Scripture tells us, “God is love.”
“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love” (I John 4:7-8).
The passage tells us “to love one another, for every one that loves is born of God and knows God.” But what does this “to love one another” thing mean exactly? Does it mean that we are to be loving and kind to everyone, without exception? What does this “love which is of God” mean? This same verse also tells us “if a person loves not, then he does not know God,” because “God is love.” Does not having this “love which is of God” mean that we are not born of God and/or that we do not know God?nbsp; The answer to these questions can be found in defining this “love, which is of God.”
“In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we 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 ought also to love one another” (I John 4:9-11).
According to this passage, God showed just how much he loved us by sending his only begotten son into this evil, wicked, and unjust world “to be the propitiation for our sins” so that through him we might have life, everlasting life. “The son” is the one who sacrificed himself on the cross to atone for our sins; not just those who are now children of God, but for the sins of the whole entire world (I John 2:2). This is little different then how the world shows love. As we previously defined, worldly love attempts to mimic true love, often calling for “tolerance in the name of love,” while incorporating all kinds of sinful and destructive behaviors that moves in opposition to the love expressed by God and by “the son.” But God, in his wisdom, opened the eyes of those who accepted the call to salvation to know that “the son” is the mighty power of God that saved them and “the son” himself is the center of God’s plan for their salvation (I Corinthians 1:24).
“If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also” (I John 4:20-21).
We believe that this “love, which is of God,” is a “saving kind of love,” and not “tolerance in the name of love” kind. This “saving kind of love” involves the message of the cross, which “is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God” (I Corinthians 1:18). It is this “saving kind of love” that we ought to have for our brothers and show to them because we believe God when he tells us that he loves us and has saved us from the penalty of sin. It is this “saving kind of love” that grows perfect and more complete because we live with “the son,” who we know is the mighty power of God and the center of God’s plan for salvation. It is this “saving kind of love” that in the day of judgment, we can face God with confidence and joy, not shame and embarrassment, knowing that we have truly showed loved the way as God and “the son” did when that gave to save the world from the penalty of sin.
This is the “love, which is of God,” that we are to have for one another. This is the “love” that is born of God; that is born of truth; that is born of righteousness; that is the “saving kind of love” that allows God to live within us and allows us to live in God. This has the “love” that this evil, wicked, and unjust world needs, a “saving kind of love.” Therefore, let us love one another, for he that is born of God and he that knows God already has this “love, which is of God” living within. Our love for God and our love for our brother come as a result of God actually loving us first, showing us what we should do.
We forever pray this inspirational message will abundantly bless you, greatly inform you, and that you will be the better for having read it. If blessed by this message, please share so that others may be blessed as well. Amen.
Enjoy your blessings - KW