AUTHOR AND TITLE

Manuscript evidence is unanimous that someone named “John” wrote this little treatise, which is consistently labeled the “first” of his extant letters in titles found in ancient copies. But who is this “John”? For a number of reasons, John the son of Zebedee, author of the Fourth Gospel, is the most likely candidate (see Introduction to John: Author and Title).

First, the style and vocabulary of John’s Gospel and 1 John are so similar that a common author is extremely likely. This is particularly evident in the opening verses of the respective writings, but the language of the Gospel echoes across the whole epistle. For example, only verbal forms of “believe” occur (about a hundred times) in John’s Gospel; the noun “faith” never appears. First John follows suit, with nine occurrences of a verbal form of “believe” and just one use of the word “faith” (5:4). Second, major themes and emphases of the writings overlap. These include Christ’s simultaneous full humanity and divinity, the close relationship between believing (faith, doctrine) and obeying God’s commandments (ethics), and the primacy of love as marking authentic knowledge of the true God through trust in his Son.

While John is not mentioned by name in the Fourth Gospel, he is likely to have been “the beloved disciple” who reclined next to Jesus at the Last Supper (John 13:23; arguments that he was Lazarus, an “elder” John, or a fictional creation are unconvincing). He stood at the foot of the cross when Jesus was crucified; Jesus entrusted his mother Mary to John’s care (John 19:26–27). Along with Peter he witnessed the empty tomb on the first Easter morning (John 20:2–10). He also saw, spoke with, and ate breakfast at a lakeside fire kindled by the resurrected Jesus (John 21:7, 20). He was therefore highly qualified to write of what he and others had heard, seen, gazed upon, and touched (1 John 1:1). As Jesus’ “beloved disciple,” he was also well suited to plumb the depths of the meaning of Jesus’ coming (1:2; 4:9), life (2:6; 4:14), death (1:7), resurrection (5:11; “eternal life … in his Son” implies his death was not final), intercessory ministry at the Father’s right hand (2:1), and eventual return (2:28)—all matters playing a role in the witness, instruction, and admonition of this rich and highly concentrated letter.

DATE

Early post-apostolic figures like Polycarp and Papias (c. a.d. 100) presuppose or cite 1 John in their writings. This suggests a date of composition no later than the 90s a.d. This dovetails with the testimony of church fathers that, shortly before a.d. 67, John joined other Christians in departing from Jerusalem prior to the destruction of the city by Rome. John reportedly resumed his apostolic ministry in the vicinity of the great but highly idolatrous city of Ephesus (in modern western Turkey). He likely wrote 1 John as an elder statesman of the faith in the last third of the first century, perhaps to churches in the surrounding region. This might have included towns like those mentioned alongside Ephesus in the opening chapters of Revelation: Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea (Rev. 2:8–3:22).

GENRE

First John lacks certain earmarks of a typical Hellenistic letter. For example, the writer does not name himself at the outset (as Paul always does), and the book is somewhat sermonic in tone. Yet on several counts it is highly letter-like, as seen from the expressed motive of shared joy (1:4), the repeated mentions of the act and purpose of writing to his recipients (13 uses of the Gk. verb “I write”), and the many instances of direct address to the readers. First John was judged to be in the form of a letter by ancient writers such as Irenaeus, Dionysius of Alexandria, and Eusebius, who would have understood the prevailing conventions of letter writing.

STYLE AND SUBSTANCE

The rhetoric of 1 John is challenging. John rarely sustains a clear line of argument for more than a few lines or verses. He wanders from subject to subject, unencumbered by any discernible outline. Yet if he has no plan, he does follow a pattern: after leaving a subject he often returns to it. His style of thought has been termed circular rather than linear. It has also been termed symphonic, in that he states themes, moves away from them, and then revisits them with variations (see chart).

While the rhetoric of 1 John poses difficulties, his content is rich in doctrinal substance, ethical challenge, and devotional fervor. John is insistent that no one has ever seen God the Father in his unmediated glory (4:12; see John 1:18), yet just as insistent that to know Jesus is to know “the true God and eternal life” (1 John 5:20). The mystery of this dialectic suffuses the letter from start to finish and moves John to write with insight, consistency, intensity, and depth. Yet his language is for the most part simple and his vocabulary modest. Line for line there are few biblical writings that surpass 1 John in the imposing demands made on the reader along with the rich rewards that studied interpretation will yield.

THEME

In 1 John the author calls readers back to the three basics of Christian life: true doctrine, obedient living, and fervent devotion. Because “God is light” (1:5), Christ’s followers overcome evildoers who seek to subvert them. The one who lives in and among them—God’s Son—is greater than the spirit of “the antichrist” now in the world (4:3–4). To believe in the name of the Son of God is to know the assurance of eternal life (5:13).

PURPOSE, OCCASION, AND BACKGROUND

It is customary to understand 1 John as a response to the rise of an early form of Gnosticism. This was a religious mysticism that pirated Christian motifs to propagate an understanding of salvation based on esoteric “knowledge” (Gk. gnōsis). According to this view, redemption is through affirming the divine light already in the human soul, not through repentance of sin and faith in Christ’s death to bring about spiritual rebirth. Writings widely publicized in recent years, like the Gospel of Thomas and Gospel of Judas, for example, were products of Gnostic writers. But the heyday of Gnostic thought was the second through fifth centuries, well after the time the NT books were written. It can neither be proven nor ruled out that John had this movement in mind as he wrote.

The study notes for this book will focus on what seems definite in 1 John rather than what can be imagined. John wrote to Christians who had witnessed an exodus from their ranks (2:19). This does not mean that all John wrote should be interpreted as a response to schism—John is neither anti-Gnostic nor anti-schismatic. John’s focus is positive, not polemical. His aim is redemptive, not reactionary. He urges readers to refine their theological understanding, sharpen their ethical rigor, and heighten their devotional intensity. That is, they must grow in faith, obedience, and love. Yet the letter is not a list of dos and don’ts. It is rather a manifesto of “Done!”—Jesus’ words “It is finished” (John 19:30) come to mind. First John highlights what God the Father has “done” in sending Christ the Son, offering him up as a sacrifice for sins, and sending forth “the word of life” (1 John 1:1) that is causing this world’s darkness to pass away and the true light of the coming age to shine (2:8).

God’s action becomes the mandate of those who believe in his Son. “Whoever does the will of God abides forever” (2:17). God’s will is for readers to receive the saving message of Christ’s coming, rejoice in the commands of Christ’s teaching, and revel in the love of the Father as it continually translates into Christian love for one another and ministry to the world. This is “not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth” (3:18).

KEY THEMES

1. The one eternal God became incarnate in his Son, Jesus the Christ, who is “the true God and eternal life.”1:1–3; 4:2; 5:20
2. All humans are sinful, but Christians have joyful fellowship with the Father, with the Son, and with each other through repentance and faith in Christ.1:3–10
3. Christ is our advocate with the Father and the propitiation for our sins.2:1–2; 4:10
4. Those who know Christ forsake sin and keep God’s commandments—in particular the love commandment.2:3–11; 3:4–24; 4:7–21
5. Denial of Jesus Christ as God’s Son in the flesh is denial of God the Father.2:22–23; 4:2–3; 5:10–12
6. Faith in Christ results in forgiveness of sins, eternal life, confidence in prayer, protection from the evil one, and understanding and knowing the true God.5:12–21

THEOLOGICAL THEMES OF 1 JOHN

As noted in Style and Substance, the letter’s themes are presented, moved away from, then resumed. Though a linear progression is not presented in 1 John, many of the themes that are repeated may be set forth as follows.

God is light and love. Those who are now Christians have passed out of death into life. Christians did not do this on their own ability; God loved them and sent Jesus to be the propitiation for their sins. God then caused those who were dead to be born again, giving them life. With life, God gave the Spirit and spiritual understanding, with the result that believers are no longer “of the world” or “of the devil” but are “from/of God” and “of the truth.” God now abides in his people, his Word abides in them, and they abide in God; thus they abide in the light, for God is light. Another way of describing this relationship is to say that Christians know and love God. Being made alive, receiving the Spirit, and knowing God naturally results in transformed behavior, which John describes in terms of loving God, obeying God, and loving one another.

God is light (1:5; 2:8)God is love (4:8, 16, 19)
Christians were spiritually dead: they have “passed out of death into life” (3:14)
God loved his people and sent Jesus to die for them (3:16; 4:10, 14, 19; 5:11)
Christians have been born of God (2:29; 3:9; 4:7; 5:1, 4, 18)
God gave them life (3:14; 4:9; 5:11, 16)
God gave Christians the Spirit (2:20, 27; 3:24; 4:13) along with understanding (5:20)
Christians are of/from God/the truth (3:10, 19; 4:4, 6; 5:19)
God abides in Christians, and his Word abides in them (2:14, 24, 27; 3:9, 24; 4:12, 13, 15, 16)Christians abide in God, and thus abide in the light (2:5, 6, 27, 28; 3:6, 24; 4:13, 16)
Christians know God (2:13, 14; 4:6, 7), they know the Father (2:13; 5:20), they know Jesus (1:3; 2:3), and they know the Spirit (4:2, 6)Christians love God (2:5; 4:21; 5:2, 3)
Being born again, having received the Spirit, abiding in God and God abiding in them, and knowing and loving God, Christians bear observable fruit:

  • Practice truth/righteousness (1:6; 2:29; 3:7, 10)
  • Walk in the light/as he walked (1:7; 2:6)
  • Confess sins and have forgiveness (1:9; 2:12)
  • Keep/obey his commandments/Word (2:3, 5; 3:22, 24; 5:2, 3)
  • Love one another/the brothers (2:10; 3:10, 11, 14, 16, 18, 23; 4:7, 11, 21)
  • Overcome the evil one/them/the world (2:13, 14; 4:4; 5:4)
  • Do the will of God/cannot keep on sinning (2:17; 3:9, 22)
  • Confess the Son/believe in Jesus (2:23; 3:23; 4:2, 15; 5:1, 4, 13)

HISTORY OF SALVATION SUMMARY

Christians are to live in love, as Christ loved us (see note on John 13:34–35). (For an explanation of the “History of Salvation,” see the Overview of the Bible.)

LITERARY FEATURES

First John is ostensibly an epistle, but its content is more fluid than what is found in most NT epistles. There is no epistolary salutation, nor is there a conventional epistolary conclusion. A more accurate designation is to call this book a treatise or pamphlet. Alternately, it can be read as an address or loosely structured sermon. The topic changes with virtually every paragraph, so the best advice for reading the book is to “think paragraphs.”

Nonetheless, even though the structure of 1 John is not strictly linear, the author keeps coming back to topics that have been introduced earlier, so that readers can profitably think of the book as being arranged like a musical symphony. The main theme is tests by which we can know if we are in Christ—beliefs and attitudes that authenticate one’s claims to be a Christian. Under that umbrella, subordinate themes appear: Christology (doctrine about the person and work of Christ); walking in the light; love; and the need to reject fallen, worldly culture. These topics weave in and out of the book. The book is structured on an implied dialectical principle in which John continuously seeks to oppose viewpoints that are contrary to his assertions. For example, John’s assertions that Christ has come in the flesh (1:1–3 and 4:2) are an implied refutation of those who deny the incarnation. Finally, there is an incipient poetry and mysticism about John’s writing, so that, for example, a lot of what John asserts about the Christian life is embodied in great symbols like light and darkness, or walking and abiding in Christ.

TIMELINE

Timeline

THE SETTING OF 1 JOHN

c. a.d. 85

John likely wrote 1 John from Ephesus, where apparently he had relocated near the time of the fall of Jerusalem to the Romans in a.d. 70. The letter was probably intended to be read by the church in Ephesus and perhaps also by other churches in the surrounding cities. Ephesus was a wealthy and highly influential port city in the Roman province of Asia, and it was renowned for its temple of Artemis (Diana).

The Setting of 1 John

OUTLINE

  1. God Is Light and Christ Is the Way (1:1–2:6)
  2. Prologue (1:1–4)
  3. God’s nature and human sin (1:5–10)
  4. Jesus Christ in everyday life (2:1–6)
  5. The Abiding Commandment in a Transient World (2:7–17)
  6. The primacy of love (2:7–11)
  7. The confidence of God’s people (2:12–14)
  8. The lure of this fleeting age (2:15–17)
  9. Overcoming Antichrist by Confession of the Son (2:18–3:10)
  10. Warning and assurance (2:18–27)
  11. Christians as children of God (2:28–3:3)
  12. Children of God and the forsaking of sin (3:4–10)
  13. Overcoming Evil by Listening to the Apostle (3:11–4:6)
  14. Overcoming Cain’s malice (3:11–24)
  15. Overcoming the Antichrist’s deception (4:1–6)
  16. The Assurance of God through the Love of God (4:7–21)
  17. The perfecting of God’s love (4:7–12)
  18. The assurance of God’s Spirit (4:13–21)
  19. Faith in the Son as the Way to Life (5:1–12)
  20. Faith keeps the commandments of God (5:1–5)
  21. Faith receives the testimony of God (5:6–12)
  22. Final Call to Faith and Understanding (5:13–21)
  23. The confidence that faith furnishes (5:13)
  24. The prayer that faith enables (5:14–17)
  25. The understanding that faith grants (5:18–21)

THE FIRST GENERAL EPISTLE OF JOHN

CHAPTER 1

1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;

2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)

3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.

5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:

7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

CHAPTER 2

1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our’s only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.

4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.

6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

7 Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning.

8 Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth.

9 He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.

10 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.

11 But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.

12 I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake.

13 I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.

14 I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.

15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.

19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.

21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.

22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.

23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.

24 Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.

25 And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.

26 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.

27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.

29 If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.

CHAPTER 3

1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.

6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.

7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.

8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.

12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.

13 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.

14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.

15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.

16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

17 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?

18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.

20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.

21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.

22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.

24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

CHAPTER 4

1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:

3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

5 They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.

6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.

8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.

14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.

15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

19 We love him, because he first loved us.

20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

CHAPTER 5

1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.

2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.

3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

6 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.

7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.

9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.

10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.

11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:

15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

16 If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.

17 All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.

18 We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.

19 And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.

20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.


WE SHOULD LOVE ONE ANOTHER

For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. – 1 John 3:11
Christ’s command to love one another was a new commandment, but with careful consideration, through scripture, this command has been with us from the very beginning of the world.
Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning. – 1 John 2:7
John 1:1 speaks the beginning as the same of Genesis 1:1
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) – 1John 1:1-2
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. – Genesis 1:1
Reconfirmed from John,
I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. – 1 John 2:13
I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one. – 1 John 2:14
Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. – 1 John 2:24
This is an eternal commandment for GOD IS LOVE (1 John 4:16) & LOVE IS GOD (1 John 4:7)
And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. – 1 John 4:16
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. – 1 John 4:7
In John 17:24,26 at the upper room, Jesus prayed to his father:
Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. — O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them. – John 17:24,26
Love has been the Center of God’s plan from the beginning, and Christ has given a new measure of that Love.
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. – John 13:34

References:

  • King James Version Bible
  • Writings of Henry M Morris
  • Institute for Creation Research
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