1 John 5:2 New American Standard Bible
2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and follow His commandments.
When Jesus was asked what is the greatest commandment, He said to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love one’s neighbor as one’s self. It is impossible to love others if we do not love God. Everything we do in our lives flows out of our relationship with God.
Here John says the way we know we love the children of God when we love God and follow His commandments. Jesus said those who truly love Him will obey His commands (John 14:23). In God’s kingdom there is a connection between faith and actions (James 2:14-17).
Faith without works is dead. So, if I claim to truly love God and claim that Christ is my Lord and Savior, it should have a direct impact on how I live on a daily basis.
Does this mean that God requires perfection? If we stumble at all are, we disqualified? If we stumble at all, have we disappointed our Father and lost all hope? The answer to all of these is no. The Lord tells us that if we do sin that if we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us. But God does call us to obedience and to a life of holiness and righteousness.
Our desire and ability to walk in obedience will be determined if we truly love God. This is the litmus test. Having the title of Christian on our life or simply attending church means nothing. What truly matters is if we love God. If we love God, we will desire to obey His commands. We will desire to live for Him. When we come to Christ there is an exchange that takes place. We exchange our sin and shame for the new life that is found in Jesus Christ. But in making this exchange our lives no longer belong to us, they now belong to Almighty God.
This is why God calls us to obedience. It is a call to surrender our decisions and our will, to His commands and His will. He is Lord and we are not. We have chosen to die to self and have decided to pick up our cross. There is not greater privilege on this earth than to live for Jesus Christ. But if we are truly living for Christ we will not only walk in obedience to His commands, we will love our fellow brothers and sisters as He loved us.