Verse 11 introduces a paragraph providing the grounds for John’s concluding statement in verse 10. In the previous paragraph, John reminds us of who we are: children of God. Our practice proclaims who and what we are. The “message” is another word for the gospel which includes the specific command to love. John gives an illustrative example of the brothers Cain and Abel in verse 12 that is related to verse 11 as negative to positive. Hatred is the opposite of love. Cain’s underlying attitude of jealousy and hatred for his brother led to his murder of Abel.
John draws a conclusion in verse 13: “Stop being surprised that the world (people like Cain) hates you.”
In vv. 16-18, love must be demonstrated. God’s love for us is demonstrated in Christ’s death on the cross. We must demonstrate our love practically to others.
This paragraph can be divided into two sections for preaching:
I. We should love because love and hate are mutually exclusive in the Christian life –
II. Love Must be Demonstrated in the Christian Life – (vv. 16–18).