Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments.
1 John 5:1-2 (ESV)
We cannot begin to truly love others until we have been born of God. We can love others in a worldly sense, but true love is reserved for those who have been born of God. Those who are born of God truly believe that Jesus is the Christ.
To believe that Jesus is the Christ is to believe that he is the anointed of God, the Savior of all those who put faith in him. It is not just a mental acknowledgement, but also a belief that causes a change of behavior; it is a relying on, trusting (having faith) in and clinging to Jesus. It is making Jesus our treasure. Believing in Christ in this manner is proof that we have been born of God. Unless God gives us new birth we could never put our faith in Christ.
We can only love God because he first loved us (1 John 4:19). When we love God we will love others who have been born of God in the same manner as us. In fact loving others is evidence that we have been born of God and know (have relationship with) God. John wrote, Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:7-8 ESV)
How do we know that we love God? We keep his commandments (John 14:15; 1 John 5:3). When we keep God’s commandments we can know that we love the children of God because God has commanded us to love them. Jesus said, A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. (John 13:34 ESV) This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. (John 15:12 ESV)
A scribe asked Jesus, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31 ESV)
Truly loving our brothers and our neighbors as ourselves is only possible if we love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. Obeying the second commandment is the evidence that we have obeyed the first. We know we love others by loving God and keeping God’s commandments. We also know whose child we are by our love for the brothers. John wrote, By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. (1 John 3:10 ESV)
Do you prove your love for God and others by keeping God’s commandments? Whose child are you?
Scriptures for meditation:
2 Corinthians 5:17
1 John 4:20