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How to Interpret the Bible-1

Albert Barnes and Edward D. Andrews write,

1 John 5:2 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and do his commandments.

By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God. This is repeating the same truth in another form. ‘As it is universally true that if we love him who has begotten us, we shall also love his children, or our Christian brethren, so it is true also that if we love his children, it will follow that we love him.’ In other places, the apostle says that we may know that we love God if we love those who bear his image, chap. 3:14. He here says that there is another way of determining what we are. We may have undoubted evidence that we love God, and from that, as the basis of an argument, we may infer that we have true love for his children. Of the fact that we may have evidence that we love God, apart from that, which we derive from our love for his children, there can be no doubt. We may be conscious of it, and find pleasure in meditating on his perfections; we may feel sure that we are moved to obey him by true attachment to him, as a child may about a father. But it may be asked, how can it be inferred from this that we truly love his children? Is it not easier to ascertain this of itself than it is to determine whether we love God? Comp. 1 John 4:20. To this, it may be answered, that we may love Christians from many motives: we may love them as personal friends; we may love them because they belong to our church, or sect, or party; we may love them because they are naturally friendly: but the apostle says here, that when we are conscious that an attachment does exist towards Christians, we may ascertain that it is genuine, or that it does not proceed from any improper motive, by the fact that we love God. We shall then love him as his children, whatever other grounds of affection there may be towards them.

And do his commandments. This is the only proper evidence of love for Jesus, for mere profession is no proof of love. Still, that love for him, which leads us to do all his will, love each other, deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow him through evil report and good report is true attachment. We have evidence that a child loves its parents when that child is willing, without hesitation, gainsaying, or complaining, to do all that the parent requires him to do. So the disciples of Christ must show that they are attached to him supremely by yielding to all his requirements and patiently doing his will in the face of ridicule and opposition. The Father’s will and the Son’s will are the same because, as we are told by Jesus himself, “I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30) This means they both have the same will, purposes, and goals. Notice Jesus’ words about the will of the Father.

REASONING WITH OTHER RELIGIONS

Matthew 7:21-23 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of the heavens, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in the heavens. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.’

  • “The one who does the will of my Father” – Might want to know what the will of the Father is?
  • “Many will say to me” – Many so-called Christians
  • “‘Lord, Lord, did we not … do mighty works’” – Did we not have soup kitchens for the poor, did we not cloth the poor, did we not pay to send that teenage girl to an Islamic country to have her head chopped of, while we sat comfortable in the pew?
  • “I will declare to them” – Yeah, “depart from me, you who practice lawlessness’”

So, knowing the will, purposes, and goals of the Father and the Son might be very advantageous.

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