An Expositional Study of 1 John Part 6: An Exposition of 1 John 3:13-24 -- By: D. Edmond Hiebert

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 146:583 (Jul 1989)
Article: An Expositional Study of 1 John Part 6: An Exposition of 1 John 3:13-24
Author: D. Edmond Hiebert

An Expositional Study of 1 John
Part 6:
An Exposition of 1 John 3:13-24

D. Edmond Hiebert

Professor Emeritus of New Testament
Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary, Fresno, California

The authenticity of the Christian gospel is established by the nature of the enemies it encounters. John’s readers are given assurance through the varied aspects of the conflicts of faith being portrayed. The conflict between truth and falsehood, depicted in 1 John 2:18–28, was presented as a conflict between the children of God and the children of the devil in 2:29–3:12. Then in 3:13–24 John made clear that this moral conflict is experientially a conflict between God-prompted love and Satan-inspired hatred.

Do not marvel, brethren, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world’s goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. We shall know by this that we are of the truth, and shall assure our heart before Him, in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight. And this is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. And the one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And we know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit which He has given us (1 John 3:13–24).

John pointed out the revelation of moral identity through the practice of love and hatred (vv. 13–15), portrayed the objective manifestation of love and hatred (vv. 16–18), and presented aspects of the assurance which the practice of Christian love produces (vv. 19–24).

The Revelation from the Practice of Love and Hatred

The antagonism b...

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