Daily Devotional Wednesday 22nd July 2020

by William Moody

1 John 3:11–18

Love One Another

11 For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 12 We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. 13 Do not be surprised, brothers,1 that the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. 15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.


[1] 3:13 Or brothers and sisters. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, the plural Greek word adelphoi (translated “brothers”) may refer either to brothers or to brothers and sisters; also verses 14, 16


Love has to run through every part of the Christian life (v11).  John has previously spoken of the necessity of love in the context of light and darkness (2 v7-11). This teaching is based on Jesus’ words in the Upper Room (John 13 v34-35) and Old Testament passages (Deuteronomy 6 v5; Leviticus 19 v18).

Cain is used as an example of hatred (v12-15). He killed his brother because his heart was evil and jealous of his righteous brother (v12). Hatred is a mark of a world that hates Christ and righteousness (v13) and a mark of remaining in spiritual death; love is the mark of having passed into eternal life (v14-15).

Jesus is given as an example of love (v16-18). The reason love must be such a vital part of the Christian life is that love is such a part of Christ’s life. Jesus’ sacrificial death is particularly the supreme example of love (v16). True love has to be truly sacrificial (v16b). We can’t lightly pass over this statement.

The love that is called for is a love a genuine compassion and action (v17-18). This is a love based on the truth of Jesus, it flows from faith. Paul teaches that the only thing that counts is ‘faith working through love.’ (Galatians 5 v6)

Not having this love is a denial of the faith (v17). A lack of love shows separation from the God of love.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®),
copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.