The Apostle Paul is writing to his beloved spiritual son, Timothy, offering fatherly advice, “keep this commandment.” Referring to more than the immediately preceding verse, Paul’s encouragement is to keep all the commandments that have been given to this emerging spiritual leader, so that God’s blessings will continue on his life and ministry.
In 1 John 3:23, a commandment is taught in its most potent and definable terms, that “we should believe in the name of [God’s] Son Jesus Christ and love one another…” We lay claim to His name, because He laid claim to us. Pressing on in faith as the kingdom of God advances, pushing back every work of darkness that destroys men. By loving each other, we fulfill the mission of our Savior. Jesus has unlimited love for His people, and a passion for sinners that compelled Him to sacrifice His life.
Keeping this commandment guarantees our faithful witness and releases His abounding blessing in our lives. “Until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing” calls us to ongoing obedience and steadfastness of faith without compromise.