Loving Others Sacrificially and Unselfishly

1 John 4:7-12 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. 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. 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

It seems as though I have been talking about the subject of love much lately, but this is where the Lord keeps leading me, and it is a subject that is obviously much needed, so I pray that he will teach me what he wants me to learn from this today to apply to my own life, and then that he will give me the words he wants me to share with you, my readers.

As we have talked about many times, this love is agape love. And this love comes from God, and God is love. So, this is not human love which is largely based in our feelings and emotions. And it is not lust which people often confuse with love. And it isn’t all about us, and what is in it for us, to have our needs met. And it isn’t all about what God did for us, is doing for us, and will do for us, with no thought given to us doing what he wants of us.

So, if this love comes from God, which it has, and if God is love, which he is, then this love will be in line with God’s moral and upright and divine character and will. This love will emulate God and his character, in other words. So, this love will be holy, upright, godly, morally pure, honest, faithful, and righteous. And it will be based in God and in his will for our lives, and not based in our own selfish desires.

So, if we love one another with this love, we are going to love people as God loves people. So, our love will be self-sacrificial, and it will be concerned with people’s real needs and with what is best for them morally, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically. So, we aren’t going to do for them or say to them necessarily what is going to get us liked, in return, but what will help them to know Jesus and to walk in faithful obedience to his commands.

So, we aren’t going to spend our time with other Christians just sitting around watching movies and playing games and listening to secular music and talking about worldly and even ungodly things and then never talk about Jesus, and never encourage one another in our walks of faith out of fear that they will think we are hyper-religious or self-righteous or judgmental or whatever, and while ignoring blatant sinful practices in their (or our) lives.

And we are not going to sin against God deliberately and habitually and premeditatedly, and then against others, for love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore, if we are loving one another with this love we will not lie to, deceive, cheat, cheat on, commit adultery against, slander, hate, gossip about, steal from, mock, take advantage of and/or abuse them. But we will say and do for them what will be spiritually healthful for them.

Knowing God

So, when this says here that whoever loves has been born of God and knows God, we must interpret this in light of our biblical understanding of what this word “love” means, especially in light of the fact that this says this love comes from God and God is love. For we can’t even love with this kind of love unless we know God and that he is living within us by his Spirit. But we also must love as God loves, which is a pure and righteous love.

Also, when this says that whoever does not love, it is talking about us not living holy and pure lives, us not walking in obedience to our Lord in faithful surrender, and us not caring about the real needs of others but us being more caught up in ourselves and more concerned about people liking us. And it means that we are most probably sinning against others in various ways because our thoughts are more self-focused and not God-focused.

So, this is letting us know that if we are truly born of God that our lives will reflect the character of God in how we treat others. Now, I am not saying that we must live absolutely perfect lives, for if we could, Jesus wouldn’t have needed to die for us. And I am not saying that we will always love perfectly. But if we truly know God we should not be those who are deliberately and habitually sinning against God and others.

But we should be those who are walking in Jesus’ footsteps, who are speaking the words Jesus and his New Testament apostles spoke, and who are doing the kinds of things that Jesus did when he lived on this earth. And we should have Jesus’ heart towards others and be concerned for them in the way that he was, and about the same kinds of things. And his primary concern was for them to forsake their sins and to follow (obey) him.

So, why did God send Jesus to be our atoning sacrifice for our sins? It was so that we might live through him. It is so that we would die with him to sin and live to his righteousness. It was so that we would no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us. It was so we would now honor God with our bodies. And it was so we would no longer be enslaved to sin but live as slaves to God and to his righteousness.

But if we choose not to go that path, and if we choose the path of habitual sin, for whatever reason, and if we choose to ignore our Lord and his commands, and so we blend in with the world to be accepted by the world, or by other worldly “Christians,” and therefore we do not love God or our fellow humans with the love that comes from God, then we don’t know God, and we are not saved from our sins, and we will not inherit eternal life.

[1 Jn 4:9; 1 Pet 2:24; 2 Co 5:15,21; 1 Co 6:19-20; Rom 6:1-23; Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15]


An Original Work / December 24, 2013
Based off Various Scriptures

The Word of God throughout taught.
Some people heard but did doubt.
Still others had faith in Christ.
By grace He purified them.

They turned from sin
And they obeyed Christ.
He opened up their blinded eyesight;
Turned them from darkness
To the true Light;
Forgave their sin by His might.

He strengthened them in their faith.
He said, “Remain my faithful.”
He called them to obedience.
By faith, they were so grateful.

By faith, they were to follow Jesus;
To daily sit and listen to Him;
To have such faith
That mountains could move;
To love those whom He gave them.

Be on your guard; courageous.
Stand firm in faith. Be thankful.
Take up the shield of your faith;
Protect against all evil.

Do not move from
The hope that you have.
Your faith in Jesus let it endure.
Hold to the truth;
Your conscience be clear.
Endure with perseverance.

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