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1 John 3:17-18 - let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth

NIV If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
KJV But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
NASB But whoever has the world's goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.
1 John 3:17-18


Genuine Christian love expresses itself in sacrificial giving to other Christian's needs (i.e., "his brother"). It is a practical love that finds motivation in helping others (1 Tim. 6:17-19; Heb. 13:16; James 2:14-17). Where it does not exist, it is questionable that God's love is present. If that is so, it is also questionable whether the person is the Lord's child (v. 14).

MacArthur, J. J. (1997, c1997). The MacArthur Study Bible (electronic ed.) (1 Jn 3:17). Nashville: Word Pub.

Did you know?

The primary purpose of giving, as taught in the New Testament, is for the support of the saints, the church. A Christian's first obligation is to support fellow believers, individually and collectively. The church's first financial responsibility is to invest in its own life and its own people (cf. 2 Cor. 8:1-5; 9:12-15; Phil. 4:14-16). Obviously that is not the only economic obligation we have. The parable of the Good Samaritan makes it clear that we should minister personally and financially to anyone in need, regardless of religion, culture, or circumstances (Luke 10:25-37).

MacArthur, J. (1996, c1984). 1 Corinthians. Includes indexes. (451). Chicago: Moody Press.

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