Chapter 3 (cont’d)
16-18: Love will require sacrifice. Christ gave his life, we ought to be willing to do the same. Love through sacrifice will require the believer to willingly give of his material possessions for the good of a brother.
19-24: God is pleased when we keep his commands. At first glance these verses may seem to support some kind of works-based righteousness that believers can begin to build up and earn interest on, but verse 23 destroys this thought. The command is: faith in Christ and love toward one another.
The works which please God are the works of Christ. Therefore, man’s faith in the God-pleasing life of Christ is the work that pleases God.
Our work is faith.
The second part – to love one another – is going to come from obedience to the first – faith in Jesus.
So, these verses teach at least three things: 1) God the Father is satisfied with the work of Jesus, 2) he commands our faith in Jesus, and 3) knowing that God is satisfied with us, because of the work of Jesus, we are set free from the burden of depending on our ability to keep the law.
The other wonderful truth is that faith is a gift (Eph. 2:8)!