Summary: Message 16 from 1 John exploring God's love for us and through us.
God is life – abide in Him.
God is light – walk in the light.
God is righteous – practice righteousness
God is love – love one another.
We will return to the instruction to love one another we started last week next, week.
Since this is communion Sunday where we contemplate the amazing love of God for us in sending His Son Jesus, I decided to skip ahead to chapter four where John spends some time reflecting on that great truth.
I. THE GOD OF LIGHT AND HIS CHILDREN OF LIGHT
II. THE GOD OF LOVE & HIS CHILDREN OF LOVE
John repeats his instruction to love one another and then reminds them where such love comes from. The love of which John speaks is not the feeling love between husband and wife, it is not the family love between brothers and sisters, it is not even the friendship love between companions. While each of these has the basic component of connection, they all find the motivation for connection in the mutual benefit derived from the relationship.
The love referenced here has to do with a passion for and pursuit of meaningful connection.
Selfless community. Loving family. This passion continues to function apart from promise of mutual benefit or positive response. There is of course a desire for response but motivation of connection comes from within. This is the way God created us but the fall turned our desires backwards.
The new birth restores those longings for community. Such selfless community becomes the hallmark of Christ’s followers.
"By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:35
It is expressed in selfless acts, encouraging words, sacrifice, forbearance, thoughts, attitudes.
The passion is to do whatever it takes to generate and even emulate the community and unity of Godhead through meaningful connection with people.
Love is from God!
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 1 John 4:7-8
The logic here is iron clad.
• God is love and love and the source of love. “Love is from God”
• God enables those born of Him to love like He loves. “those born of God love”
• If you love, you are born of God and know Him.
• If you do not love, you do not know God and are not born of Him because God is love.
The only true manifestation of genuine love comes through a radical work of God in the heart.
Only those who have been born of Him can love like He loves.
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (satisfactory payment) for our sins…We love, because He first loved us. 1 John 10,19
Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Eph 6:23
Only a supernatural transformation can restore the divine capacity to love and live like God.
Here are some other passages that reinforce the truth of the source of this love.
• God floods believer’s hearts with His love by the Holy Spirit Rom 5:1-8
and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out (spilled, gushed out – perfect tense verb indicating a past action with continuing results i.e. poured out and still there!) within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
• Love is the work of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s life
“The fruit of the Spirit is love…” Gal 5:22
• God grants the believer a spirit (nature) of love
For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline (self-control).
• God causes our love to increase1 Thes 3:11-13
Now may our God and Father Himself and Jesus our Lord direct our way to you; and may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all men, just as we also do for you; so that He may establish your hearts unblamable in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.
• God teaches us to love 1 Thes 4:9-12
Now as to the love of the brethren, you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another
• God purifies the heart our heart to love sincerely and fervently 1 Pet 1:22
Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and abiding word of God. 1 Peter 1:22-23