God's Great Commands
Everybody, with a conscience towards God, wants to know what they must do to please Him. That desire is embedded into every heart, however much it is suppressed. John had heard Jesus answer the question, "'What must we do to do the works God requires?' Jesus answered, 'The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.'" (John 6:28-29).
John affirms that is still true, because the only way to please God is to trust in Jesus: He is the only way to the Father (John 14:6). Although false teachers were denying it (as they still do today), Jesus said it with the full authority of God. Whoever believes that Jesus is the Son of God, receives God's Spirit (Romans 8:9). God lives in them – assuring them that they genuinely belong to God (Romans 8:16).
The Spirit not only makes us confident that we belong to Father God, but He also gives us a desire to love the people with whom we worship - our spiritual brothers and sisters (1 John 3:14). All who believe in Jesus enter God's family: they automatically acquire spiritual siblings. Learning to live in this new family takes time, discipline and all the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) until sibling love becomes a reality.
John shares his experience: we, who believe in Jesus, are not alone because the Holy Spirit is in us. He who gave us new life in Christ is also giving us the desire and ability to put sibling rivalry away and live in love. The inner longing to give ourselves in service to other believers is powerful evidence that we are in God's family. We are commanded to do so, but also empowered to do it. Allow the Spirit to help you serve and strengthen your Christian brothers and sisters. Do it wherever you find them, starting where you live and work. Your love for them will be a strong witness to unbelievers that Jesus is the King of love (John 13:35), and will encourage them to seek Jesus too.
© Dr Paul Adams