“In this the children of God are revealed, and the children of the devil. Whoever doesn’t do righteousness is not of God, neither is he who doesn’t love his brother.”
Our personal walk with God in the way of righteousness is the mark of the true believer. The fact that we are obeying the Word of the Lord and keeping His commandments is a crucial element in our identity as Christian people. Our obedience reveals who we are. Our disobedience also reveals who we are. The Christian who is not making strenuous efforts to walk with God has a dim and perhaps backslidden position before the Lord and as personal testimony before other people. Those who continue in sinful ways are not of the household of faith, but following the ways of the devil. It is logical that we are like our Father God and have his family likeness in our lives in the person of the Holy Spirit, we will walk with Him and be like Him.
“He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, from within him will flow rivers of living water.”
The other marks of the Christian mentioned here in this verse is the defining mark of love. It is put on the end of the verse for effect and cannot go unnoticed, almost like a side issue but absolutely crucial to the argument. If I do not love my sisters and brothers in Christ, I am not a child of God. It is the overwhelming and specific identity mark of the true believer, indeed it also extends to all women and men, because we are also constrained to love the outsider.
Love for the other children of God is what sets us apart from the world. Love is not a feature of this world’s fallen system, as there is no love in a life of sin. But there should be love and vigorous life in the outworking of the Spirit in our lives as Christian people. Being a Christian is no second-rate futile existence but living the very life of God every day. It is a life full of love for other people centred on the love of God. It is a love of life that transcends all this world’s tawdry examples of lifestyles and lives quietly and triumphantly for God.
It does not matter that people may be against you, for the love of God is our comfort and power.
“Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Do not mind the detractors and those who blame, carp and quibble, for we follow the Lord Christ and are His obedient servants. Our responsibility is to walk worthy in the sight of the Lord, not our own sight, and follow the word of God. We love the sisters and brother of the faith and encourage them in every right way. This is the way of Christ as He taught his disciples and was patient towards them. We do not judge and treat others harshly, but in the all sufficient love of God. We do not treat ourselves harshly either, but persevere in that mighty love of the living God towards us and for us, after all He gave all he had for our wretched sakes, and has made us Queens and Kings and Priests to God. We are revealed to a fallen world as His beloved people and so we should be before a watching and hurting world.
Beloved, may those living waters of love flow out from us and into the lives of the people around us for their blessing and the glory of God.