When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us.
Yet, writes John the Apostle, if anyone boasts, “I love God,” and goes right on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see? The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You’ve got to love both.”
John tackles this sensitive yet important area of Christian discipleship, showing the connection between our professed love of God and our love for our Christian family. "First we were loved, now we love", he says, pressing into the realities of what a grace-shaped life should look like.
Grace, perhaps one of the easiest concepts to speak about in the enthusiastic language of a born-again believer is, in reality, one of the hardest virtues to assimilate into our Christian lives. John's letter directs our gaze inward, at our own hearts, where, he says, 'faith, expressed through love' must abide and flourish.