March 1, 2000

1 John 3

The Apostle continues with the theme of the book, love – love for God and love for man. Actually, this book simply expands on Christ's words:

29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: 30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. 31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. (Mark 12.)

In fact, the central thought of the next chapter will be that God first loved us, not that we first loved him.

Vv. 1-3

V. 1, John will point out several times that love is first defined as God's love toward us – that is, the elect. And his love is proved in the fact that through Christ, we are now called the sons of God. We are his sons not because of any good on our parts, but strictly because he saw fit to make us his sons, i.e., Sovereign Grace. The world has the same attitude toward us as it did and does toward him.

V. 2, though presently it appears not that we are the sons of God, it will one day when he appears, for we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

V. 3, the Spirit of God uses the hope that we will be like him and that we will one day see him as he is to purify us – that is, to desire to be pure as he is pure.

Vv. 4-10

V. 4, defines sin. Thus the purity of v. 3 is defined in terms of the law.

V. 5, take away our sins. This does not mean sinless perfection, but take away the desire to sin, the power of sin from over us, and the penalty of sin – eternal torment. Because there is no sin in him, he can deal with our sins.

V. 6, sinneth not – that is, he is not controlled by sin, for John has already said that no man sinneth not. (1:8, 10.)

V. 7, let no man deceive you into thinking there are other definitions for righteousness than righteous living. And righteousness is defined by the Christ in the terms of the law.

V. 8, sin is of the devil, who sinned from the beginning. However, God the Son took on the body of flesh, so that he might destroy the works of the devil. The power of the devil is broken from over God's people by the victory of Christ over the devil, sin and death.

V. 9, "sin is ever active, but no longer reigns." (JFB)

{Doeth no sin} (amartian ou poiei). Linear present active indicative as in verse #4 like amartanei in verse #8. The child of God does not have the habit of sin. {His seed} (sperma autou). God's seed, "the divine principle of life" (Vincent). Cf. #Joh 1. {And he cannot sin} (kai ou dunatai amartanein). This is a wrong translation, for this English naturally means "and he cannot commit sin" as if it were kai ou dunatai amartein or amarthsai (second aorist or first aorist active infinitive). The present active infinitive amartanein can only mean "and he cannot go on sinning, " as is true of amartanei in verse #8 and amartanwn in verse #6. For the aorist subjunctive to commit a sin see amarthte and amarth in #2:1. A great deal of false theology has grown out of a misunderstanding of the tense of amartanein here. Paul has precisely John's idea in #Ro 6:1 epimenwmen th amartia (shall we continue in sin, present active linear subjunctive) in contrast with amarthswmen in #Ro 6:15 (shall we commit a sin, first aorist active subjunctive). (RWP)

his seed probably refers to the seed of righteousness (i.e., the Holy Spirit) placed in us by God upon conversion. That seed gives new desires to live righteous, even as he is righteous, v. 7.

V. 10, John draws a distinct line between the children of God and the children of the devil, and the line is the same as drawn by our Lord:

15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. (Mat. 7.)

The child of God is easily recognized by his doing righteousness and his love for others.

Vv. 11-13

V. 11, love one another is a common theme of the Apostles as he repeats these words several times, 3:11, 23, 4:7, 11, 12. (This does not include the many places he says, love the brethren, v. 14.) The beginning is also a common thought, 2:7, 14, 24. The beginning could refer to the beginning of the world, the beginning of the law, the beginning of Christianity or the beginning of their individual faith. Regardless, what he is telling them, love one another, is NOT a new message.

I wonder why he is emphasizing this point so much? He sounds almost like a stuck record on these two points: love one another and the identity of the anitchrist. Maybe: 1) in his older years he knows what counts, love one another. 2) the false teachers, many antichrists, were emphasizing self-love and self esteem, for John deals with the false teachers also.

Note that we "mellow" as we grow older.

V. 12, Not as Cain... It is strange that he would use Cain as an negative example of love, for he obviously did not love his brother, or he would not have killed him. "Men should not act to each other as Cain did to his brother Abel." (Clarke) Implied, in my opinion, from John's context is that Cain professed his love toward his brother, yet he killed him. John has been warning to live what we profess.

John gives the reason Cain killed his brother: His brother's righteous works convicted Cain's evil works, so he killed him out of greed and envy. The same holds true today as the wicked take action whenever possible against the righteous.

V. 12, who was of that wicked one. This verse is used by some ("Christian Identity") to say that Cain was a product of a union between Eve and Satan.

Such a claim is ludicrous, to say the least. Such an idea that the unrighteous seed must come physically from Satan means that the righteous seed must physically come from God. The Biblical arguments against Identity's corrupt idea are developed in my book, "Identifying Identity."

V. 13, John's message has been that the children of God must live a righteous life. In doing so, the world will hate them as Cain hated Able for his righteous life. If Cain hated his own brother because of his righteous life, then we can expect the same attitude toward us from the world.

Expect neither justice nor mercy from the men who are enemies of God. They are either full of malice and envy, hateful, hating one another, or they are specious, hollow, false, and deceitful. (Clarke)

Today – certainly our judicial system is corrupt, for it is full of corrupt people. Accordingly, the world hates those who demand the death penalty.



Message, April 2, 2000. The kids have been studying and memorizing 1 John. I covered some of the passages in
WN services that they have been working on. This section I left out because it was such a good message for a SM. I am not going to try to cover all of this in one message, but it is something good to consider.

Love and Hate

Love is a grossly misused word today, both inside and outside the church. It has devolved to mean an emotion that comes and goes as a cloud in the sky. By being defined primarily as an emotion (certainly, emotion must be included), love permits actions toward others that are clearly identified as hate by Scripture. We will open by defining Biblical love, which is the sum total of all the law of Moses:

34 But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. 35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, 36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Mat. 22.)

However, love toward God and toward man is not restricted to an emotional experience.

Paul defines "Christian love":

13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. 14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. 16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. 18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another. (Gal. 5. See also 1 Cor. 13.)

Professing love for someone while gossiping and criticizing them is not love.

1 John 4:7ff

Thus John's command found in 1 John 4:7, 8, is defined by our actions and attitudes toward others. And the Apostle continually defines love in terms of God, not man, vv. 9, 10. God's love towards us was based upon his sovereign grace, not upon any good that might have been found in us (us defined as the Elect). God's love caused him to send his Son to be a propitiation, i.e., an appeasement, for our sins. We did nothing to deserve God sending his Son to die in such a manner that would appease the Father for our sins. God loved us first as undeserving sinners, at war against him. John uses God's love as an example — that is, if God could love us who are totally undeserving, then we have no excuse for not loving others, v. 11. (Remember the definition of love as given by Paul above.)

No man hath seen God at any time, but all men can see God through his people, in whom his love dwells, v. 12. Genuine love for others is a work of the Spirit, who enables us to overcome our natural all consuming love of self, and our resistance to loving others, v. 13.

First, let us examine the "positive" aspect of love, then we will see how many actions that may be motivated by an emotional love can actually be actions of hated. Then we will examine the "negative" aspect of love.


In 1 John 2:8-11, John speaks of a new commandment that is not new – that we love one another. This commandment is as old as is mankind itself, and it is found in Leviticus 19:18, 34:

Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD. But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.

This command to Israel of old is carried over to the New Israel, the Gospel Church.

John might have been dealing with false teachers here who were attracting crowds by presenting new ideas. But, if it is true it is not new, and if it is new, it is not true. John tells them that what he is saying is not new; they have always had the command he is giving to them.

1 John 2:8, it was not a novel doctrine. It was novel only in the sense in which Jesus used it:

34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. (Jn. 13.)

This new commandment was not new in the sense that it had never been given, for it was in the law. The old commandment to love one another was new in the sense that now his disciples would be known by their love one for another.

It was new in the since of Christ's new example of love (1 John 4:19) – he first love us. Such a love was unknown before Christ, and is unknown today, generally.

Thus we are to first love others:

Matthew 5:43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

In the Old Testament, God's people were known by their external rites and rituals, their dress, and other outward appearances. Since Christ, God's people are not known by race, nationality, wealth, learning, rites and rituals, nor fame, but by their tenderness toward one another.

Note the following commands, the likes of which are not clearly given in the Old Testament:

Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. (Gal. 6:2.) And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. (Eph. 5:3.) But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. (1 Thes. 4:9.) Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: (1 Pet. 1:22.) We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth; (2 Thes. 1:3.) If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: (Jm. 2:8.) And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. (2 Pet. 1:7.) Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: (1Pet 1:22.) For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. 23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. (1 Jn. 3.) If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also. (1 Jn. 4.)

Speaking of his own death, Christ said,

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (Jn. 15:13.)

But John was speaking of our love one for another when he said,

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. (1Jn. 3:16.)

We are to be ready to endure hardships, dangers and practice self-denial to benefit those for whom Christ died. Of course, these things define missionaries many times, but these Christian qualities are not just for missionaries.


1 John 2:8, The darkness is past. The darkness of error under which men hated each other has passed away in Christ. The darkness of error when men only loved those who loved them is passed away in Christ. The new standard for his people is love, even love toward them who do not deserve love.

1 John 2:9, notice how v. 9 corresponds our Lord's words in St. John 13:35:

By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Notice he does not say that we will be known as Christ's disciples because we go to church nor because we keep certain rites and rituals that are connected within our Christian community, nor because we belong to a particular denomination. In fact, in our Lord's words, this love goes so far as a willingness to lay down our lives for the brethren. Basically, Christians are to exhibit a genuine spirit of self-denial, and that spirit is to be clearly seen by those around us.

The Spirit of God is very emphatic through the Apostle John. Several times over, he says that our love for God is revealed by our love and concern one for one another. And there is no way around it. This old commandment is new in that the commandment is now written on the fleshly tables of the heart. Brotherly love is now part of the nature of the new man in Christ Jesus. It is obeyed not because the written law says so, but because the unwritten law of the heart says so. Our motives are now love, not law.

A person cannot have true religion unless he has love for the brethren: These things I command you, that ye love one another. (Jn. 15:17.)

V. 10 repeats Christ's words:

9 Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world. 10 But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him. (Jn. 11.)

V. 10, no occasion of stumbling, or scandal, marg.

Those who hate others are both a stumbling-block to themselves and cause others to stumble. Those who hate are easy prey to lust, envy, covetousness, greed, anger, and all the other works of the flesh.

Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. (Rom. 13:10.)

He will not do any scandalous, or disgraceful, thing. Those who love their neighbors will not envy them; they will not have any malice, nor hatred, nor will they have any intent of doing them wrong. Nor will he stumble into sin, nor will he cause others to stumble.

V. 11, hateth is a word used here to describe anything that is not love for the brethren:

Darkness — that is, he is ignorant of the whole nature of the true Christian religion. As we see, Christ clearly said that Christianity exhibits itself in love for one another. John has made the same point many times over. Now he says that those who do not have Christian love one for another know nothing about Christianity. For Christianity brings with it love for others, for whom Christ died.

missing , comments on vv. 12, 13.
1 John 3:12-19

14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. 15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. 16 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.

John continually equates love for one another with love for God. And love is always defined in terms of God.

Vv. 14, 15, a mark of having eternal life is love one for another. Without that love, there is no life.

Verse 15. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer, etc. That is, he has the spirit of a murderer; he has that which, if it were acted out, would lead him to commit murder, as it did Cain. The private malice, the secret grudge, the envy which is cherished in the heart, is murderous in its tendency, and were it not for the outward restraints of human laws, and the dread of punishment, it would often lead to the act of murder. The apostle does not say that he who hates his brother, though he does not in fact commit murder, is guilty to the same degree as if he had actually done it; but he evidently means to say that the spirit which would lead to murder is there, and that God will hold him responsible for it. Nothing is wanting but the removal of outward restraints to lead to the commission of the open deed, and God judges men as he sees them to be in their hearts. What a fearful declaration, then, is this! How many real murderers there are on the earth besides those who are detected and punished, and besides those open violators of the laws of God and man who go at large! And who is there that should not feel humbled and penitent in view of his own heart, and grateful for that sovereign mercy which has restrained him from open acts of guilt?-- for who is there who has not at some period of his life, and perhaps often, indulged in feelings of hatred, and envy, and malice towards others, which, if acted out, would have led to the commission of the awful crime of taking human life? Any man may well shudder at tile remembrance of the secret sins of his own heart, and at the thought of what he would have been but for the restraining grace of God. And how wonderful is that grace which, in the case of the true Christian, not only restrains and checks, but which effectually subdues all these feelings, and implants in their place the principles of love! (Barns' Notes)

21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: 22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. 28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. (Mat. 5.) For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: (Mat. 15:19.)

Though hatred is commonly defined as the desire, secret or open, to see something bad happen to someone, Scripturally, hatred is defined as failure to obey the word of God toward someone. Thus, what is commonly identified with love can, in reality, be hate, e.g., an emotion of "sensual love" toward a member of the opposite or same sex, but that person is forbidden by God's word; it is, therefore, hatred toward that person. Or, as we will see below, an emotion of love toward the homeless that moves one to help feed that person, yet that homeless person is too lazy to work. Accordingly, the modern welfare state is a state that hates its citizens. (Though both of our daughters are allergic to cats, they love them. So living in the country, we normally have a yard full of them , but they must remain outside. They have become "welfare" cats, sitting around the back door with a watchful eye on the door. They continually hope someone will bring something to feed them without their having to work for their meals.)

V. 16, love, as is everything else, is defined in relationship to God, not man. Love is far more than human emotions – it is action that is taken according to the law, v. 4. Love one for another was exemplified by the Lord himself – he laid down his life for the good of those he loved from the beginning. (Eph. 1:4, &c.) The Apostles laid down their lives for the good of the church, as have the martyrs throughout history; the parrots throughout history have laid down their lives for their causes; a ship's captain should sacrifice his life for the good of his passengers; a doctor must sacrifice his life to treat desperate diseases. Christians should show the same dedication for the good of the gospel and for the brethren. (Rom. 5:8.)

The "plague of sin" is running rampant; we need Christians to practice self-sacrifice to reach those dying of that plague. God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son to die for sins. So ought we to so love those whom God loves that we give ourselves in reaching them for the Son.

V. 17, love is shown in very practical ways. Love is God's word in action towards himself and towards others. V. 18, words of love are empty unless backed up with deeds, which is a major theme of 1 John. (See Jm. 2:16.) V. 19, our actions and attitudes reveal the truth not only to us, but to those around us.


First, love is always in terms of God's word; it is defined by God, not by man. Though emotions – e.g., hate, love, anger, &c. – are attributed to God, he is not governed by emotions. He is governed by his unchanging word.

Second, the world hates because of righteous deeds, not necessarily because of Christ, vv. 12, 13. However, Christ and righteous deeds should go together. In other words, the hatred of the world toward a person does not necessarily mean that person is a Christian – that person's religion may be one of Biblically defined "good works." John has made it clear that even the antichrist may have "good works."

Third, we are commanded to love both God and man, and love is defined as keeping his commandments toward God (believe on his Son, v. 22) and toward man. (1 Jn. 3:23.) In fact, we are told that those who do not keep his commandments toward God and toward man, do not know him – love is shown in one's actions according to his truth. (3:18, 5:3)

Fourth, actions toward God or toward others that do not line up with the law are sins against God. (3:4, 5:17.)

Fifth, the Apostle follows his "love chapter" with another warning against the many false prophets – antichrists – that are gone out into the world. (4:1-3)

Sixth, overcome them – that is, overcome their false teachings, for the truth of the matter of love lies within us (he that is in you, cf. 2:20, 21) as children of light. (4:4.)

Seventh, the messages of the false teachers (many anitchrists, 2:18) are, many times, what the world wants to hear, so it gladly hears them. (4:5.)

Eighth, those who do not love others as commanded by God's word do not know God. (4:8, 16.)

Ninth, perfect love, as defined by God's word, does not fear what the world says. So perfect love will follow God's word toward others regardless of the world's anger and hatred.

(5:21, we might define one of many modern idols as the idol of public opinion and pressure.)

Biblical love is basically practical action, 1 John 3:17. Biblical love toward God is obeying his commandments (Lk. 6:46) towards himself and towards others.

Parenthesis: The Lord said, If ye love me, keep my commandments, and those who keep my commandments will abide in my love. (Jn. 14:15, 15:10.) The term keep my commandments is used 11 times in the Old Testament, far too often for the Lord's words to be coincidental. Those to whom Christ spoke no doubt realized what he was saying, i.e., obedience to the commandments meant they loved God, and they would abide in God's love. (See Exo. 16:28, Lev. 22:31, 2 Ki. 17:13, Neh. 1:9, Pro. 4:4, &c. The Online Bible program will easily sort the passages in their proper order.) His words keep my commandments were as carefully chosen as were his words I am carefully chosen – his hearers understood what he was saying, for they knew the Scriptures (OT). Because we do not know the Old Testament Scriptures, we have a difficult time making the connections that were intended by our Lord. The Lord's words, keep my commandments and I am identified himself as the Lord God of the Old Testament. (See Exo. 3:14, Jn. 6, and all of the book of St. John.)

Let us examine some actions that define love toward others. Though love certainly involves "emotion," the Lord simply identifies love as obeying his word toward himself (believe on his Son) and toward our fellow man. Note that the world will hate us if we enforce God's word toward others, and it will say all manner of evil against us. (Mat. 5:11, 1 Jn. 3:13.) We see, therefore, that the world's definition of "love" is a very corrupt definition. In fact, the world will call those who try to enforce my commandments bigoted hate mongers, among many other things. And the ungodly will seek laws to prevent the "hate crimes" that go against its definition of love. (The opposite of love, keep my commandments, is hate, don't keep my commandments.) Love is defined by the Apostle John as obeying God's word towards others. Love for others sees their need, and it moves to help meet that need, both in a negative and positive sense – the word of God is a sharp, two-edged sword.


Helps those in financial need. However, Biblical love will also let the lazy man starve:

For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. (2 Thes. 3:10.)

Hatred for God and for man feeds the lazy person.

May give one's life for another. However, Biblical love will also take the life of another:

5 And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man. 6 Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man. (Gen. 9:5, 6.)

He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death. (Exo. 21:12.)

Hatred for God and for man allows the murderer to live.

Forgives, forgets and unites. However, Biblical love will also separate, and deliver the offender, though a professed Christian, to the enemy for destruction:

To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. (1 Cor. 5:5.)
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? (2 Cor. 6:14.)

Hatred for God and for man continues friendships with those committed to their sins. Moreover, hatred unites with unbelievers in close partnership and\or marriage.

Overlooks, even covers, the shortcomings of others. However, Biblical love will also confront others with their "shortcomings":

15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. (Mat. 18.)

Hatred for God and for man ignores the hold sin has on others, and continues the relationship as though nothing were wrong.

Obeys those in authority. However, Biblical love will also ignore human authority, even to the death:

Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. (Acts 5:29.)

Hatred for God and for man "blindly" follows human authority.

The world, flesh and the devil has overturned one of the most important and precious Christian doctrines, the doctrine of Biblical, godly love one for another. The definitions given for love by the enemy are, many times, actually God's definition of hatred – love for God can only be praticed by first trusting his Son; love for man must first of all obey the word of God toward that other person.

Vv. 20-24

Our conscience is corrupt, and by no means does it convict us of all our wrong actions; but it does convict us of some. If our own fallen conscience convicts us after a fashion, how much more will the Lord judge us, who knows all things.

We might mention that because of our own corruption and the corruption of society around us, when we fail to "feed" the lazy person, our heart condemns us. But our heart must be conformed to the word of God – God is greater than our heart – and by faith understand that it is to the lazy person's benefit that he starve. ("Hunger is God's cure for laziness.")

Those who displease the Lord God cannot expect God to hear and answer their prayers when their actions towards God and towards others do not correspond with God's word.

Our heart, i.e., emotions, must be subdued to the truth that dwells within us. Our confidence toward God is based in his word, not in our emotions.

V. 23, John again sums up the total of the Commandments: Love God, which is the first table of stone, and love others, which is the second table of stone. And again he tells us that our actions toward God and man prove to ourselves and to those around us our faith – as James said, Tell me about your faith, and I will show you my faith. (Jm. 2:17, 18.)

V. 24, his Good Spirit confirms in us that we are in him.

18 This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; 19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: (1 Tim. 1.)

The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion. (Pro. 28:1.)