Skip to main content

1 John 3:14: Passed Out of Death Into Life

1 John 3:14
[14] We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. (ESV)

John uses powerful imagery to describe our new life in Christ. He speaks of passing from death into life.  This certainly coincides with the Apostle Paul describing a Christian as a brand new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). But have you considered the evidence that one has gone from death into life?  I imagine that if we were coming up with evidence of a changed life we would come up with something different than John does.

We might say that we have passed out of death into life if we behave better.  We give up some nasty habits.  Perhaps we brush our teeth more, and become more pleasant to be around. I do think that there are people that equate Christianity with a behavioral adjustment.  And while it is not a bad thing to work on your outward actions or habits that is not the evidence John is talking about that shows you have passed from death to life.

Some would say that we have passed out of death into life if we give sacrificially to worthy causes.  There are many worthy organizations that desperately need to be supported.  I can think of pregnancy centers that need everything from diapers to funding for their ministry.  I think of our opioid  crisis. Groups like Teen Challenge are doing a wonderful job in bringing deliverance to addition.  Perhaps, giving Bibles to foreign persecuted lands. Or maybe building homes in third world nations.  All of these things are very worthwhile, but are not the evidence John is talking about.

So, what is the evidence?  Love.  In fact, John declares that those who do not love abide in death. The tragic thing is that we can change our habits and behaviors and not love.  We can give to all kinds of worthy causes and missions works and not love.  The true evidence that we have passed from death to life is that we now have a renewed heart that loves, and no longer lives in hatred.

Do you truly love others?  Do you love those who do not love you?  This is the kind of love that only comes from Christ.  Ask him to pour his love into you as you confess your sin and let go of hatred.


Popular posts from this blog

Romans 8:18: For I Consider That The Sufferings Of This Present Time Are Not Worth Comparing

Romans 8:18 [18] For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (ESV) Perspective. What an important word. Let's be honest. We do not like the idea of suffering. We will do almost anything to avoid any kind of suffering. Some churches have gone so far as to preach against the idea of suffering, declaring it to not be a part of the true believer's life. Paul is not shy about the topic. Paul uses the sufferings of this present time as a means to consider the greater glory that awaits us. Perspective. Paul is not in any way attempting to diminish our suffering. A view toward eternity puts our suffering in a proper understanding. Yes, our suffering is terrible. In the grand scheme of eternity it is not even worth comparison. Maybe you are thinking that Paul does not know what he is talking about when it comes to suffering. In 2 Corinthians 11 Paul describes countless beatings, often near death,

Romans 11:24: For If You Were Cut From What Is By Nature A Wild Olive Tree, And Grafted, Contrary To Nature, Into A Cultivated Olive Tree . . .

Romans 11:24 [24] For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree. (ESV) We continue looking at the illustration of an olive tree. The root of the tree is the covenant relationship relationship of God with Abraham. Abraham's faith is what this spiritual tree is built on. The first branches would have been the faithful people of Israel, who like Abraham, placed their faith in God. They believed God, just like Abraham, and it was credited to them as righteousness. There were branches of the people of Israel who never placed their faith in God. Because these branches were not true followers of God they were broken off of the tree. Faith in God was the essential element that made the branches true branches of this spiritual tree. Some branches remained. Others, the faithless unbelievers, were removed. After Jesu

Romans 15:20-21: And Thus I Make It My Ambition To Preach The Gospel, Not Where Christ Has Already Been Named

Romans 15:20–21 [20] and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else's foundation, [21] but as it is written, “Those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand.” (ESV) We need to be reminded continually that the message of the Gospel is intended to move all across the world. Jesus said that his followers were to preach the Gospel, starting in Jerusalem, and continue preaching the Gospel to the whole world. Christians have not always been good at delivering the Gospel message as far and as often as they should. In the first century church it took intense persecution to motivate the disciples in Jerusalem to bring the Gospel to Judea and Samaria. Once the disciples fled to new regions they shared the Gospel wherever they went. Would the disciples have preached the Gospel without the persecution? We may never know. Some probably would have stayed in their co