Hereby perceive we the love of God - This sixteenth verse of this third chapter of John's first epistle is, in the main, an exact counterpart of the sixteenth verse of the third chapter of St. John's gospel: God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, etc. Here the apostle says, We perceive, εγνωκαμεν , we have known, the love of God, because he laid down his life for us. Of God is not in the text, but it is preserved in one MS., and in two or three of the versions; but though this does not establish its authenticity, yet του Θεου , of God, is necessarily understood, or του Χριστου , of Christ, as Erpen's Arabic has it; or αυτου εις ἡμας , his love to us, as is found in the Syriac. A higher proof than this of his love Christ could not have possibly given to the children of men.
We ought to lay down our lives for the brethren - We should risk our life to save the lives of others; and we should be ready to lay down our lives to redeem their souls when this may appear to be a means of leading them to God.