HEREIN IS LOVE
1 John 4:7 ¶ Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 9 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. 10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. 12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. 13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.
1 John 4:14 ¶ And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. 15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
The very first word that follows the words of our title is the word “not!” Therefore we must understand that mankind’s usual concept of love is faulty! For love does never originate from man. Man cannot originate true, spiritual love! It is always derived from God. True, genuine love has its source in God alone, and comes down to man. John 3:13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. In both verses eight and sixteen of our context we read “God IS love.” Therefore love is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, and not of the heart of mankind! Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
The greatest and most tender affections in the human soul cannot be compared with the glorious love of God! The most tender of the affections in the same heart can be supplanted by the vilest of evil. Deuteronomy 28:56 The tender and delicate woman among you, which would not adventure to set the sole of her foot upon the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye shall be evil toward the husband of her bosom, and toward her son, and toward her daughter,
Even the most tender of the affections as that of a mother for her infant babe can change, but God, who is love, can never change! Isaiah 49:15 Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Malachi 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
Natural affection must be overruled by the Holy Spirit. For without the Spirit’s control it usually is but “inordinate affection,” which must be killed out. Colossians 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil con-cupiscence (‘evil lusts’), and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6 For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: The majority of today’s “religious worship” is but inordinate affections, (that which goes ‘beyond normal limits’), coupled with the deception of the angel of light. The Apostle Paul warns of “another spirit,” and “another gospel.” (2 Corinthians 11:4). 2 Corinthians 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
Is this not the truth? Have we not done all we can to ‘humanize’ religion? Have we not determined to incorporate Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, presentation of ball team trophies, Easter Bunny’s and even Christmas trees and Santa himself into our ‘worship services?’ Most of that which stirs the emotions of those assembled today are but motivational ‘speeches,’ and not the preaching of the pure gospel. Our ‘sanctuaries’ are no longer ‘sanctified’ by the preaching of the word!
Consider these verses which concern our allegiance to the family of God: Psalm 45:10 Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father’s house; 11 So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him.
Matthew 12:47 Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. 48 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? 49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! 50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.
We want a convenient god, who makes us feel good! We want to live out our lusts, show no kindness to others, have our own unquestioned lifestyle, and then all ‘go to heaven’ and see all our natural family! Unregenerate men of sin are sitting in the temple of God, showing themselves to be in control of representing God! 2 Thessalonians 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. We have unregenerate preachers, unregenerate ‘music directors’, choir members, ball team members with church logos on their uniforms, and lonely souls just seeking mates, filling our churches. Matthew 21:13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves. But these thieves steal the glory due to God alone and turn it to men.
The Lord abruptly informed a great religious leader, who was infatuated with ‘miracles’ that he still needed to be born again! An unregenerate religion will always be drawn to fleshly excitement, for they have neither seen, nor entered into the kingdom of God by regenerating grace!
The Lord did not “commit himself” to those like Nicodemus who sought to believe on him by the influence of exciting miracles. John 2:23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, 25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man. 3:1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: 2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. 3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. It’s not what religion says about God that matters. It’s what God says about religion that shall determine their final and eternal fate.
Love – God’s love – is the “more excellent way.” For “God is love.” And it is to be sought for above all religious abilities and gifts. 1 Corinthians 12:31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way. 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
But how do we come to this greatest of all gifts? We come to be acquainted with love by the mercy of God alone. Deuteronomy 7:7 The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: 8 But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
Ephesians 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
None could ever truly love the one true God except God love them first. 1John 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.
And in what does this love consist? 1 John 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation (atoning sacrifice) for our sins. In this verse we see that love does “not” consist in our natural ability to love God, but in that He who IS love has bestowed love upon us by sending His Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. “God so loved .. that He gave his only begotten Son..!” (John 3:16) Therefore we read “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)
Every one who comes to God, only does so through Jesus Christ! Revelation 5:8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. 9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
Secondly we come to the acquaintance of love by being birthed into love. 1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
As has been previously stated, Nicodemus could not see the kingdom because he had not been birthed into the kingdom. Neither can one see love until he is birthed into love!
1 John 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. 12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
This is what the prophets of old spoke of concerning the new covenant, which would be based on God’s grace, for man had proven that there was no salvation to be had under the law’s demands. For no one ever perfectly kept the law but the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore love in man’s heart had to be invested there by grace alone. Deuteronomy 30:6 And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live. Ezekiel 11:19 And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh:
And lastly, we come to the acquaintance of love, not by seeing, but by the inward experience and the outward expression of love within. 1 John 4:12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. 13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.
Love cannot be hidden. If it is within the heart it will manifest itself in the attitude, the words and actions! Luke 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
One can have religious actions without love. See 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 listed in the first column of this page. See also Matthew 7:21-23 in that and the previous column.
But one cannot have love without it’s manifesting actions. That is the Apostle James’ main point of his writings concerning faith which worketh by love! (Galatians 5:6) God’s true love is manifested by giving. For God so love … that he gave. (John 3:16) James 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. 22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
Read these verses on the characteristics of love: 1 Corinthians 13:4 Charity (that is, “love”) suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, (that is, it is not vain glorious or boastful), is not puffed up, (that is, has no haughty display of itself), 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
Pastor Gene Breed
June 15, 2018