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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.