Let us Love One Another

1 John 4:7-8 ESV

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

What is love?

God is love. So love prefers what God prefers which is all that is holy and righteous. Therefore, love will not deliberately cause harm to another. Love will not hate, murder, commit adultery, lie, cheat, steal, manipulate, slander or otherwise deliberately hurt another human, especially not habitually. Love will do good to others and will consider what is in their best interest.

Love will also not pacify sin. It will not entertain sin nor be entertained by the sins of others. Love will desire God and his holiness and will want to obey the Lord and to do what he says. It will not excuse away deliberate and habitual sin, nor will it blame others for sin. It will also not take pride in disobedience, in sinful practices, and in the dishonoring of God as Lord.

We who are followers of Jesus Christ are still human. We are not perfect people. We still live in flesh bodies. We are still tempted to sin, and we still have the propensity to sin against God. We will not love perfectly all the time. But lack of perfection is never to be used as an excuse for deliberate and habitual sin, but we are to grow in love and in the grace of God.

Also, to love God is to obey God. If we say that we know God or that we love God, but we refuse to obey him, or if we decide we are not required to obey him, then we don’t love God. If disobedience is our practice, and if sin is what we practice, and if righteousness is not what we practice, then we don’t know God. And he does not know us. We are not born of God.

[Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10]

1 John 4:9-10 ESV

“In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

In This is Love

Jesus Christ is God. He is also the only begotten Son of God. Although he is God, he left his throne in heaven, humbled himself, came to the earth, took on human form, and suffered in like manner as we also suffer.

While he lived on the earth he performed many miracles. He fed the hungry, encouraged the timid, comforted the sorrowful, raised the dead, gave sight to the blind, healed the sick and afflicted, and he delivered people from demons. He ministered to people’s needs right where they were because he loved them.

He also preached repentance for salvation from sin and for eternal life with God. He taught that we must leave all behind to follow him. We must deny self, and daily we must take up our cross and follow him. Daily we must die with him to sin and to self and follow him in obedience to his will for our lives. For if this is not our practice, we do not have eternal life with God.

He made it abundantly clear that to follow him involved cost. No, this is not doing works to earn our salvation, but it is doing the works of God which he prepared in advance that we should walk in them in his power and strength. Our salvation from sin is conditional on us meeting God’s requirements for salvation and for eternal life with God, but it is not us in the flesh doing it.

For, Jesus died on that cross not just to forgive us our sins, and not just to give us the hope of eternal life with him, but he died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us. He shed his blood to buy us back for God so that we would honor God with our lives.

So, God’s grace to us is not freedom to keep on in sin, only now without guilt. God’s grace, which brings us 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 return. His grace to us delivers us from our slavery to sin, and his grace empowers us to walk in Christ’s righteousness.

[Jn 1; Php 2; Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; 1 Pet 2:24; 2 Co 5:15, 21; 1 Co 6:19-20; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; Tit 2:11-14]

1 John 4:11-12 ESV

“Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.”

Love One Another

So, this is an encouragement to us to love one another with this love which prefers what God prefers, which is all that is holy and righteousness, and which does not honor the flesh or give way to habitual sin. For many people today professing faith in Jesus Christ have this notion that “love” only says to people what they like to hear and what makes them feel good.

They have this idea of love that it never confronts anyone in sin, that it ignores sin in oneself and in others, and that its goal is to do for others what they like, even if it is opposed to what God likes, or to the exclusion of all that is holy and righteous. “Love” to them is all this feel good stuff that results in people liking us and in thinking that we are “nice” people.

Should we be kind to people? Absolutely! But kindness is not telling lies. It is not withholding truth from people who need to hear the truth. Jesus was kind, but he told the truth always even to the point that many who followed him stopped following him because his words were too hard to listen to. Jesus didn’t pacify sin at all. He called it what it was always.

So, if your pastor is not teaching the truth of God’s word in its fulness (the whole counsel of God), but he is saying what itching ears want to hear, although it may sound good, and it may feel good, it is not good, and it is not love. Sparing your feelings is not love, but also deliberate meanness is not love, either. But we can speak the truth and speak it in love.

Also, if your pastor or whatever preacher you listen to is telling you that if you believe in Jesus that God can no longer see when you sin, so your sins no longer matter, that is a lie. If he tells you that God does not require you to forsake your sins, to follow him in obedience, and to honor him as Lord (master) of your life, that, too, is a lie. Don’t believe it.

The truth is that we are to forsake our sinful practices, we are to walk in obedience to our Lord’s commands, and we are to honor God/Jesus as Lord (master) of our lives. If we don’t, and if we continue in our sinful practices, and if we don’t walk in obedience to our Lord, then we aren’t saved, and we aren’t going to heaven. Not my words. God said it!

So, please take this to heart, for your life depends on it.

[Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:7; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10]

For Our Nation

An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: we’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.

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