Last verse of chapter 4 – now on to that last chapter of 1 John!
Verses to review today: 1 John 4:13-20
New Verse: 1 John 4:21
And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. (ESV)
And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also. (KJV)
Greek: καὶ ταύτην τὴν ἐντολὴν ἔχομεν ἀπʼ αὐτοῦ, ἵνα ὁ ἀγαπῶν τὸν θεὸν ἀγαπᾷ καὶ τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ.
Transliterated Greek: kai tautēn tēn entolēn echomen ap’ autou, hina ho agapōn ton theon agapa kai ton adelphon autou.
Literal Word for Word Translation: and this is the commandment we have from him, that the one loving God also loves his brother.
Vocab: ἐντολὴν, entolēn, commandment; ἔχομεν, echomen, we have.
Commentary: This commandment is collectively together one commandment of the two, to love God and to love one’s neighbor. John is clearly making the case that they are linked. You can’t love God and not love your neighbor. He has made the point of that fact plainly in the preceding verses. Can someone be commanded to love God and his neighbor? Jesus said in John 14:23-24, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me. So, if anyone loves Jesus, that person will obey His commandments. How? By the Spirit. 15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. 18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” John 14:15-21. The Spirit was with the disciples in Jesus’ last day through Jesus Himself. However, when He left, the Spirit would come upon them and not just be with them, but in them. By Him, they could love God and the brothers. This commandment isn’t one so much that any person can be ordered to do. But, it is that which IS done by one who is a believer in Jesus Christ. By the living out of that commandment, others can know that a believer is a disciple of Jesus (Jn 13:34-35).