English Standard Version
but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him:
King James Bible
But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
American Standard Version
but whoso keepeth his word, in him verily hath the love of God been perfected. Hereby we know that we are in him:
But he that keepeth his word, in him in very deed the charity of God is perfected; and by this we know that we are in him.
English Revised Version
but whoso keepeth his word, in him verily hath the love of God been perfected. Hereby know we that we are in him:
Webster's Bible Translation
But whoever keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: by this we know that we are in him.
Weymouth New Testament
But whoever obeys His Message, in him love for God has in very deed reached perfection. By this we can know that we are in Him.
1 John 2:5 Parallel
CommentaryVincent's Word Studies
Keepeth His word (τηρῇ αὐτοῦ τὸν λόγον)
Note the changed phrase: word for commandments. The word is the revelation regarded as a whole, which includes all the separate commandments or injunctions. See the use of λόγος word, and ἐντολή precept, in John 14:21-24.
Is the love of God perfected (ἡ ἀγάπη τοῦ Θεοῦ τετελείωται)
Rev., rendering the perfect tense more closely, hath the love of God been perfected. The change in the form of this antithetic clause is striking. He who claims to know God, yet lives in disobedience, is a liar. We should expect as an offset to this: He that keepeth His commandments is of the truth; or, the truth is in him. Instead we have, "In him has the love of God been perfected." In other words, the obedient child of God is characterized, not by any representative trait or quality of his own personality, but merely as the subject of the work of divine love: as the sphere in which that love accomplishes its perfect work.
The phrase ἡ ἀγάπη τοῦ Θεοῦ the love of God, may mean either the love which God shows, or the love of which God is the object, or the love which is characteristic of God whether manifested by Himself or by His obedient child through His Spirit. John's usage is not decisive like Paul's, according to which the love of God habitually means the love which proceeds from and is manifested by God. The exact phrase, the love of God or the love of the Father, is found in 1 John 3:16; 1 John 4:9, in the undoubted sense of the love of God to men. The same sense is intended in 1 John 3:1, 1 John 3:9, 1 John 3:16, though differently expressed. The sense is doubtful in 1 John 2:5; 1 John 3:17; 1 John 4:12. Men's love to God is clearly meant in 1 John 2:15; 1 John 5:3. The phrase occurs only twice in the Gospels (Luke 6:42; John 5:42), and in both cases the sense is doubtful. Some, as Ebrard, combine the two, and explain the love of God as the mutual relation of love between God and men.
It is not possible to settle the point decisively, but I incline to the view that the fundamental idea of the love of God as expounded by John is the love which God has made known and which answers to His nature. In favor of this is the general usage of ἀγάπη love, in the New Testament, with the subjective genitive. The object is more commonly expressed by εἰς towards, or to. See 1 Thessalonians 3:12; Colossians 1:4; 1 Peter 4:8. Still stronger is John's treatment of the subject in ch. 4. Here we have, 1 John 4:9, the manifestation of the love of God in us (ἐν ἡμῖν) By our life in Christ and our love to God we are a manifestation of God's love. Directly following this is a definition of the essential nature of love. "In this is love; i.e., herein consists love: not that we have loved God, but that He loved us" (1 John 4:10). Our mutual love is a proof that God dwells in us. God dwelling in us, His love is perfected in us (1 John 4:12). The latter clause, it would seem, must be explained according to 1 John 4:10. Then (1 John 4:16), "We have known and believed the love that God hath in us" (see on John 16:22, on the phrase have love). "God is love;" that is His nature, and He imparts this nature to be the sphere in which His children dwell. "He that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God." Finally, our love is engendered by His love to us. "We love Him because He first loved us" (1 John 4:19).
In harmony with this is John 15:9. "As the Father loved me, I also loved you. Continue ye in my love." My love must be explained by I loved you. This is the same idea of divine love as the sphere or element of renewed being; and this idea is placed, as in the passage we are considering, in direct connection with the keeping of the divine commandments. "If ye keep my commandments ye shall abide in my love."
This interpretation does not exclude man's love to God. On the contrary, it includes it. The love which God has, is revealed as the love of God in the love of His children towards Him, no less than in His manifestations of love to them. The idea of divine love is thus complex. Love, in its very essence, is reciprocal. Its perfect ideal requires two parties. It is not enough to tell us, as a bare, abstract truth, that God is love. The truth must be rounded and filled out for us by the appreciable exertion of divine love upon an object, and by the response of the object. The love of God is perfected or completed by the perfect establishment of the relation of love between God and man. When man loves perfectly, his love is the love of God shed abroad in his heart. His love owes both its origin and its nature to the love of God.
The word verily (ἀληθῶς) is never used by John as a mere formula of affirmation, but has the meaning of a qualitative adverb, expressing not merely the actual existence of a thing, but its existence in a manner most absolutely corresponding to ἀλήθεια truth. Compare John 1:48; John 8:31. Hath been perfected. John is presenting the ideal of life in God. "This is the love of God that we keep His commandments." Therefore whosoever keepeth God's word, His message in its entirety, realizes the perfect relation of love.
We are in Him
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Jesus answered him, "If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.
1 John 2:3
And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.
1 John 3:24
Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.
1 John 4:12
No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
1 John 4:13
By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.
1 John 4:17
By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world.
1 John 5:2
By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments.
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ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.