1 John 5:3 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 John 5:3, NIV: "In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,"

1 John 5:3, ESV: "For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome."

1 John 5:3, KJV: "For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous."

1 John 5:3, NASB: "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome."

1 John 5:3, NLT: "Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome."

1 John 5:3, CSB: "For this is what love for God is: to keep his commands. And his commands are not a burden,"

What does 1 John 5:3 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

John begins this verse by defining the believer's love for God in terms of obedience. Obedience to God's commands is a necessary expression of love. Just as a child will obey his or her parents to show love, believers will obey the heavenly Father to show love toward Him. Obedience is not in any sense a way to receive salvation, rather it is the expected result of being a child of God.

Faith in Christ makes obedience to the commandment of love possible. Some of John's readers may have been concerned about a list of expectations impossible to obey. However, John had already defined the fundamental commandments of Christianity as loving God and loving one another (1 John 4:21). Christ's commands are not a burden, but a blessing for those who know God. Jesus said, "For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light" (Matthew 11:30). Jesus indicated that it was the teachers of legalism and hypocrisy who made the burden of the commandments hard to bear (Luke 11:46).