1 John 3:11-15
1 John 3:11 (KJB)
For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
One of the major characteristics of Christians is that they are to love. The love in view is not the Hollywood version of love but it is the practical love which is action oriented. It is easy to say that you love someone but love without works is dead. Christians are to emulate the love of Christ and use His life as a pattern for them. (John 15:13 KJV) Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Now this is speaking of giving the ultimate sacrifice in love, and that is a person’s life, as we saw the Lord Jesus do it on Calvary. Now as believers we can also give our lives, and not necessarily in death but in life as we live to minister and to help others. When we are helping others we are, in essence, giving of our life to them. The message of love was not strange to these Christians that John was writing to because Christian love was part of the initial experience of these Christians, so he is basically reminding them that love is a major tenet of Christianity.
1 John 3:12 (KJB)
Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.
John gives an example of how the world treats those who love. Cain had slain Abel out of jealousy because his sacrifice was accepted by God and Cain’s was not. So Cain, showing that he was of the kingdom of Satan, rose up and slew Abel over the fact of Abel’s righteousness. It is the same war that has been raging throughout all the centuries. The kingdom of Satan persecutes those in the Kingdom of God. All one need do is look at the Roman persecutions up to about 300 A.D. and the Roman Catholic persecution of believers during the Middle Ages. Cain may have shown a phony, contrived love toward his brother which may have been seething for years and the situation with the sacrifices brought it to a head and when Cain could no more hold in the hatred, he acted upon it by murdering Abel.
1 John 3:13 (KJB)
Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.
Marvel - Be astonished or be amazed
John quickly speaks to this issue of hatred. We Christians are not to be amazed that the world hates us. (John 15:18-19 KJV) If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. {19} If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. The world hated the Lord Jesus Christ and the result of their hatred was what God used to enact His plan of salvation sending Christ to the cross for His Elect. Christians represent righteousness in an unrighteous world. They cause those who sin to be angered at their message and because the world has its own standards, Christians must be removed. This is plainly borne out by history with the persecutions of Christians, not only in the ancient and middle ages but also in our time. For 70 years the Soviet Union tried to eliminate Christianity and today we see the same attitude in Red China, North Korea, the Islamic countries, even here in the United States Christianity is being silenced by judicial decrees from courts. We are aliens in this world and strangers, and therefore the world suffers from spiritual xenophobia. This is why the world attempts to quash Christianity any way it can because it threatens their sinful lifestyle.
1 John 3:14 (KJB)
We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
Know - Know fully or understand
Have passed - Passed or crossed over
One of the major tests of being a true Christian is that we have genuine love for the brethren. It is a love which is proactive and has no hidden agendas. The world hates Christians but true Christians will love each other despite the hatred the world has for them. To be willing to go against the world system, shows a change has taken place within a person. The test of one who claims to be a Christian and has hatred toward other Christians, is not a real Christian, because they are still in the kingdom of Satan, which is revealed by their actions. Those who love the world and obey its methods, are unregenerate, as the Scripture previously commands not to love the world nor the things in the world. Continued or abiding love for the brethren shows a regenerated heart.
1 John 3:15 (KJB)
Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
The word “murderer” is used twice in this verse and the only other place it is used is John 8:44. (John 8:44 KJV) Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. So those who truly hate their brethren are of the devil. The word “hateth” is in the present tense which means a person is still actively living in that hatred. This verse is teaching that hatred is a legitimate test as to whether someone is truly saved or not. This is speaking of living in a lifestyle of hatred and not speaking of an occasional bout with anger which we all have. Those who are unrepentant murderers do not have eternal life in them but eternal death. (Rev 21:8 KJV) But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.