1 John 4:7-8 NIV
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
In order for us to properly interpret what this is saying here we need to understand this word “love.” For, many people misinterpret this passage of Scripture because they are of the mind of the flesh and not of the mind of God.
First of all, this teaches us that this love comes from God, and God is holy, pure, righteous, moral, honest, trustworthy, and faithful in all that he does and is. So, this kind of love will have these same qualities. Thus, this (agape) love centers in moral preference. It prefers what God prefers.
Also, only those who have genuinely believed in Jesus Christ with God-given and childlike faith have this kind of love, because God is love and it comes from God, so for us to love with this love we must be in God/Christ and he must be in us (in the person of the Holy Spirit).
And for us to be in Christ we must be believing in him, and we must be walking (in conduct, in practice) no longer according to the flesh but according to the Spirit of God. Sin should no longer have dominion over our lives for we died with Christ to sin that we might live to his righteousness.
Therefore, when this says that everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God, it is not talking about human love and it is definitely not talking about lust. It is saying that if we are (agape) loving one another (in practice), that is evidence that we are born of God and that we know God.
The opposite of this says that if we aren’t (agape) loving one another, preferring what God prefers, practicing righteousness, honesty, purity, and faithfulness in how we love and treat others, we don’t know God, because God is (agape) love.
So, this means that if it is our practice to continue sinning against others via cheating, lying, stealing, committing adultery, and using them for our own selfish purposes to fulfill the lusts of our flesh, that is not love, it is not of God, and those who are deliberately doing this are not of God, either.
1 John 4:9-10 NIV
“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”
This is yet another picture of this agape love that is of God and which prefers what God prefers. God the Father sent his one and only begotten Son into the world, not just to minister his love and grace to the people, but to die on a cross for our sins.
In Jesus’ death on that cross, he who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God. And the righteousness of God is all that is holy, pure, upright, honest, moral, faithful, and trustworthy – that we might become all that. He died for us on that cross that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us (2 Co 5:15, 21).
God did not send Jesus to die on the cross because of those who were trying to earn their own salvation via good works, in response to their goodness. He sent Jesus to die for us sinners, while we were still dead in our sins. We did nothing to earn or to deserve our own salvation. We cannot!
But his grace which brings salvation trains us to say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s soon return (Tit 2:11-14).
And it is by his grace, through God-given faith in Jesus Christ, that we are crucified with Christ in death to sin and that we are empowered of the Spirit to live godly and holy lives, pleasing to God (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Lu 9:23-26; Gal 2:20; Eph 2:10).
1 John 4:7-8 NIV
“Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”
Makes perfect sense, right? I mean, if someone does something for you, don’t you want to do something for them, too? And don’t you want to do something for others because someone treated you so kindly? Some people pay for other people’s meals in a line at a fast food restaurant.
But this isn’t just about treating one another with human kindness. This is about loving others with God’s love, like he loved us, preferring what God prefers, which is what is holy, righteous, and pure, etc.
So, how did God demonstrate his love for us? Well, since Jesus is God, God gave his life up for us on that cross in order to free us from our slavery (addiction) to sin and to give us new lives in Christ Jesus, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24).
So, when we (agape) love one another, we are going to be concerned about the spiritual condition of our fellow believers in Jesus and about the spiritual condition of the people of the world, too, in addition to showing concern and care for their physical needs.
So, we will willingly lay down our lives in order to tell them the truth about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and in order to tell them about his salvation which he provided for us on that cross. And we will explain that faith in Jesus Christ means we die with Christ to sin so that we are no longer enslaved to sin but so we now become servants of the Lord’s righteousness.
So, we are not going to sin against others as a matter of habit, out of selfishness, and we are not going to refuse to share the gospel with others, too, out of selfishness.
But we will love others with the love of God in how God loves us, caring about others and their needs and sharing with them how they can be free from their slavery to sin and how they can live holy lives, pleasing to God, and walk in perfect peace, free from fear.
Lord, Move Me
An Original Work / October 16, 2011
Be my desire, my heart set on fire,
Lord, move me to worship You only, I pray.
Fill with Your Spirit, my heart overflow.
Lord, may I long for You; Your word to know.
Teach me to walk with You, Lord, in Your power,
And may I serve You, Lord, right now in this hour.
Lord, how I want to obey You forever.
Help me to hear You, Lord, so I will not stray.
Teach me to love You; adore You always.
Envelope me, Lord, with Your grace today.
Meet me in my need, and show me Your mercy.
Forgive me for all things, as I humbly pray.
Counsel me, lead me, direct me, and guide me,
So I follow You, Lord, where’er You lead now.
I love to hear You speak Your words to me.
I am so grateful that You set me free.
Wash me, and cleanse me, and make me like You, Lord,
And I will live with You for eternity.