believe is preceded by the new birth.
Second, John says that, “Everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him.” The believer’s love for God the Father will have a resulting love for others who also have been born of God. Our love for God results in our love for other believers.
Finally, the apostle writes, “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments.” Loving God and obeying His commandments results in a knowledge and understanding that we truly love the people of God.
Dr. John MacArthur writes, “The object of the believer’s faith is Jesus, particularly that he is the promised Messiah or “Anointed One” whom God sent to be the Savior from sin. Whoever places faith in Jesus Christ as the only Savior has been born again and, as a result, is an overcomer (v. 5). This is a reference to the new birth and is the same word that Jesus used in John 3:7. The tense of the Greek verb indicates that ongoing faith is the result of the new birth and, therefore, the evidence of the new birth. The sons of God will manifest the reality that they have been born again by continuing to believe in God’s Son, the Savior. The new birth brings us into a permanent faith relationship with God and Christ.”
Faith, love and obedience form a trilogy which describes the believer in Christ as an overcomer. Faith, love and obedience mutually exist. The genuine proof of love is obedience. The genuine proof of faith is love. (cf. John 8:31–32; 14:15, 21; 15:10).
May each of us who are believers in Christ resolve today to be people of faith, love and obedience.
May the Lord’s truth and grace be found here.
Soli deo Gloria!