Summary: How do we receive God and therefore receive divine love in order that we can love?
What is divine love? 1 Jo 4:8 …God is love
It isn’t that God has love as an attribute, no, God is Himself love. His very nature is love.
Who then has this divine love and therefore can divinely love others?
Since God is love, whoever has God has love; whoever has more of God has more love:
1 John 4:7-8 …Love is of God and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God (is currently in spiritual fellowship with Him). He who does not love does not know God (is currently separated from Him), for God is love. God is love, therefore love is of God – meaning for any love to operate God Himself must be present, because there is no love apart from Him, for He is love. God does not impart love separately from Himself, for He is love. He imparts Himself, then there is love. In order for love to be actively present in my life I must have been born of God (born again of love) and I must be currently in spiritual union with Him (with love). This requires my will to be in submission to Him. He alone is love; I cannot love unless He loves through me. And for love to increase in my life God must increase in me; for love is of God.
How do we receive God and therefore receive divine love in order that we can love?
God communicates or imparts Himself, and therefore His nature of love, in two ways:
1. As we believe with our hearts His living words that His Spirit brings personally to us.
Jo 1:1-12 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (and is God)…As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:
1 Jo 2:5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him...
Jo 17:6-26 (Jesus) I have manifested Your name…for I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them…And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them. (but not all receive His word)
John 5:38 But you do not have His word abiding in you…
John 5:42 But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you. God is love, and the word of God is God, therefore the word of God is love, always.
2. As we submit to and receive, by faith, the Holy Spirit to rule over us in our hearts:
Rom 5:5 …The love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit…
Gal 3:2 Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? (hearing with the heart God’s promise of the Spirit and believing it)
Acts 5:32 …The Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him. God is love, and God the Holy Spirit is God, therefore the Holy Spirit is love, always.
How do we love God and how are we to love one another?
1 John 4:19 We love Him because He first loved us. We have no love until we first receive God’s love by receiving God. We receive God when we first believe His words. Our love for Him increases as we believe more of His words and we receive His Spirit to be our Lord. Our love is then shown by our obedience:
1 John 5:3 This is love for God: that we obey His commands... NIV/TEV
Now we can fulfill Jesus’ first and great commandment – to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, all our soul (will), all our minds (thought life) and all our strength. Because we are loving God entirely with the love with which He first loved us. It is only as we fulfill this commandment that we are capable of fulfilling the second which is that we love our neighbor, relative, friend and stranger as ourselves. In what way are we to love them?
John 13:34 (Jesus) A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another;
as I have loved you, that you also love one another. How has God loved us? By imparting Himself, He is love, to us, by His word and by His Spirit. How do we love one another? By living in God, who is love, and therefore living in love. Now we will be continually obedient to love’s will and we will increasingly manifest the characteristics of God’s love described in 1st. Corinthians Chapter 13. And since this love of God is always reaching out to impart Himself, we will be led by love to pray for others, including our enemies. And, by His Spirit of love, to speak God’s words that are in us, which are His nature of love, to anyone who will let God love them through us.