Whosoever believeth, etc. - Expressions of this kind are to be taken in connection with the subjects necessarily implied in them. He that believeth that Jesus is the Messiah, and confides in him for the remission of sins, is begotten of God; and they who are pardoned and begotten of God love him in return for his love, and love all those who are his children.
Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ - Is the Messiah; the anointed of God. On the meaning of the word Christ, see the notes at Matthew 1:1. Of course, it is meant here that the proposition, that “Jesus is the Christ,” should be believed or received in the true and proper sense, in order to furnish evidence that anyone is born of God. Compare the notes at 1 John 4:3. It cannot be supposed that a mere intellectual acknowledgment of the proposition that Jesus is the Messiah is all that is meant, for that is not the proper meaning of the word believe in the Scriptures. That word, in its just sense, implies that the truth which is believed should make its fair and legitimate impression on the mind, or that we should feel and act as if it were true. See the notes at Mark 16:16. If, in the proper sense of the phrase, a man does believe that Jesus “is the Christ,” receiving him as he is revealed as the Anointed of God, and a Saviour, it is undoubtedly true that that constitutes him a Christian, for that is what is required of a man in order that he may be saved. See the notes at Acts 8:37.
Is born of God - Or rather, “is begotten of God.” See the notes at John 3:3
And everyone that loveth him that begat - That loves that God who has thus begotten those whom he has received as his children, and to whom he sustains the endearing relation of Father.
Loveth him also that is begotten of him - That is, he will love all the true children of God; all Christians. See the notes at 1 John 4:20. The general idea is, that as all Christians are the children of the same Father; as they constitute one family; as they all bear the same image; as they share his favor alike; as they are under the same obligation of gratitude to him, and are bound to promote the same common cause, and are to dwell together in the same home forever, they should therefore love one another. As all the children in a family love their common father, so it should be in the great family of which God is the Head.
We are commanded to love one another as Christ has loved us. He has manifested His love by laying down His life to redeem us. The beloved disciple says that we should be willing to lay down our lives for the brethren. For “every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him” (verse 1). If we love Christ, we shall love those who resemble Him in life and character. And not only so, but we shall love those who have “no hope,” and are “without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12). It was to save sinners that Christ left His home in heaven and came to earth to suffer and to die. For this He toiled and agonized and prayed, until, heartbroken and deserted by those He came to save, He poured out His life on Calvary. SL 82.1
Many shrink from such a life as our Saviour lived. They feel that it requires too great a sacrifice to imitate the Pattern, to bring forth fruit in good works, and then patiently endure the pruning of God that they may bring forth more fruit. But when the Christian regards himself as only a humble instrument in the hands of Christ, and endeavors to faithfully perform every duty, relying upon the help which God has promised, then he will wear the yoke of Christ and find it easy; then he will bear burdens for Christ, and pronounce them light. He can look up with courage and with confidence, and say, “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him” (2 Timothy 1:12). SL 82.2Read in context »
God's Purpose for the Husband and Wife—God made from the man a woman, to be a companion and helpmeet for him, to be one with him, to cheer, encourage, and bless him, he in his turn to be her strong helper. All who enter into matrimonial relations with a holy purpose—the husband to obtain the pure affections of a woman's heart, the wife to soften and improve her husband's character and give it completeness—fulfill God's purpose for them. AH 99.1
Christ came not to destroy this institution, but to restore it to its original sanctity and elevation. He came to restore the moral image of God in man, and He began His work by sanctioning the marriage relation.1 AH 99.2
He who gave Eve to Adam as a helpmeet performed His first miracle at a marriage festival. In the festal hall where friends and kindred rejoiced together, Christ began His public ministry. Thus He sanctioned marriage, recognizing it as an institution that He Himself had established. He ordained that men and women should be united in holy wedlock, to rear families whose members, crowned with honor, should be recognized as members of the family above.2 AH 99.3
Jesus Wants Happy Marriages—The divine love emanating from Christ never destroys human love, but includes it. By it human love is refined and purified, elevated and ennobled. Human love can never bear its precious fruit until it is united with the divine nature and trained to grow heavenward. Jesus wants to see happy marriages, happy firesides.3 AH 99.4Read in context »