New Commandment

1John 2:7-14 Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you have heard from the beginning. Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shines. He that says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loves his brother abides in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hates his brother is in darkness, and walks in darkness, and knows not whither he goes, because that darkness has blinded his eyes. I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake. I write unto you, fathers, because you have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because you have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because you have known the Father. I have written unto you, fathers, because you have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one. 

‘New’ the Greek word kainos meaning renewed or fresh. This new commandment is an old one renewed and made complete in meaning by Jesus Christ (1Jn. 2:7-8; Lev. 19:18 with John 13:34). We see this commandment in Leviticus 19:18 “…but thou shall love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD” and John 13:34: “A new commandment I give unto you, That you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”

‘He that says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness even until now’ no man professing a Christian experience who hates his brother has received a saving knowledge of the Truth (1Jn. 2:9, 11).

‘He that loves his brother abides in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him’ a man that truly loves his brother has proof of his Christian experience, and if he continues to love he will not stumble over his brethren.

‘Stumbling’ for those abiding in the light, there will be no possibility of stumbling away from the Truth.

‘Little children’ a term used nine times in this epistle (2:1, 12, 13, 18, 28; 3:7, 18; 4:4, 21). It is used elsewhere only in John 13:33 and Galatians 4:19. There are four stages of Christian experience: infants; newborn (1Jn. 2:12); little children; those able to walk and talk (1Jn. 2:13); young men; those grown to the prime of life and no longer tossed about like children by fallacies (1Jn. 2:13-14); fathers; those who are matured in the Lord (1Jn. 2:13-14).

‘Abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one’ this is the secret of victory over sin. As long as one remains in harmony with the Word of God he cannot sin (1Jn. 3:9). Keeping God’s commandments is the only guarantee of constant abiding (John 15:10). Abiding is the condition of fruit-bearing (John 15:4, 7). If one does not abide he is cut off and destroyed like a branch (John 15:6).

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