Verses to review today: 1 John 3:8-3:16
New Verse: 1 John 3:17
But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? (ESV)
But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? (KJV)
Greek: ὃς δʼ ἂν ἔχῃ τὸν βίον τοῦ κόσμου καὶ θεωρῇ τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ χρείαν ἔχοντα καὶ κλείσῃ τὰ σπλάγχνα αὐτοῦ ἀπʼ αὐτοῦ, πῶς ἡ ἀγάπη τοῦ θεοῦ μένει ἐν αὐτῷ;
Transliterated Greek: hos d’ an echē ton bion tou kosmou kai theōrē ton adelphon autou chreian echonta kai kleisē ta splanchna autou ap’ autou, pōs hē agapē tou theou menei en autō;
Literal Word for Word Translation: but whoever might have the life of the world (the worldly needs) and looks upon his brother having need, and shuts his inward compassions from him, how can the love of God abide in him?
Vocab: βίον, bion, life; κόσμου, kosmou, of world; θεωρῇ, theōrē, he might look upon; χρείαν, chreian, need; κλείσῃ, kleisē, having looked upon; σπλάγχνα, splanchn, innards (as in compassions, the heart of emotion).
Commentary: The test for whether we will lay down our life for a brother or sister is whether we will sacrifice to provide for his or her needs in time of need. As said at the end of the commentary for v16, we do not have to physically die in order to lay our lives down for another, but we give of ourselves and put our own interests aside in order to help another.
This test goes even further than the lip service that most of us give it. It is one thing to sacrifice our time and resources for those in need that we know and with whom we are good friends, but what about a brother or sister in Christ that we hardly know? Do we put a limit on how much we’ll sacrifice for another? What limit did Jesus set when He fulfilled Isaiah 52:13-53:12? The love of God knows no limits! If that love abides in us, why is it so limited?