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1 John 3:23: Faith and Love

1 John 3:23 New American Standard Bible 23 This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us.

Jesus made it very simple. Before Christ came the nation of Israel was God’s covenant people. They lived under the covenant based upon the law. God made it very clear that if they lived according to the law, God would bless them. If they lived in opposition to the law, God would discipline them.

When Jesus came, He came not to destroy the law but to fulfill it. Christ being born under the law and living according to the law, lived a perfect life without sin. Because He lived under the law and lived without sin, when He gave His life, His precious blood has the power to atone for all sin. Any person who would call upon the name of Jesus shall be saved. It is with the heart a person believes that Jesus is the Christ and it is with the mouth that a person confesses that Jesus is Lord.

But we are not only called to have faith in Christ, we are called to love one another. Faith and love exist in perfect relationship with one another. It is impossible to love as Jesus commanded us without a right relationship with Him. Through faith our lives are forgiven, the separation that existed between us and Almighty God because of our sin no longer remains. We must remember when Jesus cried on the cross it is finished and gave up His Spirit, the curtain in the temple before the holy of holies was torn in two from top to bottom. Signifying that the way had been made for all people to draw near to God through faith in Jesus Christ.

To claim to have faith in Christ yet not walk in love is to be deceived. The natural disposition of a person fully yielded to the Lordship of Jesus and the leading of the Holy Spirit will be to walk in love. Paul in Corinthians chapter thirteen lays out for us why the love of God is so powerful. God’s love is sacrificial. It is a decision of will to choose to love. God loves those who despise Him and reject Him. He takes no pleasure in the destruction of the wicked, but His desire is that all men would repent of their sins and come to salvation.

The Christian journey is not a complicated one. But sadly man in his wisdom and the deception of the enemy often time remove the simplicity and freedom found in Christ and instead replace it with a list of demands that once again deceives people into thinking they through their performance will earn something from God.

But God calls us to rest in the finished work of Christ (Romans 5:17-19). Jesus who knew no sin has become sin for us so that His righteousness would be applied to us and we would become a brand-new creation in Christ. The moment we come to faith in Christ our lives are made brand new. Every moment is made brand new. The more we understand the truth found in Jesus Christ our only desire will be to honor and glorify Jesus and to simply love others as Christ first loved us.

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