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1 John 4:21: Whoever Loves God Must Also Love His Brother

1 John 4:21
[21] And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. (ESV)

How do you feel about commandments? We know that we are under grace, not under the Law, so does that mean that we no longer obey God's commandments?  The reality is this. If we truly love God then we will obey him. So, if God commands us to do something we obey him out of love, not out of fear of the Law.

So, what has he commanded? He has commanded that we love our brother. This commandment ought not to be any kind of surprise. We know that the Law and the Prophets are summarized in this principle of loving God and loving our neighbor. Do you remember when the Pharisees questioned Jesus about what was the most important commandment? Listen to His response:

Matthew 22:37–40
[37] And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. [38] This is the great and first commandment. [39] And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. [40] On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (ESV)

This idea of loving our brother is nothing new. It is consistent with what it has always meant to know and to love God.  If the love of God has truly impacted our lives it will change the way that we view those around us. Just like God looks at sinful people with love, so will we. The more time that we spend with God the more we will act like him.

Are you keeping God's commandment?  Do others notice the love that you have for your brothers and sisters? Draw close to the Lord and you will begin to love like he does.