For the love of God is this, that we obey his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome (1 John 5:3).
John wrote his first two letters to believers in churches, letters that he probably wanted circulated among the churches that he oversaw as elder. Some of these churches would have been named in his Book of Revelation. He wrote to those who were “born of God,” who believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. His letters were included in the Bible to help all Christians remain faithful until Christ comes again as the Book of Revelation foretells. The Spirit of Christ indwells and transforms all Christians, bringing them from spiritual darkness and death into spiritual light and life. Through their faith in Jesus Christ, the Spirit of Christ fills believers with the love of God and enlarges their hearts to receive more of God’s love. As their expanding hearts are filled to overflowing with the love God, Christians love God and others more and more. John wrote that just as Christians love their heavenly Father, so they also love His children. When Christians love God and one another, they are obeying God’s commandments: God commands us to love God and all others. God’s commandments are not grievous or burdensome because the Spirit of Christ and the love of God within Christians enables and guides them to love God and others in practical ways every day (see Matthew 11:28-30). God’s commandments are not burdensome, because God loves everyone, and His commandments describe the best way for people to live in order to get the most out of the life that God has given them. Loving and obeying God through faith in Jesus Christ enables Christians to keep believing when persecuted or tempted by the world.
- How do you know you are born of God? What does that mean to you?
- What do you think John meant to illustrate when He wrote “everyone who loves the parent loves the child”
- How do we know that we love the children of God?
- How do we love God or how do we show God that we love God?
- What did John say was not burdensome? Why are they not burdensome?