And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ and to love one another as he commanded us. Those who obey his commands live in him and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us. We know it by the Spirit he gave us.
1 John 3.23-24
We concluded yesterday with the incredible promise that if we ‘obey his commands and do what pleases him’ we will receive anything we ask and our verses this morning spell out the commands, and we know that obedience is what pleases him.
So such blessings are simply available to us as the commandment is simple ‘Believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ and love one another’. ‘Simples’ as the Meerkat ads on television put it! But is it?
At a surface level that is how it seems. After all ‘believing in the name of Jesus ‘ is surely straight forward until we begin to unpack what those six simple words imply, something which we will do in future blogs for in them is life or death. Further we have probed a little into the challenges of ‘loving one another’ and have realised that we all fall short.
But the chapter ends with a truth that gives us confidence from outside ourselves namely, the Spirit God has given us. It is the gift of the Spirit that enables us to know that he lives in us.
I wonder if we find the costly serving love outlined in these verses we have been meditating on this week, too high a standard and feel we simply cannot attain to it.
Then the last words of the section give us glorious hope. These things are possible
By the Spirit he has given us!
We must open ourselves to his working in our lives so that we produce his fruit.
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Galatians 5.22
These are lacking in the world as Paul shows the fruits of the sinful nature in v.19-21
The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.
If that describes the world it is surely no surprise that those who display the fruits of the Spirit are hated. For they are a sure sign that Jesus lives in us.
Let us never forget that as believers we have all these evidences and the witness of the Spirit, that he lives in us and that we are in him.
May each of our lives proclaim that relationship today.