Today I just want to clarify this overly misunderstood verse. This verse is so misunderstood that those that still insist on obtaining righteousness through the law, are using it to convince everyone that they are correct in ignoring the grace of God and choosing to be saved through the works of the law.
I think before we get to the verse in question. I just want to clarify that, we as Gentiles are under a new covenant. This is the covenant that came by the death of Jesus on the cross. We as Gentiles, were brought near by his blood. This is what God said about the new covenant that came by Jesus.
Jeremiah 31:33-34 (ESVST)
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘ Know the Lord, ’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
The above is the definition the new covenant and as you can see, there is nothing in it, that requires us to do anything to be God’s people. In this covenant, God does everything. In summary, this is the new covenant:
1) God puts his laws in us
2) God writes his laws in our hearts
3) God becomes our God
4) God makes us his people
5) God makes us know him
6) God will forgive our sins and remember them no more
It is all about what God will do for us and not what we will do for God. The new covenant is not dependent on what we do or don’t do.
Now having this in mind, look at the verses below:
1 John 5:1-3 (ESVST)
1 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. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.
Verse 1 is straight forward, if you believe that Jesus is the Christ, you have been born of God. If you love God, you love anyone who is born of God. This means if you are born of God and love him, you will also love others who are equally born of God as well. Simply, if you believe, you must love others who believe as well.
Verse 2 answered this question “How do we know that we love other believers who are born of God?”
Remember that verse 1 says we must love other believers. If you are born of God, then you are a child of God. So, how do we know that we love other children of God like we are? The answer is in verse 2 and says: We know that we love other believers or others who are also born of God or other children of God when:
1) We love God
2) We obey God’s commandments
So, if we do these two things, then we love other believers.
Verse 3 answers this question”How do we love God?”. The answer in verse 3 says, we love God when we keep his commandments.
In summary of these 3 verses:
Verse 1: if you believe in Jesus, love God and love other believers
Verse 2: this is how you love others
Verse 3: this is how you love God
John 13:34 (ESVST)
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.
Now, my dear brothers and sisters, these 3 verses DO NOT SAY, GOD WILL LOVE YOU ONLY IF YOU OBEY OR KEEP HIS COMMANDMENT. Lots of people are being misled into thinking that if they do not obey God’s commandments, God will not love them. THIS IS NOT TRUE. Remember that the new covenant has nothing to do with what we do or don’t do.
Here is another scripture that those under the law or as they call themselves, the legalist, uses to convince others of their case
1 John 2:3-6 (ESVST)
And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, 5 but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him:6 whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
Just looking at verse 3, “And by this we know that we have come to know him“, this statement has nothing to do with God doing anything. This statement has everything to do with what WE do. WE know that WE have come to know HIM, how?, if WE keep HIS commandments. This verse does not say, HE knows us if WE keep his commandments. It simply does not say that.
Verse 4 says, you cannot say that you know God, if you don’t keep his commandments. This verse says if you say you know God but does not keep his commandments, you are a liar. Again this verse does not say, God knows you, if you keep his commandments.
Verse 5 says whoever keeps God’s commandments then truly, that person Loves God. This verse doesn’t say the love of God for us is perfected if we keep his commandments. I don’t know how people can read this verse in such a way that, to them it means, they must keep God’s commandments, for God to love them. This is simply wrong.
God loved us while we were sinners, how much more when we are now his children. God loved us while we were completely rebellious and sinning and disobedient. God loved us as we were. What makes these people believe that, now that we are no longer continually sinning or disobedient or rebellious that, God will suddenly stop loving us because we don’t keep his commandments? It does not make sense, that is exactly what we were doing when we were sinners and God loved us anyway. We were not keeping God commandments when we were sinners and God loved us anyway, why would he stop now.
Romans 5:8 (ESVST)
but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 8:38-39 (ESVST)
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Remember, I merely provide you with the information. How you choose to use the information, remains your choice.
God bless this message and bless those that have read it, in Jesus name, amen