1 John 3-5

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire Part 2

“See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God, and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.” 1 John 3:1 NASB

Christians are in a unique position in the world. In Chapter 1, verse 9, we find that there is a way to deal with sin that results in our being forgiven. God has made the way we read in verses 1&2 of Chapter 2. By the gift of the Holy Spirit we are able to tell the difference between truth and lies. When we face and confess the truth about ourselves, we are forgiven and become part of God’s family and are not only beloved of God but have a newfound hope.  As beloved children of God based on truth and forgiveness of sin, it is only natural to desire to be like our Lord as we read in verse 3 of Chapter 3. As we continue our study we are warned to continually watch out for deception.

A true child of God will be like the Father. From this new life will flow righteousness. Again, our actions will show what we truly believe in our heart. There will still be those who oppose us and some who will hate us but as Christians we are called to love God and love one another. Love is the evidence that God is in charge of our life from our heart.  We love because God loves us and it is His love that flows from our heart through our words and actions to this world.

The love that God has for the world today is not at all like the way the word love is used in our culture today. The way the word is used today may mean I love you but I love myself more and if push comes to shove my love for myself comes first.

God’s love is a love that gives even if the price is high. It is a love that gives to a person what God determines is needed, which may not be what that person wants or thought they needed. God’s love is a sacrificial love. The best example of this is found in John 3:16. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” NASB

God saw our need. We were dying in our sin. God created us to have eternal life but that is not possible because of our sin. So we were lost and without hope. But, because God loves us, He gave us what we needed even though it cost Him dearly. God’s love is to flow from Him through us, His children, to this world as we read starting in Chapter 3:16 and on.

How can we have this kind of love? A love that is able to discern the true need from the wants and deception, and a love that is willing to make the sacrifice to meet that need?   God’s love flows through us via the Holy Spirit residing within us. When Paul listed the fruit of the Holy Spirit in Galatians 5:22, the first thing listed was love. It is not we who love, it is God using us as a channel by which His love can flow to others. We cannot do it apart from the Holy Spirit and to have the Holy Spirit in our heart we must be born again.

The love we have been talking about is called agape, a noun in the Greek. There is a verb form of agape which is called agapao in the Greek, which is agape put into action. The only way we can do the agape love of God is to make a decision to take that which we have been given and put it into action. This may not always be an easy decision. There may well be a great push back from fear. When and if we do make the decision to love someone with God’s agape love we must do so by faith and based on our faith in God.  Chapters 3 through 5 tell us we have the command to love and we have the source of love within us. We also have the ability to make the decision based on our relationship with God and our faith and trust in Him. Chapter 5:10 makes it clear that we must have faith or we will fail in our witness for God. This is a sobering verse to me because it speaks of how being known as a believer yet remaining silent because of unbelief reflects on God and makes Him a liar.

Now, to be clear, we do not have the agape love of God. It flows from God through us. We may well face fears when we are attempting to give someone what they didn’t know they needed or even wanted. But based on our relationship with our Lord, we are not alone and we can ask for what we need and God’s direction for what He wants us to do. 5:13-17

The bottom line is found in Chapter 5:19&20

Whose power do you rely on? James 1:22

Pastor Dave