1 John 2:7-11
Brothers, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you had from the beginning…
What does he here mean by "true"? In Scripture, as in our daily speech, the word stands not merely for the giving over unchanged by our mind to the mind of another, by words or otherwise, of something we know, so that he shall get it just as we have it. It means often the real instead of the seeming — that which is, not that which we think to be. Not so often it must be taken, as in this place, for that which fits, as a key the lock which it opens, or a medicine the disease which it heals, or a plan the difficulty it solves. That, in short, which puts things right which are wrong, which, disentangling confusion brings about order, supplying wants, stopping gaps, knitting together broken links, making useful that which without it is useless, or beautiful that which by itself is uncomely. That which does this in each case is the "true." What the apostle, therefore, here means is that the great law of love fits into the facts, the realities, of human nature in the best way, giving it a finished beauty, and putting into it what it lacked for its smooth working. Nothing else, the apostle would tell us, could bring about so much good; and he is sure that we can see this clearly to be the case in Christ and in ourselves. This law of love, he says, "is true in Him and in you." Without this love all the glory of the life of Christ would be gone. We see how it was needed to make perfect all that He was and did. We see the boundless usefulness of that life to us and to the world. But what good could that life or that death have done but for the love which ruled Christ in both? Think next of yourselves, saith St. John; think how your thoughts, your feelings, your lives, your treatment of others, are all changed. You are happier, you are in all ways better than you were; your old difficulties in dealing with others you now no longer feel. Doubts as to the things it were best for you to do are gone. Whence the change? Has it not clearly followed on your obedience to the law of love?
(C. Watson, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning.