Wednesday, June 10, 2009

More about Love from 1 John, part two

Here are some more aspects of love according to John...

4. Love for other believers is an evidence of God’s saving grace in our lives.

If you have experienced the radical transition from death to life, John says, it should have visible results (3:14). And one of those results will be a love for our brothers and sisters in Christ. This gives believers a reasonable cause for certainty in our conversion and eternal salvation. God’s grace has worked in our lives and so we have an example, motivation, and means for showing love in the lives of others. Even though unbelievers certainly can love, Scripture reveals that we are capable, empowered, enabled to do this in a way in which we previously could not, and did not.

5. We can know love by looking at Jesus’ voluntary death on the cross.
When John reveals that “you know love by this,” we should take note. In particular, He uses the voluntary death of Christ on the cross as a supreme example of love (3:16). But, John is not content for us to simply marvel at the example of love. He might well agree with the statement that “Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, and my all.” The voluntary death of Christ serves as an example to love. Christ’s visible demonstration of love is meant to have an impact on the way that we show sacrificial love. It is our motivation, our cause, and our reason for loving. It also serves as the source of what becomes a natural outpouring or result of love.

6. True love is not adequately shown through words.

In one of the most practical, poignant instructions in the book, John paints a picture of a person who is in need, and speaks of another believer closing their heart against him (3:17-18). So, the sacrificial love described is meant to be active. So, we cannot simply be truly grateful for the sacrifice of Christ. Truly, our love for Christ will manifest itself in love for our brothers and sisters in Christ which will assuredly involve many small sacrifices.