“2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.” (I John 5:2-3)
Loving God, obeying and keeping His commandments is central to the Apostle’s John’s theology. In fact, John repeats this phrase in these two verses.
To obey (ποιῶμεν; poiomen) means to practice and to perform. Believers are to presently and actively practice and perform God’s commandments in their daily lives.
To keep (τηρῶμεν; teromen) also means to obey. However, to keep carries the idea of guarding. Within this context, the believer in Christ is to presently and actively guard God’s commandments in their life.
To obey God’s commandments is an evidence that we love not only God but also the children of God. Additionally, the love we have from God is further realized when we guard His commandments.
John additionally states that God’s commandments are not burdensome (βαρεῖαι; bareiai). For something to be burdensome means that it is difficult, hard and severe. God’s commandments are not so.
Dr. John Walvoord says, “Thus the apostle, by this series of statements, reduces love for God and one’s fellow Christians to its fundamental character. A person who obeys God’s commands is doing what is right, both toward God and toward his fellow believers and is thus loving both God and them. But it must be remembered that this includes the willingness to sacrifice for one’s brother (cf. 3:16–17).”
John repeats this fundamental truth because it is so often forgotten. Let us resolve to commit to obeying and keeping God’s commandments.
May the Lord’s truth and grace be found here.
Soli deo Gloria!