We Are To Believe In The Lord Yeshua And Love Each Other – Like Messiah Loved Us By Laying Down His Life For Us; We Can Know That God Is Living In Us If We Keep His Commands And If The Spirit Is Working In Us
Talk is cheap. It’s easy to claim: “I’m a believer. I know God. I love God. I have fellowship with God. I share the life the God. I have the Holy Spirit. I’m born again. I’m a Christian. I’m a Messianic Jew. I’m saved. I’m going to Heaven.”
John wrote to followers of the Messiah to help them make sure these things were true.
We can know these things are true of us if there is more than talk – if there is evidence:
Evidence of believing the truth, specifically that Yeshua is the Messiah and the Son of God.
Evidence that we are submitted to true spiritual leaders who teach the truth, not false spiritual leaders, antichrists, false teachers, false prophets and false messiahs.
Evidence that the Word of God lives in us. We understand it. We treasure it. We live according to it.
Evidence that we keep God’s commands, not the commands of the Sinai covenant, but Messiah’s New Covenant commands.
Evidence that we consistently do the right things.
Evidence of acknowledgment and confession of sins.
Evidence of love for human beings, especially fellow believers.
Evidence of living like Yeshua lived.
Evidence that we love God, and not the values of a corrupt world.
Evidence that we have overcome the evil one – Satan, the leader of the fallen angels, the god of this world. He no longer controls us. We no longer do his bidding. We no longer share his values. We no longer act like him.
Are these evidence of a true believer who has fellowship with God evident in you?
John returned to the importance of loving people – especially our brothers and sisters. For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous. Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him. This is how we know what love is: Messiah Yeshua laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. The command to love people, especially our brothers and sisters, was at the heart of the message they heard when they first heard the Gospel. The importance of love is an essential part of the Gospel message: The Father’s love for the Son; the Son’s love for the Father; God’s love for us; our love for God; our love for people. The message about Yeshua is a message about love – the Father’s love for the world; the Son’s love for the world; our need to love God and love people.
If we belong to God, and share God’s nature, we will love people. If we belong to the evil one, and share his nature, we will hate people. We will want to harm people. Cain is an example of someone who belonged to the evil one. He hated his brother. Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous. Abel’s good actions made Cain’s evil actions look even worse. However, instead of choosing to turn from his evil actions to righteous actions, so he would not only look better but actually be better, Cain decided the better course of action was to murder his brother. What a terrible reason to murder one’s brother.
Because we are born again and share the nature of God, the children of God, like Abel, will consistently do the right things, which includes believing the right things. And by comparison, our righteous actions will make the world’s evil actions look even worse. So, like Cain hated Abel, expect the world, which belongs to the evil one, to hate us. Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters, if the world hates you. Therefore do not want the world’s approval. Do not seek the world’s approval. Rejoice in the world’s disapproval because it means you are no longer part of this evil world.
Satan and the fallen angels are real; and they hate people, and the people of the world, who share their devilish nature, hate people. In contrast, God loves people. We can tell we have overcome the evil one, and are no longer part of a corrupt world, and no longer have a devilish nature, and are no longer headed to death like the rest of humanity – if we love people, especially our brothers and sisters. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death.
Our actions flow from our hearts. Therefore murder flows from a heart of hatred. Therefore, if we hate people, especially a brother or sister, we are the moral equivalent of a murderer. We may not have carried out the act of murder yet, but the intent to murder is already present – which makes us a murderer. And murderers will not experience eternal life. Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him. Do you hate people? Do you hate anyone? Want to see them suffer? Want harm to come to them? Do you hate a fellow believer, one of your brothers and sisters? If so, you may not be a true believer. You might not have real fellowship with God.
True believers will love people, not hate people. But people have very different ideas of what love is. John helped us by letting us know what love is. This is how we know what love is: Messiah Yeshua laid down his life for us.
What is love? Love is being concerned about the needs of others; wanting what is good for others; wanting them to change for the better. It’s the desire to help others, care for others, meet their greatest needs.
What does perfect love look like? It looks like the Son of God leaving the glories of Heaven; limiting Himself; becoming a man; living in a fallen world and suffering all the indignities that are part of that; being despised and rejected, tortured and killed by being nailed to a cross – all to meet our greatest needs, to save us from the things we couldn’t save ourselves from – Satan and the demons, sin and the sin nature, death and Hell. Messiah Yeshua is perfect love in action. Messiah Yeshua is what love looks like.
And we need to be like Him. We need to love like him. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters – like Yeshua did.
Talk is cheap. Love must be more than words. Love must be practical. Love must meets people’s needs, most definitely their greatest needs, their spiritual needs; but love must also meet pressing material needs. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
Our Heavenly Father does not want us to go through life unsure if we belong to the truth; if we belong to Him; unsure if He accepts us; unsure we are saved. He wants us to know we belong to Him; that He accepts us; that we are saved. He wants our hearts, our innermost beings, to be able to rest in His presence. We can know this if we keep His commands and if the Spirit is working in us. This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Messiah Yeshua, and to love one another as he commanded us. The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.
We can know that He loves and accepts us, and that we are saved, if we keep God’s commands and if the Spirit is active in us – even if we occasionally lose a battle with temptation. If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything. The children of God will not be perfect in this life. We will sin. When we sin, especially if it is in an area of weakness or temptation that we have yielded to before, we may feel sinful and guilty and ashamed. Our hearts may condemn us. If our hearts are condemning us, we need to remind ourselves that God is greater than our hearts. He is greater than our feelings of shame and unworthiness and condemnation. If our hearts are condemning us, we need to remind ourselves that God, who knows everything, knows we are weak; knows we won’t be perfect; knows we will sin; knows that He has made provision for our sins through the atonement made by the Messiah. So, if our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything – and knowing this stops our hearts from condemning us.
And when we are free from feelings of guilt, shame, and self-condemnation; and when we are obedient and know we are doing what pleases Him, we are able to be close to Him, and able to hear from Him like we should. And because we are close to Him and able to hear from Him, we are able to pray as we should so that we get answers to our prayers. Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from Him anything we ask, because we keep His commands and do what pleases Him.
Do you want to be confident before God, not embarrassed, not ashamed, not wanting to avoid Him? Do you want your prayers answered? Be obedient! Keep His commands! Know what He wants from you and then do those things! Do the things that please Him. Then Lord will be able to communicate to you what He wants, and you will be able to understand and pray according to the will of God. You will know what to pray for, and what not to pray for, and your prayers will be answered.
We must keep God’s commands. And what are God’s commands? They are not the 613 commands of the Sinai Covenant. Not even the 10 commands, which are a summary of the 613. No, the commands John had in mind are the commands of Messiah’s New Covenant. John summarizes them into two commands. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Messiah Yeshua, and to love one another as he commanded us.
Not all beliefs are equally true. Not all beliefs are equally acceptable to God. People can’t believe anything they want to and obey God’s commands. We must believe what God has told us to believe. This is My beloved Son. Listen to Him. This is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Messiah Yeshua.
God the Father commands all people to believe that Yeshua is the Messiah, the ultimate Prophet, Priest and King; and to believe that Yeshua is the unique, divine, eternal Son of God.
And He has commanded us to love one another.
Keeping these commands are evidence that we have fellowship with God; that we share the life of God and He lives in us by means of us Spirit. The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them.
Can we know that God is really living in us? Yes we can. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.
The activity of the Spirit of God in our lives is the evidence that God is living in us. What is that activity?
He gives us a new interest in God and the things of God, especially in the Lord Yeshua.
He helps us know the truth – that Yeshua is the Messiah, the Son of God and the only Savior.
He helps us love and understand the Word of God.
He helps us discern truth from error, the true teachers from the false teachers.
He causes us to desire to live according to the truth, and to keep God’s commands.
He helps us have the desire and the power to do what is right and resist doing what is wrong.
He helps us overcome the evil one. Satan no longer controls us. We no longer do his bidding. We no longer act like him.
He helps us love God, and not the world, worldly values, money materialism, power.
He helps us love people, especially our brothers and sisters.
He gives us the desire to be like the Lord Yeshua.
He produces the fruits of the Spirit in us – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
He gives us a desire to proclaim the Gospel.
He gives us desire to build up Messiah’s Community.
If these evidences of the Spirit’s activity are present in our lives, we know the Spirit of God is living in us. Is this you? If hope so. If not, talk to me.
Lord, help us not lie to ourselves, or deceive ourselves, and be fake believers, tares, not wheat. Help us be true believers! Help us keep Your commands, especially to love one another. May the evidences of Your Spirit living in us be very abundant and clear.