Summary: God's children will abide in love from God and love for God, for God is love. The response of the children of God, then, should be to love one another, that God’s love may be reflected in them.
Love, Love, Love
Text: 1 John 4:16
1 John 4:16 “We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.”
The Greeks had four words which we translate as love: Eros – carnal, sexual love. Philia – the love of close friendship. Storge – the love of family relationships. Agape – that love which seeks only the highest good of others. It is this love that John mentions in our text, and Paul defines in 1Corinthians 13:4-7. Jesus uses the same word in Matthew 5:43-48.
Agape has to do with the mind: it is not a simple emotional or physical reaction; it is a principle by which we deliberately choose to live. Agape has supremely to do with the will. (Barclay). It is not rooted in a feeling or an urge of the heart, but a purposeful focus of the will. It is a caring love one which is primarily involved with the need of others and not of self. It is does not depend upon the one being loved having to deserve or earn such love. It is not a love reserved only for a select few, but an all-encompassing, ever present, selfless love shown toward all.
In this lesson, we will briefly look at Love in the Bible. 1) God’s love for us; 2) Our love for God; 3) Our love for one another (read 1 John 4:16).
The biblical picture of love involves:
I. The Love God Has For Us
A. God has loved us from the beginning.
1. He created all things and gave all things to His creation.
a. Genesis 1:29-30 He gave every plant, tree, and animal.
b. He gave man purpose, to cultivate and keep the garden. Genesis 2:15
c. He created woman as a helper to man as it was “not good for the man be alone” Genesis 2:18
d. From the beginning, His love sought what was best for man.
2. Even though the paradise of Eden was lost, God never turned His back on His creation. The Old Testament provides thousands of years of history demonstrating His love for His people.
a. Hebrews 12:5-8 (NASB) and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, "MY SON, DO NOT REGARD LIGHTLY THE DISCIPLINE OF THE LORD, NOR FAINT WHEN YOU ARE REPROVED BY HIM; FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES, AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES." It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
b. Samuel admonished the people to and serve God with all of their hearts, the motivation for them to do so? He said, FOR CONSIDER WHAT GREAT THINGS HE HAS DONE FOR YOU 1 SAMUEL 12:24
c. JEREMIAH 31:3A “THE LORD APPEARED TO HIM FROM AFAR, SAYING, "I HAVE LOVED YOU WITH AN EVERLASTING LOVE;
d. ALL MANKIND LIVES TODAY BECAUSE OF THE LOVE OF GOD. EVERYONE BENEFITS FROM HIS CREATION: MATTHEW 5:45B “FOR HE CAUSES HIS SUN TO RISE ON THE EVIL AND THE GOOD, AND SENDS RAIN ON THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE UNRIGHTEOUS.”
e. Paul and Barnabas after healing the lame man in Lystra Acts 14:16-17 In the generations gone by He permitted all the nations to go their own ways; and yet He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness."