Summary: John never gets far from this basic truth in his teachings. I think sometimes we make far too little of this teaching on love,
Herein Is Love
John never gets far from this basic truth in his teachings. I think sometimes we make far too little of this teaching on love, and we feel like John may have made too much of it. It is found in every dostrine, in every action and in every thought concerning God and his people.
John teaches many great truths in his epistles but he always tempers the intolerance of God with this great truth, he loves his children.
I. God Is Love:
What a tremendous statement, he can actual sum up God in this one word. You and I would have probably said God is grace, or mercy or some other descriptive word. But, love, that just seems too simple to encompass the almighty God of the universe with such a simple word. And yet we have to realize even though that John penned the words they are in reality God’s words.
The word used here is agape; the other word for love in the scriptures is phileo. The word agape indicates a love without any strings attached. Phileo is brotherly love, the city of Philadelphia is so called because it was said to be the city of brotherly love. The other word for love is not found in the scriptures although it is certainly alluded to in both the Old and the New Testament. It is sexual love.
We live in a world where love is something that we receive and then return it is hard for us to imagine this type of love. It is a love that a man should have for his wife, in other words he loves her even if she burns the toast.
Friends love one another because they enjoy each other’s company. This is the phileo love or brotherly love. They probably enjoy one another’s company; they have things in common, sports, fishing and hunting or the like.
Jesus said we are to love one another just as he loves us. In Jn.13:34-35, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
Paul said in, Eph 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;”
Putting these two verses together we are faced with a truth almost too large to handle. If I am to love my wife just as Christ loved the church, and I am to love my Christian brothers as Christ loved us, this is certainly a high calling for the child of God, and I don’t think God was kidding about it.
Let me quickly say that for me to love you as I love my wife is not possible. But the point of this is that we are to love each other without any strings attached, and brothers without the power of God in our lives that is absolutely impossible.
For clarification at least in some degree we have to go to 1Cor. 13, here the agape is translated charity. For many years I pondered over the reason that the word charity was used. Here is the conclusion that I came to. Love is an action word it is not what we feel but how we act towards the person. We are to treat them in love.
In Matt we are instructed by Jesus to love our enemies, and friend that is not possible without the strength of God and knowing that it is an action word we are to treat our enemies with love. Feed him if he is hungry and give him to drink if he thirsts.