He that loveth his brother - That is, his neighbor, his fellow creature, whether Jew or Gentile, so as to bear him continual good will, and to be ready to do him every kind office; abideth in the light - not only gives proof that he has received Christ Jesus the Lord, but that he walks in him, that he retains the grace of his justification, and grows therein.
And there is none occasion of stumbling in him - Και σκανδαλον εν αυτῳ ουκ εστιν· And there is no stumbling block in him; he neither gives nor receives offense: love prevents him from giving any to his neighbor; and love prevents him from receiving any from his neighbor, because it leads him to put the best construction on every thing. Besides, as he walks in the light, he sees the stumbling blocks that are in the way, and avoids them; every part of his path being illuminated. Many fall into sin because they do not see the snares that are in the way; and they do not see the snares because they either have not received, or do not abide in, the light.
He that loveth his brother abideth in the light - Has true religion, and enjoys it.
And there is none occasion of stumbling in him - Margin, “scandal.” Greek, “and there is no stumbling” (or scandal - σκάνδαλον skandalon- in him.) The word here used, means anything against which one strikes or stumbles; and then a stumbling-block, an impediment, or anything which occasions a fall. Then it is used in a moral or spiritual sense, as denoting that which is the occasion of falling into sin. See the Matthew 5:29 note, and Romans 14:13 note. Here it refers to an individual in respect to his treatment of others, and means that there is nothing, so far as he is concerned, to lead him into sin. - Robinson, Lexicon. If he has love to the brethren, he has true religion; and there is, so far as the influence of this shall extend, nothing that will be the occasion of his falling into sin in his conduct toward them, for “love worketh no ill to his neighbor,” Romans 13:10. His course will be just, and upright, and benevolent. He will have no envy toward them in their prosperity, and will not be disposed to detract from their reputation in adversity; he will have no feelings of exultation when they fall, and will not be disposed to take advantage of their misfortunes; and, loving them as brethren, he will be in no respect under temptation to do them wrong. In the bosom of one who loves his brother, the baleful passions of envy, malice, hatred, and uncharitableness, can have no place. At the same time, this love of the brethren would have an important effect on his whole Christian life and walk, for there are few things that will have more influence on a man‘s character in keeping him from doing wrong, than the love of the good and the pure. He who truly loves good people, will not be likely in any respect to go astray from the paths of virtue.
We are builders for God, and we must build upon the foundation which He has prepared for us. No man is to build upon his own foundation, independent of the plan which God has devised. There are men whom God has raised up as counselors, men whom He has taught, and whose heart and soul and life are in the work. These men are to be highly esteemed for their work's sake. There are some who will wish to follow their own crude notions; but they must learn to receive advice and to work in harmony with their brethren, or they will sow doubt and discord that they will not care to harvest. It is the will of God that those who engage in His work shall be subject to one another. His worship must be conducted with consistency, unity, and sound judgment. God is our only sufficient helper. The laws which govern His people, their principles of thought and action, are received from Him through His word and Spirit. When His word is loved and obeyed, His children walk in the light, and there is no occasion of stumbling in them. They do not accept the world's low standard, but work from the Bible standpoint. 5T 270.1
The selfishness which exists among God's people is very offensive to Him. The Scriptures denounce covetousness as idolatry. No “covetous man,” says Paul, “who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” The trouble with many is that they have too little faith. Like the rich man in the parable they want to see their supplies piled up in their granaries. The world is to be warned, and God wants us wholly engaged in His work; but men have so much to do to forward their money-making projects that they have no time to push the triumphs of the cross of Christ. They have neither time nor disposition to put their intellect, tact, and energy into the cause of God. 5T 270.2
Brethren and sisters, I wish to excite in your minds disgust for your present limited ideas of God's cause and work. I want you to comprehend the great sacrifice that Christ made for you when He became poor, that through His poverty you might come into possession of eternal riches. Oh! do not, by your indifference to the eternal weight of glory which is within your reach, cause angels to weep and hide their faces in shame and disgust. Arouse from your lethargy; arouse every God-given faculty, and work for precious souls for whom Christ died. These souls, if brought to the fold of Christ, will live through the ceaseless ages of eternity; and will you plan to do as little as possible for their salvation, while, like the man with the one talent, you invest your means in the earth? Like that unfaithful servant, are you charging God with reaping where He has not sown, and gathering where He has not strewed? 5T 271.1Read in context »