And this is not just a world teaching. John always ties the command to love one another back to the life modeled by Jesus Christ.
1 John 4:7-11, “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
The verse that says “Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.” is a tough one to understand. Does that mean an atheist who shows love is still born of God and knows God?
We might have to draw a distinction here between conscious knowing, unconscious knowing, and accepting. An atheist may not accept it, or possibly may not know God consciously, but they are still born of God if they show love to one another.
Or is it that John is writing to Christians and so in that context, he is really talking about Christians who love one another?
Which is the proper interpretation? I’m interested to know what you think.
But beyond this question, it’s clear from the verses that because God so loved us, we are to go out and love one another.