1 John 2:7-11
7 Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you have had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word that you have heard. 8Yet I am writing you a new commandment that is true in him and in you, because* the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. 9Whoever says, ‘I am in the light’, while hating a brother or sister,* is still in the darkness. 10Whoever loves a brother or sister* lives in the light, and in such a person* there is no cause for stumbling. 11But whoever hates another believer* is in the darkness, walks in the darkness, and does not know the way to go, because the darkness has brought on blindness.
In case the readers were not clear about abiding in Him meaning obeying the commandment to love, the author now makes that abundantly clear. This is not a new commandment, but one they have heard since the beginning – but in another way it is a new commandment, because it is a new way of thinking of the old commandments!
Jesus is the light, and he has brought light into the world – and the darkness is passing away. (Note the contrast – the author loves to make his point using a dramatic contrast!) But if we say we are in the light, but hate one another, then we are not in the light of his love! How can we live in the pure light of His love, yet keep a part of ourselves in the dark shadows of hate and fear? Let me push this a bit – how can we say that we are Christian, yet hate others – who may be different from us? How can we claim to follow Christ, who loved everyone, and still practice hate through racism, homophobia, agism, or extremism, or even hating people of another religion? Isn’t that what radical extremists do when they initiate terrorism in God’s name? If we do these things, we are still in the darkness, and stumbling. We are lost and blind in the dark.
By contrast, if we love one another, we live in the light, and do not stumble. Christ was light, and his light was, and is, love. He loved us enough to die for us – can we at least love one another? How do we show that we love one another?