The letter now passed to a discussion of the fellowship of the saints with God as love. The hope born of love will have as its inevitable result the purification of those possessing it. The apostle shows that in Christ there is no need for anyone to sin, and that if one does he violates the very life principle which makes him a child of God. The proof of fellowship with God as love, therefore, is to be found in righteousness of conduct and love manifested toward our brethren.
The result of such fellowship with God as love will inevitably be the world’s hatred of us. The love of God for man is spiritual and perfect, and according to light, which always rebukes sin. It is this element which stirs up the hatred of men. Notwithstanding this, the hatred of the world is to be answered by loving, and that expressed even in material matters. Our love is to be in deed and in truth, rather than in word and with the tongue. The test by which we may ourselves know we are of the truth is a heart at rest before God. Doubt or uncertainty of mind is ever productive of harm. Boldness toward God is the result of a ,quiet and peaceable experience. The place of peace and power is abiding in Him. Abiding in Him means obedience: “he that keepeth His commandments abideth in Him.” The apostle names the commandments. They are two in number, and include all other matters. The first is that we should believe in Jesus Christ, and the second that we should love one another.