1 John 5:2 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 John 5:2, NIV: "This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands."

1 John 5:2, ESV: "By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments."

1 John 5:2, KJV: "By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments."

1 John 5:2, NASB: "By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and follow His commandments."

1 John 5:2, NLT: "We know we love God's children if we love God and obey his commandments."

1 John 5:2, CSB: "This is how we know that we love God's children: when we love God and obey his commands."

What does 1 John 5:2 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Verse 1 teaches that believers must love other believers. Verse 2 gives additional detail on how to know we are loving others as we should. In particular, we can know we are acting in love when we obey the commands of God. John's readers may have wondered if they were falling short of some specific standard for showing love. To remove this concern, John explained the way to love other believers is to love God, which means obedience to His commandments. One of those commandments is to love God and love others (1 John 4:21).

At first, this seems like a circular, repetitive argument. However, John's intent is to make a point through restatement. The major sections of his letter frequently repeat the themes of loving God and one another. Yet John also includes unique material in each section. These details give means to show whether a person is a true believer, as well as ways to show love for God and others (1 John 3:16–18).