“It’s All About the Love”
By Melissa Sanderson-Brown
a tribosblog.org contributor
God is love (1 John 4:8) and His love for us was manifestly displayed in the life of Christ Jesus who came to us and ultimately set the perfect example of how to love. As followers of Christ, we are to emulate Him in our own lives and be salt and light to the world. (Matthew 5:13-16) In this lesson, we’ll look at what 1 John 2:7-9 has to say on this topic and gain a deeper understanding of it by the light of God’s Word.
In 1 John 2:7-9 we read, “Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning. Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth. He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.”
Here, John is letting the Christians know this commandment of love he has been talking about, is nothing new. It has been around since the beginning of Christianity. He is not adding to them another command but reemphasizing the old command of loving one another. But technically the command to love has roots in the Old Testament law as well.
So basically John is saying that this is new but not new. Christ just really preached love in case they missed it somehow.
In vs. 8, the darkness vs light is a great contrast between confusion and no understanding of God’s revelation and God’s great revelation in which believers can have fellowship and understand God’s revelations! This is vastly different and we can see it still today. There are those in the darkness who just can not wrap their minds around things of God, but it is because they do not have the light of God with them.
In verse 9, John is making it clear that when you are in the light, you will no longer hate your brother. To walk in this light is to live out the life of God. There is a special intimacy with God. The evidence of this light of God is reflected by developing good Christian character by confession and the command of love.
In closing, the overarching message of this lesson is that the God of love is without change, but He has taken humanity to a new level regarding love and light. The old messages regarding love were enveloped with some rather bitter precepts making them hard to fully understand. With the advent the Gospel and New Testament economy, we have a greater revelation of what was always expected of us. We are to love God and our neighbors, love our enemies and love our brethren as Jesus loved us. (Matthew 22:37,John 13:34, 1 John 4:21)