The way we came to know love was that he laid down his life for us; so we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. 1 John 3:16 NABRE
The author of the First Letter of John is writing to a community he formed, possibly Gentiles who came to faith, to bolster them after a group split off. The separatist believe in Jesus but not that He was actually human, rather He only appeared to be human. John is encouraging those who remain in community to live a righteous life and not to be distracted by those who have separated themselves. In the section containing the quoted verse John speaks about genuine love, in particular that we must love our brother and sister, those in our community, fellow believers. John says if we do not love them we remain in death, we do not receive eternal life. Those who have the means but do not help a brother or sister do not have the love of God in them. John tells us we are not the author of love, we have come to learn it from Jesus who laid down His life out of love. If Jesus gave His life out of love for us than we should give our life for our brothers and sisters. We don’t get a pass when it comes to fellow disciples, we must love not in word but in deed. If our deeds don’t demonstrate love, then we are not disciples. Jesus is the example of love we must mimic, it is not easy, but Jesus never takes an easy course Himself.
We can treat those in the world but not in the Christian community differently than those who are Christian. We must be compassionate if we are able toward those who are our brother or sister in
Christ. Those in the world not Christian we are challenged to love so they may see our love and want to become our sibling. But it is much worse for us to not love our brother or sister.
Do you love and know your brother and sister in Christ? Do you love them in deed?We can treat those in the world but not in the Christian community differently than those who are Christian. We must be compassionate if we are able toward those who are our brother or sister in Christ. Click To Tweet
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