1 John 4:10-11
“In this 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 also ought to love one another.”
Love seems to be the most common subject of music, art, poetry and film. We have all heard songs with lyrics heralding the importance of love, or movies showing couples falling in love. Love has been romanticized, even idolized, yet rarely realized. It is here that the Apostle John, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, gives us a description of true love.
“In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
True love is both illustrated and defined by the action of God sending His Son. Paul reminds us, it was while we were still sinners, God sent His Son to the cross to pay the penalty for our sins (Romans 5:8). John uses the word propitiation, which speaks of a blood sacrifice; the innocent for the guilty. Love is measured at the cross where Jesus willingly laid down His life for you and me. But the love of God does not stop there. It is the desire of God that His love continue to be demonstrated to the world through the actions of His children.
“Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
Since we are the beloved, we are to act like it, by seeking to express this love to each other.
1 John 4:20 “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?”
One of the best ways to express love for God, is to love others. This should be done in the home, by going out of our way, today, to show our spouse, children, parents, and siblings that we love them. Perhaps, even looking for extravagant ways to show off our love. After all, God expressed His love by going all out for us. Then this love should be expressed beyond the home. We should be looking for ways to love those around us. Jesus explained that His followers were to be different from the world in that the world loves those who are loving them. The Christian is to love all.
Matthew 5:46 “For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?”
Make an effort today to share the love of Christ with those with whom you come in contact. The greatest expression of love is to tell someone the way to heaven.
Questions for 1 John 4
1. In verse 3 John speaks of the Spirit of The Antichrist. This is not speaking of THE Antichrist that Revelation speaks of. The spirit of the Antichrist is anything that denies Jesus Christ as the only way to heaven. In our society today we see that very often. How do we stay firm in a world so opposed to the message of Jesus?
2. John reminds us how important it is for the follower of Christ to be loving, because God is love. God showed that love by allowing His only son to die for us. In the light of the cross, how is your love towards others as a child of God?
3. Another way that we can know that we are a child of God, the first being the love of God in us, is by the Holy Spirit. How you asked God to baptize you in His spirit? The Bible tells us that He will give us the spirit when we ask. Do you take advantage of that gift?