John’s First Epistle
1 Jno. 3:11-18
Don’t be like Cain!
11 For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 12 We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. 13 Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. 15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. – 1 Jno. 3:11-18
The Bible is rich in examples of good behavior and bad behavior. Obviously, the purpose is to instruct us to follow good examples and steer a deliberate course away from bad behavior (see 3 Jno. 11).
Cain’s story begins with failed worship, then resentment and even after God warned him, he killed his brother, Abel. John’s point is simple: Don’t be like Cain!
The positive lesson from that is, “love one another.” Love, as defined by God, defeats the resentment and jealousy and enables us to be disciplined in our responses to people, to event and to our own troubles we created.
John adds that we (Christians) will be hated. The world isn’t tolerate toward our convictions and way of life. Don’t be surprised about that. Yet, one sign of conversion is – we have adopted God’s definition of love, even toward our enemies (see Matt. 5:44).
But how bad is hatred? John is clear. Don’t try to explain this away. Just read it and believe it.
“Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.”
So, don’t be like Cain. Be like Christ, who illustrated and taught love, as God desires to see in His people.