Summary: Part two of a series done on 1st John
“Dear John,” part 2 (Full of Love) by Brian A. Moon
Story – I love the game of Golf. To me there is nothing better than going out to the links on a warm summer afternoon. I love the anticipation as you drive up to the clubhouse and drop off your clubs. I love the smell of the grass and the fresh air as you get your cart and set out for the 1st tee. I love the promise that today could be the best game of your life. I love the strategy involved with picking the right club and where to place the ball to make the next shot easier. I love the moment you step up to the ball and wag your club back and forth and take practice swings. I love that moment of impact when the club hits the ball… aaaahhhhhhhhh I hate this game as the ball hooks into the water hazard and hits a sand hill crane.
Tonight we continue our series called “Dear John” with a message titled “Full of Love.” The love that I just described is not the kind of love we are going to be talking about tonight though. The kind of love we are going to be talking about is our Heavenly Fathers love shown by sending his Son Jesus to die for us. Before we continue lets look back to last week and chapters 1 and 2 of the book of 1st John.
Last we looked at “Walking in the Light:” we said that God is light and in him there can be no darkness or sin. We also said that God has called us to walk in the light, but the stumbling block is sin. The two sins we talked about were hating people, and loving the things of the world. Finally, we said that Jesus death on the cross cleansed us from our darkness, and enables us to walk in the light.
This week we move on with a look into chapters 3 and 4 of 1st John.
1 John 4:7 – 9 “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him.” NRSV
Last week as we said we learned that God is light, or that he is perfect and without sin, This week we also learn that he is love.
Now that is great to say God is love, but do we really understand just what this means. I told you in the opening that I love the game of golf, but then once I play it there are times that I hate it with a passion. This is not the kind of love that this verse is dealing with here. My love for golf is a human love; even my love for Cheryl, my fiancé is a human love, And as we all know humans are not perfect.
But we established last week that God is light, he is perfect, he is just and faithful, Therefore the kind of love we are talking about here, the love from God is a perfect love. It is not like our human love in that it is not, and has never been polluted by sin or darkness. God is holy and the love that he gives has that same quality, it is a holy love, a love that us set apart. Love does not define God, but rather God defines love. Today we have a problem with our language, I say that God is love, and I love golf. We use the word with no distinction as to the level or kind of love we are referring to, That is the importance in understanding the kind of love that God is.
God is a pure, perfect, and holy love that is not
tainted or corrupted with darkness.
The next thing we see from this passage is that not only is God love, but we are to love one another. Some quick background information into this passage is that it was written at a time when the early church was faced with some challenges by different idea and philosophies. These groups tried to incorporate their ideas into Christianity, but they went against the message of Jesus. John writes this letter along with 2 others telling the church in Ephesus these are fundamental things that we must defend and hold fast to. It is interesting that the same is true today, many groups would like to, and have, incorporated their faulty teachings into the church, And we need to learn from what John was saying as much today as those early Christians did 1900 years ago. So God is love, and John tells these people that we are to love one another. WHY??? Why do I need to love you, what is the big deal? The answer is quite simple, you see once you have become a child of God you are born of God… Jesus taught us that when we are adopted as Sons and Daughters of God we have received a second birth,