Now having made this very powerful statement, John repeats his emphasis upon the duty of Christian love.  It is remarkable how he can never stay away from this theme for very long.  Since we believe and are sure that the apostle wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, then this should intimate to us just how important this matter of Christian love truly is.  We had best be about the business of examining ourselves daily, whether there is anything in us that looks like what John is speaking of.  One cannot love, after a godly fashion, without knowing God.  The world has all manner of things that it calls love, things which usually come down to powerful emotions of physical or mental attraction.  But their love is entirely dissociated from the law of God, which Christian love never can be.  True Christian love comes from God, being a fruit of the Holy Spirit.  As Paul told the Galatians, “The fruit of the Spirit is love…”  It is no accident that love was first on his list, particularly when we consider just how powerfully the Spirit emphasizes love in John’s epistles.  For us to be able to manifest the love which Christ manifested towards us, we must know God, having been born of Him.  When we do discover the reality of Christian love in us, as it is defined by Scripture, then we may confidently assure our hearts before Him, that we have been born of Him, that we know Him, and that our names are in the book of life.

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