devotional

21APR
2013

Love is of God

 

1 John 4:7 reads, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.” 

     How can love be so simply and surely identified? How is it that the Apostle John can say in a blanket statement that “everyone” who loves in this way is born of God? It seems a bit too easy. After all, there are a lot of “loves” in the world today and most of them are not of God. Many Christians feel that they cannot know anything about anyone else’s heart, but the Bible repeatedly gives us truths that show us otherwise even through our limited human perception. What John is telling us all here is that you can look at a person’s love and know whether or not they’re truly alive in Christ. This is the same Apostle who taught us that we can look at one’s belief regarding the nature of Christ’s literal coming in the flesh and from it determine whether or not someone is an antichrist as well, 1 John 4:1-3. 

     So we must be sure not to let a “love test” become flippant. This is not just love like the Beatles or the Universalists would say meaning just some complete acceptance of everyone as they are. No, this is a love in truth. It is love based on truth, united in truth and sanctioned by truth. The same people who simply claim to love others will gnash their teeth at Christ when the gospel is preached. Their love would not be the love John writes of here. The love John speaks of is married to truth. That truth is Biblical and historic. 

     John speaks of the love present in the heart of the child of God. Love between the brethren should be evident. It should be fervent. I should work to develop it through all means available to me. I have love for those not of Christ as well, of course, but my love for the brethren should be something altogether different and precious.

     Love between Christians is a reality ingrained in their very natures by virtue of their common baptism. It is both a fruit of regeneration and an aim of it. It embraces the truths of the Bible wholeheartedly because the Bible is God’s word. A person in love as John defines it here is without exception one who comes to the feast table of faith and dines on the same truths with the saints since saints were first made. A person in the kind of love that John writes of here is one whose love is founded upon the rock bed of the teachings of Jesus. It’s a proper love. It’s a servant’s love. It’s the kind of love welcome in heaven. All other “loves,” by definition, are not really love at all as they would stand opposed to love as God defines it by truth. When love is evident in and of the truth then we should have every confidence that Christ has begun a work in that person and will complete it. We should then esteem them as better than ourselves and one for whom Christ died.

 

     In short, love without truth isn’t. 

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