1 John 3:13
This is probably one of the most misunderstood passages because people think that John is talking about salvation rather than fellowship. Once you get that straight in your mind then the passage makes perfect sense.
Salvation is through faith in Christ.
36 ‘He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not believe in the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.’ NASB
Once a person has believed in Christ, then he is saved and will remain always saved. There is nothing that a person can do to lose their salvation. There is no one and nothing that can cause a person to lose their salvation. Once born into the family of God, you will always be in that family.
But John here is drawing a contrast in the place of dwelling, or where a person lives while they are saved. John uses the terms ‘eternal life’ as we use the term ‘fellowship,’ or being in fellowship. And John uses the term death as we use the phrase ‘out of fellowship.’
John is speaking to believers. He is not addressing unbelievers.
John is making reference to where you as a believer will ‘abide’ in your spiritual life.
Once you have believed in Christ, then you ‘possess’ eternal life. But as we have already studied, even a believer can commit a sin and get out of sync in his spiritual life. Thus the need for the confession procedure as described in chapter one, which will place you back inside of the fellowship sphere.
While in fellowship you cannot sin from the source of your spiritual resources of fellowship. One can however commit a sin. That should be obvious. But the source of that sin (whatever it might be) is from the sin nature, not from your spiritual assets. Remember that God is light and in the light there is no sin. Sin comes only from the dark or the sin nature as we describe the state of functioning when you are ejected from fellowship and live out of fellowship.
Love here is yet another term for describing the residence of a believer. While in fellowship, you do not sin, therefore you are abiding in the commands of God and are tolerant of others. That is to say, you are not critical, not a gossip, not a crusader for this cause or that. You live in a state of poise and courtesy so to speak.
While you live in fellowship, then you live in a state of life. But, when you are out of fellowship, then you live in the state of the dead. There is no life in the dead. Therefore, your spiritual life is off line or disabled, or shut down. No matter how you say it your spiritual life does not function as the dead do not function.
John makes it clear now that if you are disobedient toward Gods mandates and do not live as God would prefer you to live (in fellowship and advancing toward spiritual maturity), then your life is going nowhere. Zero, zilch, nada. That is what your life is all about – dead. A person though saved, who does not function in a manner that God mandates, is nothing more than historical filler.
So, back to the first verse of this passage. A believer in Christ has passed from death to life by virtue of his faith in Christ. A believer who abides in fellowship functions in life in a positive and proactive fashion and benefits from the blessings that God gives to advancing believers. Advancing in their spiritual lives that is.
Since the world is of the dead, then it hates anything which is blessed, because the world cannot bless itself, nor will it ever receive blessing from God.
So, do not imitate the world and function out of fellowship and in a state of hate. It will gain you nothing and lose you every possible blessing that God otherwise has available for you. That kind of loss is not worth it. If God has given you a ticket as it were, out of death, then why would anyone want to go back to that former environment where there is nothing for them?
Therefore, live in fellowship and function as God intends for you to function in life, and grow up spiritually and receive far more from God, than you could ever get from this world in a thousand lifetimes (which you will never have by the way).