More than seven times John refers to the keeping of the commandments,it seems there is a strong emphasis on keeping the commandments in the books of John

1 John 2:3-4 ESV

And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him

2 John 1:6 ESV

6 And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it.

1 John 3:22-24 ESV

22 and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. 24 Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God,[d] and God[e] in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.

Why does John emphasize the keeping of the commandments in his letters?

  • ... for the reasons he states in each case?? he does the same in the Gospel of John in places like John 14:15, 21, 15:10, etc.
    – Dottard
    Commented Sep 30, 2021 at 8:18
  • For the same reason he emphasizes them in his gospel.
    – Lucian
    Commented Sep 30, 2021 at 14:29

4 Answers 4


Because this is Jesus' commandment:

12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another. (John 15:12–17, ESV)

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34–35, ESV)

John expands on this in his epistles.

For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 12 We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. 13 Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. 15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. 16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. (1 John 3:11–18, ESV)

And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. (1 John 3:23, ESV)

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. (1 John 4:7–12, ESV)

And now I ask you, dear lady—not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but the one we have had from the beginning—that we love one another. 6 And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it. (2 John 5–6, ESV)

As far as Old Testament law:

Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. (Rom. 13:8–10, ESV)


Once you glean from all of John's writings what "the commandments" are, the answer is simple, and has already been stated by John, and which is included in your quotations.

"And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us" - 1 John 3:23.

John details two foundational, fundamental commandments of God:

  1. To believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ.
  2. For all such people to love all the other people who believe in the name of the Son.

And the reason why John places such stress - such emphasis - on those two commands is stated in the very next verse:

"And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us." (1 John 3:24 KJV)

Obviously, if anyone claims to be a Christian (one who believes in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God), and that claim is true, they will have the Holy Spirit abiding in them, and they will love all such other ones. Conversely, if the claim to be a Christian is false, there will be no indwelling Holy Spirit, and no genuine love of brothers and sisters in Christ. That is why the matter is so important.


Throughout the book of Revelation, written by John as well, there is also much emphasis on the keeping of the commandments. (See Revelation 12:17; 14:12; and 22:14.)

John's writings emphasize love, and Jesus said:

If ye love me, keep my commandments. (John 14:15, KJV)

John consistently focuses on God's love and His law as being unseparable.

He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. (John 14:21, KJV)


John's primary focus is love, and the keeping of the commandments is integral to true love.


Because we're supposed to keep the commandments. Love is a brief way to say it. However doing the commands defines the love. Its not arbitrary love of mans design in some loose sense.

Christians today are not taught The Bible in full. They're taught along subjective doctrinal lines.

Because of that; many don't know the difference between ordinance ,statutes, judgments, civil ,spiritual laws and so.

Currently people dont seem to know the old covenant did not take with it Gods laws or words. It was only the blood rituals to forgive sins that were gone.

Colossians 2:14 “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;”

G1378 δόγμα dogma dog'-mah From the base of G1380; a law (civil, ceremonial or ecclesiastical): - decree, ordinance.

Jesus taught Gods laws:

Revelation 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

Revelation 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

Revelation 12:

17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Romans 3:31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.

Mark 10:

17 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?

18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.

19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.

20 And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.

21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.

(Likely ill gotten gains)

23 And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!

How can one call themselves Christian at the same time belittling Gods law ? Specially in His Commandments. That is His Word.

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