Digging Deeper” is an opportunity for you to continue the study of God’s Word throughout the week.
“Character vs. Compliance”
1 John 3:14-15
We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
When we believe in Jesus Christ for eternal life, we are freed from the penalty of sin and move from death to eternal life. John does not say that someone who hates his brother does not possess eternal life, but rather that he is not abiding in eternal life. This is a very important point and cannot be overlooked without arriving at a wrong interpretation of this passage.
It would be wrong to believe that we as Christians are not capable of hatred or even murder. Further, it is clear in scripture that hatred of another believer is the spiritual equivalent of murder (Matt. 5:21–22), and a lustful eye is the spiritual equivalent of adultery (Matt. 5:28).
God is concerned about our character and not just our compliance. When we simply hate in our spirit, even though we may not physically act, God sees our true character. Our attitude is equal to our actions from God’s perspective. Hate is the seed that leads to murder, as seen in the example of the hatred of Cain for Abel that resulted in murder.
QUESTION: Is there a seed of hatred in your life?