1 John: A 15-Day Devotional


Love for fellow believers is a nonnegotiable part of the Christian faith. If someone professes faith but does not love his fellow believers, such a person has not been truly converted. Love may be stronger or weaker, more or less consistent, but if conversion has occurred, it will be present. At this point in redemptive history, as Christ has accomplished his work on the cross, has poured his Spirit upon us, and continues to make intercession for us, a lack of love among believers is particularly inexcusable. If anyone seeks to justify hatred toward other believers, it is clear that such a one is blinded, unable to see the clear truth of this text. 

Since darkness does indeed blind people, we must remember that mere rational explanation will not be adequate to bring others to Christ; the work of the Holy Spirit is necessary. Our duty is to speak the gospel, but only God can open blind eyes. 

John’s use of “beloved” is instructive. Although “dearly beloved” has for many become an overused, archaic-sounding convention, we must not lose the pastoral import of addressing the people of God in ways that regularly affirm our love and God’s love for them. Pastors, particularly, can learn from John’s example by addressing their people in ways that make clear their affection for them, even when challenging or rebuking them.