He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now.
1 John 2:9
John 13:34-35 Horticulturists in the United Kingdom have developed a plant they are calling the “tomtato.” Above ground it produces tomatoes, but below ground it produces potatoes. This is unnatural, of course. The apostle James said, for example, that a fig tree can’t bear olives or vice versa (James 3:12). Jesus made the same point when He said, “You will know them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:16).
The apostle John applied these botanical lessons to the spiritual life in a plain way: You can’t say you love God and hate your brother at the same time (1 John 2:9-11). If you love God, the fruit in your life will be that you will love others—especially others in the body of Christ who also love God. In fact, Jesus told His disciples that their love for one another was how the world would be able to identify them as His followers (John 13:34-35). And it applies to more areas than just love. Anyone who claims to know God through Christ but doesn’t obey all His commands “is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:4; Matthew 28:19-20).
The way we demonstrate that we love God is by loving others. Failing to love others calls into question our love for God.
Love is the root; obedience is the fruit.
2 Kings 24–25