13 Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. 15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. John 3:13-15
I wrote yesterday about the funny line that we as believers walk on. We are in the world, because we are jealous and tempted to sin like the world, and yet we are not of the world, because we see the effects of our sin, and do not like it.
John says that we know we have “passed out of death and into life, because we love the brothers.” It is in the overcoming of sin, the love of God, that we move from the death of the world into the life of God.
It is understandable to see then why John says the world will hate us. We see the sin of the world, and are able to be humble enough to recognize it in ourselves, too. The world hates humility, and it hates acknowledging weakness. As believers who know that our strength doesn’t come from anywhere inside us, living in humility and acknowledging our weakness is exactly what we are bound to do.
Remembering the verses from yesterday, we are both Cain, angry with our brother and sinning against him, and we are Abel, the brother who walks in righteousness, the one the world is jealous of for a deep relationship with God.
I think that in this example, John is putting us in front of a mirror, giving us the stark example of these two sides of ourselves, at war within. We can feed and encourage one side or the other, the side that is jealous and angry, or the side that is loving and kind. Only the side that is loving of God has eternal life abiding inside.
For believers, we can rest assured knowing that God won this battle already, in our name. His death on the cross made sure that no matter what the day to day of the battle within us looks like, we know what the outcome will be. Our confidence in this is the evidence to the world that we abide in love.
My prayer today is that we would be bold to sit with our mirrors, to see this war of love and righteousness versus sin and death residing within us. Would we rest in knowing that God has already won the battle, and that ultimately, love and righteousness will victor.