I John 3:11-18 “For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous. Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.”
Text I John 3:11 “For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.”
In this passage it is evident that loving the brethren is one of the distinguishing marks of being truly born again. In the text John reveals three ways that brotherly love is manifested. Love is manifested in protection, “we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (vs.16). To emphasize this love, John contrasted the actions of Cain to that of Christ. While we may take comfort in the fact that we have not thrust a dagger into our brother’s heart, Jesus said that murder consisted of attitude as well as action; “That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment” (Matthew 5:22). Love is manifested in provision, “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?” (vs.17). One of the most distinguishing marks of the early church is the manner in which they took care of one another, “Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need” (Acts 4:34-35). Love is manifested in purity, “let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth” (vs.18). Here John is making a contrast between vocal love and visible love; that which is idle words and that which works. Jesus said, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35). Love will tell on you!