Beloved, I am not writing a new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word which you have heard. 8Lit AgainOn the other hand, I am writing a new commandment to you, which is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true Light is already shining.1 JOHN 2:7-8 NLT
Everybody wants to love and be loved. Even those who don’t believe they are deserving of that love lament its absence and long for its presence. Yet, our history and cumulative culture is filled with violence and in-fighting. This should not be true for Christians but it is. John turns his focus toward this problem by connecting his insight on light with love. The proto-Gnostics taught that true wisdom and enlightenment came from a knowledge of self thy was foundational. This only led to strife. If the self is the standard for interaction, then love becomes selfish. John doesn’t remove the ideal of love but he resets the goalposts. Love is not the foundation or the goal. Christ is the foundation & the goal & love is the outworking of interaction by his rules. If we behave as he did, our love is no longer selfish, it is self-sacrificial. Meaningful interaction becomes capable of fighting beyond the confines of mortality in that context. Here is the key to love that works; faith in Jesus.