Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
1 John 4:11-12
John is continuing his thoughts that we looked at in vv. 7-10, and as I mentioned last time, this is the central core of Christian theology, the part that everything else is built upon. Simply stated, this love core flows like this:
1. God loved us while we were still sinners.
2. God sent His Son to die for our sins.
3. We loved God and responded to the Gospel.
4. God loved our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Therefore, so do we.
We see this pattern at work once again in verse 11. God loved us, so we should love each other. Then John, as was his custom, takes one more step. Since no one has ever seen God, and since God loves all of us and we love Him, if we also love each other, God’s love will be complete in us and visibly expressed within His Body, the Church. This is as far as John has gone so far…
At this point, we can infer that there is another step. The other step is implied in John’s mentioning that “no one has seen God.” OK, why did he choose to write that? Think…
No one has seen God, but if we love one another as God loved us, then His love will live amongst us, and through us all will see it.
Have you ever thought that it would be nice if you could find the positive “proof” of God’s existence? Yes, something that can be observed and studied?
Are you sitting down?
John just gave it to you! The proof is God’s love at work in our lives and within the Body of Christ; at least it should be. Maybe if we started taking these verses to heart and putting them into our everyday manner of living, like we are commanded by God to do, more people would notice that the greatest “proof” of God, the observable evidence is right there in front of us all: Love for one another as Jesus has loved us, and gave His life for us.
Let’s wrap up for now with a question to think about: Do you ever wonder if it is a coincidence that the whole concept of Godly love has been corrupted and demeaned in our culture after all, doesn’t society use the word “love” to mean just about anything other than Godly love?
Beautifully said. I’ve believed for years that if believers could show God’s love to one another, the Great Commission would be fulfilled in a heartbeat. People would be drawn by true compassion that only God can provide. Thanks for this, Don.
Great post my friend. The love of Christ is something the church today dearly needs and I believe we have corrupted the love of God. One of the biggest causes of atheism today is Christians and we need to begin to live the way Christ commanded us to as that is the greatest evidence of all. Blessings to you, Don.
Amen… and thank you!
Yes, “love” has been badly-corrupted, and self-giving love has largely gone the way of Edsels and dinosaurs, nearly-extinct. Yes, we can still find a few examples in museums, but not roaming the earth. “Love” has become “What is in it for ME?”, rather than “How can I give of myself to enrich someone else’s life?”.
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35)
Only when this becomes the reality among Believers and in the Church will we begin to truly-impact our culture and society.
Well said Steve!
Reblogged this on Talmidimblogging.
Yes, “love” is entirely overused and misused in our secular culture and I would say underused in the Church. God is Love and if we want to be more like Him, we need to be love ourselves. I was once asked – “Are you a Christian?”…”Yes”, I replied. The young man then said to me, “I thought so. You can tell by the way you are and the way you behave.” That was, without a doubt, the greatest compliment I have ever received. 🙂
No doubt; a wonderful compliment indeed!