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The words in 1 John 3:18 mean that true love is shown not just through words or talk but through actions and sincerity. It emphasizes the importance of not just speaking about love but actually demonstrating it through one’s deeds and behavior. In other words, love should not be just empty words but expressed through actions that align with truth and sincerity.
1 John 3:18: “Let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth”
“Let us not love in word or talk”: The phrase “love in word or talk” refers to merely expressing love through words rather than actions. This type of love is not genuine and lacks sincerity.
“But in deed and in truth”: “In deed and in truth” contrasts with “word or talk.” This phrase means to show love through actions that are grounded in truth and sincerity. In other words, true love is demonstrated through concrete actions that align with one’s words and beliefs.
Being religious and speaking kindly is not enough to please God. It’s important not just to pay lip service but to take action and serve God in meaningful ways. Jesus told the religious leaders of his time that their devotion to God was empty because they were only following man-made traditions rather than doing God’s will. Doing God’s will for Christians involves preaching the gospel and obeying God’s commandments. The love for God is shown through obedience to his will. As stated in John 14:15, “If you love me, you will observe my commandments,” and in 1 John 5:3, “This is what the love of God means, that we observe his commandments.” Obedience to God’s commandments is a clear indication of one’s love for God.
Overall, 1 John 3:18 emphasizes the importance of not just talking about love but actually demonstrating it through one’s behavior and actions. True love is shown through deeds that are grounded in truth and sincerity.