1 John 3:11-15 For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 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. Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
John is offering us a way to test our life: If we practice love, in the here-and-now, ongoing, present, continual practice….is it a sign of the reality of a past event in our life. In other words, loving our brothers is an indication of being born again, of being regenerated. This active love for our brothers is the SIGN of new life, it is not the CAUSE of new life! It is evidence that we have been regenerated, that we are a new creation, that we have passed from death to life. It is surely NOT the condition for new life! If a person does not love his brothers, he is exposed as being dead. John is not saying that if he doesn’t love he will die, but that he does not love BECAUSE he is already dead- that is his natural state.