If we are honest with ourselves, we know that it is very difficult to love one another. Yet, in the books of 1 John, John reiterates the importance of each of us, being born again, to love one another. It is difficult in that we need to remind ourselves that salvation is the work of God and God alone, and that it is a gift that we are to receive. It is about trusting in God and not in the flesh.
When we love one another, it is a work of the living God (Matthew 16:15-17). Everyone who believes this is born of God, and believes in Jesus Christ (1 John 5:1). Your love for God should extend to the children of God, our family, namely, the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12-13). We know we love God because we love one another, and we are also attentive to what God would have us to do in loving Him (1 John 5:2-3). Loving one another, often times, means putting aside differences and recognizing the good and the bad within interpersonal relationships. Love, being from God, helps us to overcome all of these things that may occur. Forgiveness, for example, is born out of love.
To love God means that we are to keep His commands (Psalm 19:7-11, 119:45; 1 Corinthians 7:19). When we follow God’s commands, no matter what they are, we are trusting the Lord and believing that we can overcome what our eyes may see and our ears may hear in those difficult circumstances. As you follow through with God’s Word, you may not see how it is working in the beginning, but He eventually gives you the understanding that gives you the confidence to continue to work through Him and have greater faith and trust in Him and His Word. Keeping God’s commands is what really matters (Ecclesiastes 12:13).
All who are born again overcome the world (1 John 5:4). We do this by our faith in Jesus Christ (1 John 5:5). It is our relationship with God through Jesus Christ that allows us to continually overcome what comes against you (John 16:33; 1 Corinthians 15:57; 2 Corinthians 2:14). As you believe in Jesus Christ, you are victorious over whatever the world has to offer. He will continue to bless you and respond to your prayers and petitions in your obedience to Him. We need to keep in mind that it is not our efforts, but God’s efforts, that lead us into battle against the world. There is a mighty testimony to those who don’t know the Lord in that they see your actions and behavior as you go through difficulty because they know that you follow Jesus Christ.
“Jesus Christ–He is the One who came by water and blood; not by water only, but by water and by blood. And the Spirit is the One who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the Spirit, the water, and the blood–and these three are in agreement” (1 John 5:6-8). The visible testimonies of Christ were his water baptism (John 1:31-33) and by His shed blood. Jesus dealt with the sins of men and carrying its burden. The priest washed himself before entering the temple or into ministry. Jesus steps into the sinner’s place, and takes on the burden of sin as if it were His own as a sacrifice (Romans 3:25; Hebrews 2:17; 1 John 2:2, 4:10). Of the three things that give testimony, the Holy Spirit is the living witness and testimony in all who follow Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:20, 3:16; Romans 1:4; John 14:17). The real testimony is in the heart of the believer, because the Holy Spirit dwells within the believer and is prominent in the life of the believer in Jesus Christ (1 John 5:9-12). Man has given testimony of who Christ is (John 19:35, 20:30-31), but even with those testimonies and the good news, the testimony of the Holy Spirit of the presence of salvation that you have through the belief in Jesus Christ is even greater. The real testimony comes from the heart…a changed heart from where you once were because of your faith and trust in Christ (1 John 5:10-11; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 8:15-16).
Eternal life is revealed in the person who loves Christ (2 Timothy 1:12; Galatians 2:20). The unbelievers, in contrast, who call God a liar has the truth directly in front of them (2 Corinthians 3:2-3). “Therefore I am informing you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, ‘Jesus is cursed,’ and no one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:3). No one can truthfully declare that Jesus Christ is the head of his or her life without the presence of the Holy Spirit.