By this we know that we love the children of God - Our love of God's followers is a proof that we love God. Our love to God is the cause why we love his children, and our keeping the commandments of God is the proof that we love him.
By this we know that we love the children of God - This is repeating the same truth in another form. “As it is universally true that if we love Him who has begotten us, we shall also love His children, or our Christian brethren, so it is true also that if we love His children it will follow that we love Him.” In other places, the apostle says that we may know that we love God if we love those who bear His image, 1 John 3:14. He here says, that there is another way of determining what we are. We may have undoubted evidence that we love God, and from that, as the basis of an argument, we may infer that we have true love to His children. Of the fact that we may have evidence that we love God, apart from that which we derive from our love to His children, there can be no doubt. We may be conscious of it; we may find pleasure in meditating on His perfections; we may feel sure that we are moved to obey Him by true attachment to Him, as a child may in reference to a father. But, it may be asked, how can it be inferred from this that we truly love His children? Is it not easier to ascertain this of itself than it is to determine whether we love God? Compare 1 John 4:20. To this it may be answered, that we may love Christians from many motives: we may love them as personal friends; we may love them because they belong to our church, or sect, or party; we may love them because they are naturally amiable: but the apostle says here, that when we are conscious that an attachment does exist toward Christians, we may ascertain that it is genuine, or that it does not proceed from any improper motive, by the fact that we love God. We shall then love Him as His children, whatever other grounds of affection there may be toward them.
And keep his commandments - See the notes at John 14:15.
When the lives of God's people are cleansed from moral and spiritual pollution; when their eyes are anointed with the heavenly eyesalve, they will see that they are poor, and wretched, and miserable, and blind, and naked. They will come to the fountain that has been opened for Judah and Jerusalem, and apply the cleansing blood of Christ to their poor, sin-sick souls. God grant that they make no delay in securing the advantages that He has prepared for all who love Him and keep His commandments.—Letter 259, November 23, 1903, to Mrs. L. M. Hall, a close friend and for many years matron of the Battle Creek Sanitarium. TDG 336.5Read in context »
Prayers in Behalf of Sinners—But you must look in faith. The true Christian life you have known nothing of for years; but while your powers have been so wasted and you have served Satan with a high hand, the Lord has heard prayer in your behalf, and has not cut you off in your sins, which He might easily have done if mercy were gone forever. Yes, God has heard the prayers of those whom you have refused to connect with, those who love God and keep the commandments. You have been utterly blind, deplorably deceived, deluded, and ensnared by the devil.... TSB 144.1Read in context »
We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Romans 15:1. OHC 183.1
What we all need is a more pure, Christlike sympathy; not sympathy for those who are perfect—they do not need it—but sympathy for poor, suffering, struggling souls who are often overtaken in fault, sinning and repenting, tempted and discouraged. The effect of grace is to soften and subdue the soul. Then all this cold unapproachableness is melted, subdued, and Christ appears. OHC 183.2Read in context »
When the heavenly principle of eternal love fills the heart, it will flow out to others, not merely because favors are received of them, but because love is the principle of action, and modifies the character, governs the impulses, controls the passions, subdues enmity, and elevates the affections. This love is not contracted, so as merely to include “me and mine,” but is as broad as the world and as high as heaven. It is in harmony with that of the angel workers. This love, cherished in the soul, sweetens the entire life, and sheds a refining influence on all around. Possessing it, we cannot but be happy, let fortune smile or frown. And if we love God with all the heart, we must love His children also. This love is the spirit of God. It is the heavenly adorning that gives true nobility and dignity to the soul. OHC 175.2Read in context »