If we love our Christian brothers and sisters, it proves that we have passed from death to life. But a person who has no love is still dead. Anyone who hates another brother or sister is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers don’t have eternal life within them. 1 John 3:14-15
(3:14). In this first verse John lays out the first test of spiritual growth. This test is if we love others. John uses a statement that reveals a total contrast for being a Christ follower. The phrase is, “passing from death to life”. This is a total and absolute change from separation from God to eternal life. The perfect tense is used here to signify that we remain in life once we have passed from death. In other words, there is not a constant movement from one to the other. John goes on further to say that he who does not love his brother still abides in death.
(3:15). John further elaborates on what the neglect of the command in verse one actually is. He equates hate with murder. Why is this? The scriptures tell us that God desires truth in the inward parts. At the time of the writing of this letter, there were those who taught that one could live in sin and still be a believer. Others taught that one only had to keep the letter of the law and not the spirit. In other words, it was wrong for you to kill someone but hating that person within your own heart and mind was permissible. This is why John says that one who hates and one who kills are equally guilty in the eyes of God.
- Find a way today to encourage other friends in their faith.
- Ask God to reveal any hate that is in your heart. Ask Him to help you release the hate and replace it with love.