Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart:
1 John 2:3-6 (NIV)
Love and Hatred for Fellow Believers
3 We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. 4 Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.
Today’s passage prepares us for tomorrow’s sermon, which will look at 1 John 2:7-17. John is introducing a new subject, explaining how when we know Christ, we are not only forgiven of our sins, but our hearts are changed, so we begin to keep God’s commands. Verse 5 says “the love of God is made complete” in us. In verse 6 John calls this “living as Jesus lived.” (Some translations read “walking as Jesus walked.”) In Jesus’ time, this would have been called “following the Rabbi.” To follow a rabbi meant to go everywhere a rabbi went, and imitate the rabbi in everything you did. If the rabbi served the poor, you served the poor. If the rabbi prayed, you prayed. If the rabbi forgave his enemies, you did the same. It is like when a young person falls in love, and wants to follow his beloved everywhere, and do whatever his beloved is doing. Pray that the Spirit renews your ‘amazement’ at Jesus’ love for you, and let that amazement lead you to ‘follow Jesus your Rabbi’ in everything you do.