© Carlos Padilla – April 2019 – Passover 14th Nisan 5779


The apostle John was undoubtedly privileged, one of the three amongst the twelve, but of the twelve he was a kind of younger brother of Jesus as he was the youngest, and was chosen to take care of His mother, when he was commanded, while on the Cross. That same John is the one who lived close to the Lord, the same one that would live amongst the twelve apostles and mature with them, lived the triumphal entry of Yahshua – Jesus Christ into Jerusalem on the donkey’s colt, suffered in the Passion with great suffering when he saw Jesus being mocked, mistreated and nailed on the Cross to death, but also the one who arrived first to the empty tomb in the resurrection, after the women, and was the one who experienced the love amongst the first born again and wrote of it. He is the master who has inherited a new type of love which was the purpose of God in us since the beginning: brotherly spiritual love that springs from that cross of Calvary and can only be felt and given after being born again of the Holy Spirit through faith. This Palm Sunday we remember that triumphal entry which is the anteroom of the triumphal entry that the Lord will do the day of His coming to establish His Kingdom. In the first He did on a donkey’s colt (John 12:12), like kings used to do, but in the second, the final one, he will do on the clouds of heaven with power and glory “...and every eye shall see Him” Revelation 1:7. Let it be that in the meantime we, His church fulfil His new Commandment “Than you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another” John 13:34. After looking into the first two facets of love in the Bible, now we can go deeper into love in that new Commandment, key for the spiritual life of the Christian.

Having looked into the two previous sections, or Part One, in base of the description of love in the Bible in all its ways, and having looked in the second, to the love of God in particular, we will now be able to appreciate specially the focus that John receives from the Spirit, to study the letters and how that facet unites them to the Gospel that carries the same name, and that therefore lead to believe they are from the same author. It is evident that the love we find in the Gospel of John and in the three letters are of the same divine source, in intensity, recurrence and intimacy towards God, intimacy between God and Chris, and amongst the love of God for us. Although our purpose here is not to prove that the letters and the Gospel are of the same author, it is a relevant matter that enriches our exposition. The Christian love that John introduces in his first letter is the future of the regeneration from the Holy Spirit, but as well the fullness of the Spirit proves that the love that is requested to the disciple of Christ is, precisely the love of God, to be able to love the neighbour, a must have requirement to be a Christian.

If we analyze each of the three letters of John with regards to Christian love, we find the following: 1 John focuses on John’s care for the Church towards setting it free from heresy, from false teachers and of antichrist concepts. To this regard we shall point out how John is elected to reflect the love of God for the saved by insisting that they keep the Commandments (2:28 – 3:10) against the Gnostic perfectionism and not only in that they shall keep the Commandments but in love (3:11-24), that they love one another, in the battle against Antinomianism, and adds an emphasis in that they must believe in the full humanity of Christ, against Docetism (4:7-21). Through these three paths the believer is kept in the unity with God through the love He gives us, which takes us to the Words of Christ when He assures that no one will snatch us off His hand (John 10:28). Three parts of the first letter deal with Christian love of one another. In (2:7-17) he focuses on that love is an evidence of the new life due to the change made by the Holy Spirit in the believer, a love that is willing to make the effort because it believes in He who has loved us while in our sins, and therefore, how could we not love a brother? It is both an old and a new and a future Commandment, even the foundation of the Law that the Lord Himself would mention in Mark 12:29-30 about (Dt. 6:4 & 19:19). Even though this love to God and to our neighbour is the foundation of the Law, Jesus –John teaches– has brought us the close relationship of the Father’s heart; therefore life in communion, one another with our brothers in the faith, has changed under the paradigm of Jesus that loved all the brothers, each of the members of the community, He even eat with His betrayer. John calls the readers “beloved children” and “little children” (1 John 2:1), a notable paternal love for the people of God. Christian love, John continues, Blomberg[1] says, takes us not to love the fallen world with all its passing attractions (v. 15-17) and points out that the three temptations in verse 16 remind us of Adam and Eve, and those of Jesus in the desert. I think that the love of the letters of John is a mirror in which Christians must look into. Again, in the next chapter John recapitulates again about the love for one another, in (1 John 3:11-24) to take the reader or listener of the message, to the primal Christian love, separating it from the situation they were living in the contaminated Church by heretics. Today we have the same situation: the world hates us while we love one another, we love God, and we love them, and they do not understand. Then John emphasises about sharing our possessions in proof of holy fellowship with true brothers, especially with those in need and the missionary. Here, brotherly love is another foundation for those who doubt if they are saved, they will see that the deed of caring is a proof itself that they are and that the love of God is in them. This, at the same time opens the door to prayer in trust that God loves us and guides us through the Spirit to ask according to the will and the love of God (5:14). Who loves God, obeys Christ, and the Holy Spirit that lives within us gives testimony of all these things, of the love of God in us. The third and last part of the recompilation of the love of God that John does, of one another (4:7-21) but this time the emphasis is focused in that God’s love in us is the artifice that makes us able to love one another, the spring, the origin, the proof that the Spirit dwells in us, a marvellous love. It is not possible to love God and heat the neighbour, the brother; it is incomprehensible, which in itself is another proof of the true love of God. Like verse 7 tells: Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God”. And continues on 8, 9 (similar to John 3:16), but for me 10 is the key of all:In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins”. And then it concludes with, if God has loved us in this way, we must also love one another. Again we see a unity with Paul in 1 Corinthians 13. Here the apostle is saying that if one receives spiritual gits from God to serve the Church he must do it with love, and if he does not do it with this type of brotherly love of which we are talking about, is worth nothing and the gifts will end, but love is eternal. But the conclusion of this letter is that the love of God is not only emotional, which it is, but it is founded in obedience, and in this he commands us to do so with his commandments if we love Him, as William MacDonald[2] comments. This letter closes adding a new gift to this love, which is, it takes away fear; who fears to love, still needs to be made perfect in loving (17-18), who believes and loves God does not fear death because he knows there is eternal life and that he goes with God for eternity.

The second letter emanates again the brotherly love from its beginning talking of the love of John for the children of an “elect lady” who may be the Church or a particular church, to which he tells that also everyone who knows truth loves her, and prays that the grace of the Lord be with them truly and in love. Again verse 6 asks that her “the lady – church” walk in love, and that love which is the commandment which is heard by every disciple from the beginning, and it links it again with the true faith of Christianity, in Jesus Christ God-man to denounce again the teaching that the antichrist uses which is precisely anti Jesus Christ. Instructs to separate from those teaching destructive heresy. Closes talking about a chosen sister, which may also be another church. The love this letter emanates, comes from Christ but lives in the heart of the believer and it must flow to the rest of the brethren, which is the proof of the faith that saves, in relationship to the “Golden Rule” (Matthew 7:12).

The third letter of John begins already with the love of the “Golden Rule” in its first exposition to Gaius, whom he says he loves in the truth, a precious way of uniting both letters with the first in practice. And continues in the second verse in the same way calling him beloved, for the rejoicing of John is to see that Gaius walks in the truth according to the testimony of other brothers, that truth of the second letter which is linked with living in brotherly love, and in Gaius is proven through his hospitality towards itinerant workers, the missionary, to whom, not only he would accommodate but he would also help financially for the cause of the Gospel so they could continue their journey. This type of brotherly love, Charles Ryrie [3] links it to the purpose of God as the basic foundation for building His Church, but this is only possible for the Christian who is sure of his salvation (John 10:28). In the same way Harrison[4] foresees that the key of the letters with respect to the proof of Christian love, is first in obedience to the Commandments, but he continues in his commentary exposing that Christians have the obligation to love one another. To this respect we may think a priori that this is a cold commandment, just a mere rule, but in really is the contrary. If, from the Christian heart, the true love that loves God does not emanate, not only to God in His goodness, but when we are disciplined and proven by Him, and that also loves the brothers because it has matured and has grown from the principles of faith to walk in Christian maturity. If it does not emanate that love, if it does not flow, then one must pray fervently to cast the obstacles of the flesh and of love to the world, or the Church, and our church in particular will not have the solid joints needed for the ministry which glorifies our God. John begins the first letter with the Word of life, the same as in the Gospel, and continues with the simile that God is light, and warns that if someone says he is in the light and hates the brother, he is still in the darkness, does not love. The second reminds them again the love and the commandments. The third give the example of that love in Gaius.


It is not by chance that we have two Texts 3:16 in the work of John that talk of God’s love for man, one in the Gospel of John and the other in the first letter of John: By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” (1 John 3:16). John teaches that form our heart that love of God must flow from us to the brethren as he has been teaching in the three letters, teaching to love one another in truth and in love, and to fulfil the Commandments, because these two premises are proof of living in the faith of Christ-man which is the true Christology, Jesus eternal became a man to die on the Cross, defeat sin and death, and give us eternal life. We can close without fear of being wrong that the love that emanates from these three letters of John, is the love of God from us for God and for our neighbour, and that this love can be seen in one’s relationship with the brethren, when accommodating them, taking care, serving, in deeds and prayer for them to find Christ in us, and this way God may be glorified because the Father loves us. Christ has taken us to that love and the Holy Spirit, who abides in us, is interceding with groanings which cannot be uttered so that this brotherly love flows from the temple of the soul that God has built in each of us, Hallelujah! If this love from us is taught to all the Church in a way that we all may mature with the tools of prayer, fasting, but more that all the conviction that it is the foundation and the link of unity, it will be possible that the Lord will be glorified and that His Church may be recognised, and want to be part of it until the coming of the Lord in His Kingdom. I close with the Great Commandment: “This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you” Juan 15:12, “...for God is love” 1 Juan 4:8b. Amen!


[1] Craig L. Blomberg. De Pentecostés a Patmos: Una introducción a los libros de Hechos a Apocalipsis. Biblioteca Teológica Vida. (Miami: Editorial Vida, 2012). 560.



  • For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Prophecy of Isaiah 9:6.

  • I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6. Words of Yahshua - Jesus Christ.
  • You want to know God, but you know the way is not through organized religion, nor by sects, nor by society. The world has failed. ...I pray for them;  I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours... John 17:9. Prayer of Yahshua - Jesus Christ.

  • If you really seek God, begin today the new life though the true hand of God. The Gospel is the message for all nations, no matter their race, their origins or culture. God is the saviour of those from humanity who open their hearts to Him.

  • ...Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.  1Corinthians 15:58.

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