World Wide Study Bible


a Bible passage

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17How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help?

18 Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.

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17. this world's good—literally, "livelihood" or substance. If we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren (1Jo 3:16), how much more ought we not to withhold our substance?

seeth—not merely casually, but deliberately contemplates as a spectator; Greek, "beholds."

shutteth up his bowels of compassion—which had been momentarily opened by the spectacle of his brother's need. The "bowels" mean the heart, the seat of compassion.

howHow is it possible that "the love of (that is, 'to') God dwelleth (Greek, 'abideth') in him?" Our superfluities should yield to the necessities; our comforts, and even our necessaries in some measure, should yield to the extreme wants of our brethren. "Faith gives Christ to me; love flowing from faith gives me to my neighbor."

18. When the venerable John could no longer walk to the meetings of the Church but was borne thither by his disciples, he always uttered the same address to the Church; he reminded them of that one commandment which he had received from Christ Himself, as comprising all the rest, and forming the distinction of the new covenant, "My little children, love one another." When the brethren present, wearied of hearing the same thing so often, asked why he always repeated the same thing, he replied, "Because it is the commandment of the Lord, and if this one thing be attained, it is enough" [Jerome].

in wordGreek, "with word … with tongue, but in deed and truth."