18 Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.19 Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God.20 Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything.
(3:18). John addresses the readers as “little children”. This is an expression of either fatherly love or a statement of their spiritual condition. Apparently John’s readers had a problem with lip service without actual service. The word for “deed” means work or performance. This verse uses the previous verse as a springboard. After telling the readers that if they do not provide for fellow believers, they do not have eternal life. He adds to the command by telling them to show their love rather than talk about it.
(3:19). John reaches a conclusion for the test of providing for fellow believers. It was a test for genuineness, not an act of earning salvation. The word for “know” means to be acquainted with a person, to know or understand. The word for “assure” means to make confident, free from fear or doubt, to depend upon, or have confidence. John uses two words to express that the results of this test are absolute, leaving no room for doubt.
(3:20). John picks up in this verse where the last verse concluded. This was on the ability of the heart to condemn or justify. The heart was an expression used for the mind. In other words, if an object whose ability of right and wrong has been greatly diminished condemns us, we can be sure that God who is able to discern all truth.
- What specific action can you show your love to your family, friends and co-workers today?