III. The Testimony of Compassion
So what is the proof of a person’s compassion? What shows that a person has experienced a changed life or “have passed from death unto life?”
A. Eternal Life
“We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.” I John 3:14
The testimony of eternal life lies in that statement, “we love the brethren.” A person, who has an abiding love for other believers, is testifying that he has received the gift of eternal life. This love is not just an emotional love. It involves the will, the intellect, as well as, the emotion. This means that a person will be able to love one, even when they are unlovely.
If it is just an emotional love, it will come and go. So, it must be cultivated in every area of our life. Someone has said, “We love our brother in Christ, not because he is lovable in himself, but because we know that he is our brother and because God has commanded that we love him.”
B. Eternal Death
“Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer, and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” I John 3:15
A person testifies of this compassion by the fact that he does not hate his brother. A person who hateth his brother shows he still remains in death. He is also classified as a murderer; even though he may never commit the act itself. One, who continually hates a person, is guilty of murder.
No murderer, of course, has a place in the family of God; so, he testifies by his hate that he loves darkness rather than light. This does not mean a person cannot be saved who is guilty of murder. It simply says that a person, who has made this a way of life, is signifying to the world and other Christians that he does not possess eternal life.
Are our relationships current? In our hearts do we “hate” another person?