How Should we 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.”

So, this love is from God. It is not human love. It is not based on our feelings. It is not about romantic love or lust which is often called love. There is nothing fleshly at all about this kind of love. It is unselfish. It is self-sacrificial. It is morally pure and honest and trustworthy. It is kind. It does not take advantage of others. And it does not deliberately and habitually sin against others, either. But it does what is best for others.

Also, when we love with this kind of love we prefer what God prefers which is what is holy, righteous, godly, morally pure, honest, faithful, and obedient to him and to his word. We choose his choices and we obey them in his power and strength. We embrace God’s will and we prefer to live through Christ, and not in our own flesh, and to have Jesus Christ live his life in us and through us for his praise and glory. And we are doing the will of God.

So, when this says here that “whoever loves has been born of God,” this is not speaking of anyone who just does nice things for other people. It is not talking about going around and blessing people. It is talking about whoever loves with this love that comes from God which submits to God and which obeys the Lord and which prefers to do what God prefers. And we can only love with this kind of love if we are truly born of God and we know God.

And it is talking about loving others in the way in which God loves us, but not according to what many are teaching today about God’s love, for many today are reducing God’s love to the level of human love. For, again, this is not about going around and just being nice to people. This is about being willing to be hated and rejected and killed in order to tell people the truth of the gospel which will set them free from their slavery to sin.

Now, I am not saying we shouldn’t be nice to people. Obviously we should. But “nice” should never be about people liking us or us just making people feel good about themselves while we neglect to tell them how they can come to know Jesus Christ and be delivered from their slavery to sin so that they can now become slaves of God and of his righteousness. For, we can “nice” people all the way to hell if we are not careful.

When we love God with this love we walk in obedience to his commands. If we refuse to obey him, and we choose to go our own way, instead, and we choose to live however we want, without regard for what our Lord requires of us, then we don’t know God and he doesn’t know us, and heaven is not our eternal destiny, but hell is. For to obey the Lord is to do his will.

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.”

God’s love for us sent God the Son, Jesus Christ, to the earth ultimately for the purpose of dying on a cross for our sins. Jesus died on that cross, thus, 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. And he shed his blood for us to buy us back for God so that we would honor God with our lives (1 Pet 2:24; 2 Co 5:15; 1 Co 6:19-20).

Jesus gave his life up for us on that cross so that we might be crucified with him in death to sin and be raised with him to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. When we believe in Jesus our old self is crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin, but so we would be slaves of God and of his righteousness (Rom 6:1-23).

So, when we love others with this love which comes from God we are going to be concerned for the salvation of human lives, too, enough to where we will be willing to die, if necessary, in order to take the gospel of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth. We will be willing to be hated, rejected, falsely accused, ostracized, and mistreated in order to get the truth of the gospel out to people so that they can come to know Jesus, too.

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.”

So, again, we need to love others with this love which comes from God. And our concerns, and our burdens for people, and our passions and desires should then match God’s primary concerns and burdens for our lives, and they should match his passions and desires for our lives, as well. And so we should love others in the way that God loves us and in the way that Jesus loved the people of the earth when he lived on the earth.

So, this is not about just hanging out with people, and it is especially not about just hanging out with people and doing and saying and viewing all the same things that the ungodly do and say and view. So many people today claiming to be Christians never talk about Jesus unless maybe if they are at the official gatherings of the church. But they are being “nice,” and so they call that being loving. But it is really about people liking them.

We can sugar-coat it all we want, but if our interactions with others is no different than those of the ungodly, for we laugh at all the same humor, and we regurgitate all the same junk, and we watch and listen to all the same trash or what is absolutely worthless, and we will talk politics and movies and games and such but not about Jesus for fear we might offend people, then that isn’t love. That is thinking about ourselves, not about others.

Yes, we are to emulate Christ Jesus, and he did go around doing good. He healed the sick and afflicted, and he delivered people from demons, and he raised the dead, and he performed many miracles, and he fed the hungry, and he comforted the sorrowful, but he didn’t remain silent about the gospel or about what it means to be his followers. He said we must deny self, daily die with him to sin, and follow him in obedience or we don’t have life in him.

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

Mary, Did You Know?

Songwriters: Greene Lee Rufus / Lowry Mark Alan

Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy
Has come to make you new?
This child that you delivered, will soon deliver you

Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Is Lord of all creation?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy
Is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
That sleeping child you’re
Holding is the great, I Am

Mary, did you know?

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