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Love – The Rule Of Life – 1 John 2:7-11 (From Henry Mahan’s Commentary)
v.7. This is referring to what John has written in the preceding verses:
1. Christ is our Advocate with the Father. 2. Christ is our atonement and mercy seat. 3. Those who know God love him and keep his word and commandments, and those who abide in Christ seek to walk as he walked.
This is no new teaching or commandment but dates back to the beginning. We have no new gospel, but the ancient, eternal gospel of God’s grace in Christ, the principles and commandments of which are always the same (Rom. 1:1-3; John 8:56; 5:46).
v.8. John speaks here of brotherly love and refers probably to the words of Christ in John 13:34. This is no new commandment in the sense that it has been recently formulated and brought into existence; Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. His gospel, his law, his teachings are all the same, but this commandment to love one another is:
1. Newly explained by him and purged from the false teachings of the scribes and Pharisees (Matt. 5:21, 27, 38, 43).
2. Newly exemplified by Christ in his love for us;
3. Newly enforced by the argument, ‘How can we love God and not love our brethren? How can we be new creatures in Christ and not be like Christ?’ That which is true in Christ is true in you who are in Christ.
The ‘darkness’ or dimness of the ceremonial law is past and the clear ‘light’ or Christ shines. The darkness of sin and ignorance is past and we have been enlightened by the Holy Spirit.
vv. 9-11. The person who says that he has been illuminated by the Holy Spirit, has a true knowledge of the gospel and walks in the light of fellowship and union with Christ, yet who hates his brother (by creation, as all men are brothers, or by regeneration, as brothers in Christ) is still in a state of unregeneracy and ignorance. He is still in darkness as far as the gospel is concerned (Matt. 5:43-48). He who loves reveals a work of grace in his heart, for love is of God, not the product of nature (1 John 4:7, 8). Love does not lead to sin as hate does. Love is the rule of life (Rom. 13:8-10; Gal. 5:14) and produces obedience. He reminds us in verse 11 that whatever appearance of excellence or merit we may show, if love is absent, it is all sinful darkness and to no avail (1 Cor. 13:1-3; 1 John 4:7-11)
The Lord Showed Him A Tree
“And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD shewed him a tree.” -- Exodus 15:25
When Moses brought Israel from the Red Sea out into the wilderness, they went three days journey and found no water. When they came to Marah, they found water, but they could not drink that water because it was bitter (Exodus 15:22-23). God is going to make the waters of this wilderness world in which we live bitter to His children. This is not our home. We are only passing through.
“And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink? And he (Moses) cried unto the Lord; and the Lord showed him a tree” (Exodus 15:24-25.) Moses, picturing our Mediator, the Lord Jesus Christ, cried unto the Lord as the “mediator” between his God and his people, AND (immediately) “The Lord showed him a tree.” Have you ever cried unto the Lord because you were thirsty? Has God made everything in this wilderness of a world to be “bitter” to you? It is when we cry out of our desperate need for help that God shows us a tree. I refer to the tree seen on Mount Calvary. It is where Christ died the “just for the unjust” to bring chosen sinners to God. (1 Peter 3:18) It is “Christ and Him crucified” that makes everything we drink in this world (wilderness) sweet to the elect of God. Every bitter thing that we experience is made sweet because everything God sends those for whom Christ died, weans them from the wilderness and prepares them for the land of promise.
The tree that God showed Moses at Marah was cut down and cast in the water, and the water was made sweet. Christ, the Tree of Life, and the tree (the pole, the cross) He hung upon, was cut down and cast in the stormy waters of God’s wrath, judgment and justice, and that same water was made sweet to the drink of those who are found IN HIM. Aren’t you thankful that the Lord showed you that Tree? -- David Eddmenson