I John

I John 3:16-24 Love In Deed And Truth.

The main expression of agapev love was Jesus laying “down His life for us” (v. 16a Cf. Jn. 10:11). This is also the example we are to follow-“to lay down our lives for the brethren (v. 16b Cf. Jn. 15:13). However, John gives a more likely example of this love, and that is sharing one’s wealth with those in need (v. 17 Cf. Mt 5:42; Gal. 2:10). This also hearkens back to the law (Dt. 15:7-8; 24:12-14), including lending without interest (Cf. Lev. 25:35-37). Talk is not enough (v. 18a Cf. Ez. 33:30-33). Actually giving aid gives expression to the truth of one’s desire to help, and this also gives us a basis for our assurance that we do indeed abide in Him and He in us (vv. 18b-19). In the bible the heart refers to our core, and in the majority of cases it refers to the core of our thinking. This is why John focuses on the knowledge we and God have of our hearts (v. 20).

As Paul also noted, we do not always know what is in our own hearts, or some do not want to know, but God does know (Cf. I Cor. 4:4-5). Therefore it is important that we examine our hearts in the light of the scriptures, that we might purify our hearts before Him, only then can “we have confidence toward God” (v. 21 Cf. 2:28).Only with this confidence can we be assured that we will receive that which we ask of God in prayer, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight” (v. 22 Cf. 5:14). John then reiterates the two main things he has been emphasizing from the start of this letter-that Jesus is the Christ who has come in the flesh, and we must love one another (v. 23). We know that we abide in Him and He, the Father, and the Spirit in us, if we show our love by keeping His commandments (v. 24 Cf. Jn. 14:19-24; 17:21).

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