The First Letter of John
1 John 2:7-14 7 Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard.8 At the same time, it is a new commandment that I am writing to you, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining.9 Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness.10 Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling.11 But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
(Click to continue reading 1 John 2:12-14)
What is this old commandment that’s a new commandment that’s really an old commandment? What does John refer to? He is speaking of the commandment given to him personally from Jesus himself. Love God and love others. What was given in the Old Testament as Law (Deuteronomy 6:5, Leviticus 19:18) was confirmed in the New Testament by Jesus as being relevant even after His coming (Matthew 22:34-40).
Notice John’s reference to darkness and light, just like how he speaks in his presentation of the Gospel (John 1:1-13). He’s presenting a contrast for us to realize that the world’s darkness can’t overcome the light of Jesus. When we obey the command to love God and love others, we shine a light in the darkness so bright that it can’t but be seen. It’s a shining city upon a hill, giving off a beacon of light for others to recognize.
When we love, we show God to the world. When we serve, we show them the character of Christ and glorify Him. When we obey, we do a great work of evangelism (Matthew 5:16).