In the first part of 1 John 4 we learned the spirit that comes from God is the one that confesses Jesus is of God and He has come in the flesh (4:2). We now see the implication for the person who adheres and obeys God’s Spirit. John begins chapter five, “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” (v. 1). This is such an awesome truth! As we believe in Jesus and place our trust in Him, we are showing love to God the Father. The result is we are born again and this all happens with God’s Spirit. When we love God, we will be found out to be children of God. But the question comes, “How do we know if we truly love God?” Thankfully, John provides us with that answer: by obeying His commandments (vv. 2-3). We show our love to God by obeying His Word! This is, indeed, a critical point to understand. Also, we are reminded these commandments are not burdensome ones. Rather, these commands are for our good and point us to the gospel. These commands do not place irremovable burdens on us but allow us to be overcomers in the world. However, it is not ultimately about anything we do or any commandments we follow for which we overcome. We do not overcome the world through self-sufficiency. The victory of our overcoming is faith in Christ Jesus (vv. 4b-5). Christ’s life, death, burial, and resurrection is the only thing that can save us. The gospel is the only means by which we can be born again. We only overcome because Christ overcame. We only become overcomers when we believe in Jesus as the Son of God, the One who was promised and came for us, and respond in faith and repent of our rebellion to Him. Our faith in Jesus is the victory. Will we abide in that?
- Go back and read 1 John 4:19-21. We show our love to God by obeying His Word. Here, this means loving others. Thinking specifically (not generally), who is somebody you can show God’s love to this week, even though they may not deserve it?