“Jesus is the model and the exemplar of what it means to love one another. ‘By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers’ [1 John 3:16]. Here John lays down a pattern that is imbedded throughout God’s Word: God’s commands to us are rooted in the wonder of his grace to us in his Son.
“What constrains obedience is not merely the fact that God himself commands us, though that would be a sufficient motive. Being the God of grace that he is, our Father seeks always to give us further powerful reasons for obedience. We see this pattern in Exodus 20:1-17 when God, through Moses, gave his people the Ten Commandments. Before he says, ‘You shall have no other gods before me’ (verse 3), he says, I am the LORD [the covenant Lord] your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery’ [verse 3]. What a glorious incentive to obedience! God had rescued and redeemed them; he was their God, the covenant Lord who has made them his people.”
– Iam Hamilton, Let’s Study the Letters of John, p.44