1 John 4:20-5:5
God’s Commandments Are Not Burdensome
If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.
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. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
Main point of 4:20-5:1: To test whether your love for God is real is whether you love your fellow believer.
And the passage declares that if you do not love one another than you are a liar if you say you love God.
This is simple because we learned last week that God is love. So it stands to reason that if God is our Father then we will also love his other children, our brothers and sisters in Christ. Therefore, we can conclude that if you cannot love someone that you can see then you for sure cannot love someone that is invisible.
Someone might love what God can do for them, or they might love that God could get them out of Hell, but that is not loving God that is trying to use God. God did not send His son to come be useful for us, but to be our Lord and Savior.
The passage then goes on to tell us that if you love God you will keep his Commandments. We have learned previously that God’s law is not here to be burdensome to us, but to help guide us so that we can get the most joy out of life. Just like how the rules to the game of baseball help us get the most joy out of the game.
Basically what you have to decide in your mind is do you truly believe God’s Word because when you do you will see it to be the most loving thing to tell someone is wrong than to let them continually live a life of sin and to think it is ok because others in the church think it is the most loving thing to do.
Again, it is important to remember that John is not commanding a duty upon Christians that we ought to strive to fulfill; rather he is describing a characteristic of real Christianity, without which no-one can claim to be truly regenerate.
What does faith really mean and how can it help us gain victory over the world?
Love that is not based on faith is powerless.
Hebrews 11:1 put is like this, “Now Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Oswald Chambers describes faith as the deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the present time. In other words it is trust.
As we exercise that faith, we find that it works. God keeps his promises and fulfills his Word. As we believe that when God says “Do this, or Not that”, He knows what is best for us, we do what he says, trust him with the consequences and prove him to be true. When we are living that way, the world cannot trap or deceive us. This sort of faith is the only way to victory over the world. When we think carefully about our failures, at the root of all our defeats are failures of faith; failures to trust or to obey, or both.