We come then to the asser tion that if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. Two important items should be noted. First, obedience and love of God are inseparably linked. Love of God, like knowledge of God, is expressed through "keeping God's word," through our allegiance to God. Second, note what the author does not say. He does not say that the more we obey, the more we show that we love God. In other words, the Elder is not criticizing Christians for failing to "do enough." Rather, his statement is directed at those who had left the church and who may have denied the need for obedience in the Christian life. John contends that it is simply impossible to claim to love or to know God without also living in obedience to God. In obedience to the commands, our love for God is truly made complete, that is, not made morally perfect or without flaw, but lived out as it should be.
IVP New Testament Commentaries are made available by the generosity of InterVarsity Press.
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