Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has become a child of God. 1 John 5:1 NLT
This is the Good News for all people. Reading this simple sentence, written by the old apostle nearly a generation after Jesus’ death, burial, resurrection, and ascension, alive, back to heaven, brings both assurance and gratitude to our heart’s—I have become a child of God by faith in Jesus, the Messiah. This truth alone is enough to supercharge my day, but there is more.
And everyone who loves the Father loves his children, too. 2 We know we love God’s children if we love God and obey his commandments. 1 John 5:1b-2
Notice the perfect unity of God. “Everyone who loves the Father loves His children.” St. Augustine put it beautifully, when he wrote:
“…the sons (children) of God are the body of God’s only Son: He is the head, we are the members, and thus the Son of God is one. Therefore he who loves the sons of God loves the Son of God; he who loves the Son of God loves the Father. No one can love the Father, unless he loves the Son; and he who loves the Son loves the sons of God also. Who are these sons? The members of God’s Son. It is by loving that a man becomes a member, welded by love in the structure of the body of Christ …When the members love each other, the body loves itself… A man who loves God loves God’s commandments … “I am giving you a new commandment: love one another.” (John 13:34) … The nature of this love is such that, as it is itself welded into a unity, so it makes a unit of all those who are dependent upon it: it is, as it were, a fire which fuses them together.”St. Augustine of Hippo. Homily X on 1 John V
Our common love for Jesus fuses us together in a bond of unity with the Holy Trinity and every other believer in the world, throughout the ages, those who have gone before us and those who will come along after us. We are welded together by love.
3 Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome. 4 For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. 5 And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God. 1 John 5:3-5 NLT
This unity of perfect love empowers each of us to keep Christ’s commandments, for, fused together with the body of Christ, with Jesus as our Head, the commands are not a heavy burden, they are, instead, a kind of catechism, a righteous, welcomed lifestyle—a blessing, not a burden.
And what is the result of living in loving unity, keeping his commands? Victory. If you are a child of God through faith in Jesus Christ—back up to verse one—then you will defeat the evil world (v4), and win the battle against the world (v5) by faith. This faith is not something you drum up on your own, or work for, it is a gift from God, and the natural byproduct of living in the perfect love of God, united with Christ, united with His body. All the world’s forces are no match for living faith.
Dear one, please note, when we’re talking about “victory over the evil world”, and “battling the world”, and such things, we’re really talking about your world, your circumstances and situation. Each believer is facing personal demons as well as the larger societal evils. Faith is the victory here, too. We stand together for the salvation of the world, and for your battles, and mine, with things only a few people, if any in your life, understand. Stand fast, dear brother and sister, for we are one in Christ, and, welded together in unity, you have the Holy Trinity and the body of Christ with you, to make the good choice, to keep your hand off the bottle, to defuse your temper, to help you walk in obedience to Christ’s commands. We are one in Christ, and faith is the victory.