“By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep his commandments.”
The Apostle John has already taught us that the love for God requires we also listen to His Word and keep His commandments. He goes one step further in his reasoning, in this verse, and teaches us that keeping the commandments is about loving other people also. To have regard for our sisters and brothers in Christ will involve keeping the bonds of love in the obedience to the holy moral law of God.
To be a law breaker is to contravene the social situation and cause upset among God’s redeemed people. We must not offend our sister or brothers by breaking the laws of God and creating dissention and upset. We are bound by the cords of love to live at peace with everyone and keep the law that is set down for us in the commandments. This will also mean we are keeping the law of love for each other in the family of God.
“Therefore, let’s not judge one another any more, but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block in his brother’s way, or an occasion for falling.”
We are to live our Christian life as law lovers and law keepers and not in the conceits of our own way. We should be sensitive to the habits of other people and not offend them. We do not offend the righteousness of God in the family of God by living careless lives with no regard for the law of God. Our love is expressed towards each other as we obey the Word of Christ and submit our will to the will of God.
If I have no regard for the Christian ethos and laws of God, then there is no evidence that I love the family of God and therefore do not love God either. The Christian life is not a free-for-all, but we bind ourselves to each other under the law of God, to obey and follow in God’s holy way.
The law of love for us moves in all directions. We love the Lord our God and His holy law, which we show by our obedience to it, and we necessarily also love the people of God, since they are our family members also following the law of God. This is evident through our godly meetings and interactions, all done orderly according to the patterns laid down for us in the New Testament.
We also love the outsiders and our enemies and pray for them. The law of love is practiced by the believer and this refines our character and our love will grow.