What is the “new commandment” that John talks about in his epistles?

Understanding the “New Commandment” in John’s Epistles

The “New Commandment”

In John’s epistles, we find a powerful message about faith, love, and eternal life. The “new commandment” is to believe in the name of Jesus Christ and to love one another. This love is not just a feeling, but it is a true connection that is “in you and in Christ.” Through faith in Jesus, we can experience the eternal life that God has promised. This faith also justifies and regenerates believers, while loving one another involves recognizing other sons of God by their faith and crediting them with the benefits of being in Christ.

True “In You and In Christ”

The New Commandment is not something given to us to “do” as if it is not true until we do it. The new commandment is “true in you, and in Christ” (1 John 2:8) because the darkness is past, and the true light now shines. It is true in us as a positional truth, the same as other positional truths, such as our having been buried with Christ and raised up together with Him, and the fact that we are now accepted in the beloved and have peace with God through Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:6, Colossians 2:12, Ephesians 1:6, Romans 5:1). We have received the Spirit, we have received Eternal life, we are no longer of the night but of the day (1 John 4:13, John 5:24, 1 Thessalonians 5:5). We are not in darkness but in the light (1 John 1:5-7). And the New Commandment, which is to believe in Jesus Christ and love one another, is true in us (1 John 2:7-8). 1 John was written because there were false believers and wolves among them that John called “antichrist” and warned that they were “seducing” the saints away from the simplicity in Christ (1 John 2:18-19). John told the saints that even though he was writing them about those that seduced them, they had an anointing from the Holy One that would teach them to abide (1 John 2:20, 27). To abide, they needed to “let that which they heard from the beginning abide in them” (1 John 2:24). The message does all the work, and believing the Gospel and understanding it and holding fast to it produces confidence and boldness before God (1 John 5:14-15). John was writing to restore the boldness and confidence of the saints, which had been attacked by the antichrists.Meanwhile, he wanted them to know that they really do love the brethren because loving the brethren is to simply believe the Gospel and to recognize those who are justified by it, the same way we acknowledge that we are saved and have eternal life because we have believed God’s testimony concerning His Son.

Keywords: faith, love, eternal life, John, epistles, belief

I. The “new commandment” (1 John 3:23)

  • A. Believe on the name of Jesus Christ
  • B. Love one another

II. True “in you and in Christ”

  • A. Darkness is past
  • B. True light now shines

III. The Eternal Life

  • A. Faith toward Jesus Christ
  • B. Love toward the saints

IV. Interconnected

  • A. Faith justifies and regenerates believers
  • B. Loving one another involves recognizing other sons of God by their faith
  • C. Crediting them with the benefits of being in Christ

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