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1 John 3:11 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
11 For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another;
For this is the message or commandment. “This” points forward to the that clause, which gives the contents of the message. Some useful restructurings are, “the message you heard … is this: we …” (TEV), ‘there is a message … It is that …’ The Greek verb is not in the perfect tense, but in the aorist, which is to show that the reference is to action, regarded as a completed whole irrespective of its duration.
From the beginning refers to the beginning of the preaching of the Gospel, compare 2:7. But the wider context reminds the reader of the other meaning the phrase can have in this Letter, see Introduction p. 13.
That we should love one another. The verb is in the present tense, expressing duration.
It is important to note that this commandment to love is given as part of “the message you have heard,” that is, the Gospel message. In John’s view Gospel and commandment, though different, clearly are aspects of the same thing; both call the believers to a life that is free from sin.
The NIV again fails to translate the conjunction hoti (“because”), which connects this unit with the previous thought. The absence of love in the life of a child of God is inconsistent with the message of love that has been proclaimed to them. The demonstrative “this” points forward to the subsequent “that” (hina) clause, “that we should love one another.”
This message (aggelia) of love is one these believers have heard from the beginning (archēs) of their Christian lives. It is a message grounded in the very nature of God (4:7–8) and taught by Christ himself to his followers (John 13:34–35; 15:12, 17). The original apostolic message affirmed that believers should love one another, a practice that is foundational to the Christian message.
Although the demand for obedience to love certainly applies to the world in general, this command to love is directed primarily to the community of faith. The present tense of agapōmen (“we should love”) calls for a continuous display of love in the family of God. Christian love is fundamental to being a child of God. Having established that believers are characterized by righteousness and abstinence from a life of continual sin, John now adds that they are also persons who love one another as a normal and consistent habit of life.
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 C. Haas, Marinus de Jonge, and J. L. Swellengrebel, A Handbook on the Letters of John, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 1994), 94–95.
 Daniel L. Akin, 1, 2, 3 John, vol. 38, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001), 154–155.