TEXT: 1 John 4:7-21
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.
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.
17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
19 We love him, because he first loved us.
20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.
Max Lucado said, “Those in the circle of Christ had no doubt of His love; those in our circles should have no doubt about ours.”
One day, C.H. Spurgeon was walking through the English countryside with a friend. As they strolled along, the evangelist noticed a barn with a weather vane on its roof. At the top of the vane were these words: GOD IS LOVE. Spurgeon remarked to his companion that he thought this was a rather inappropriate place for such a message. “Weather vanes are changeable,” he said, “but God’s love is constant.”
“I don’t agree with you about those words, Charles,” replied his friend. “You misunderstood the meaning. That sign is indicating a truth: Regardless of which way the wind blows, God is love.”
In our last message, we looked at what this passage means by saying that those who do not love are not of God. Let’s continue looking at what this passage says about the love of God and how we should love others.
The David Guzik Commentary reads about this passage:
“Love has been perfected: For perfected, John doesn’t just use the Greek word teleioo (which has the idea of “maturity” and “completeness); he writes teleioo teleioo – speaking of love that is “perfectly perfected” or “completely complete.” The day of judgment is when the completeness of love’s work in us will be demonstrated. As much as we can know the completeness of God’s love now, we will know it all the more in the day of judgment.
· You may know you are a sinner now; you will really know it in the day of judgment.
· You may know now you are not a better person than those who are going to hell; you will really know it in the day of judgment.
· You may know the reality of hell now; you will really know it in the day of judgment.
· You may know the greatness of Jesus’ salvation now; you will really know it in the day of judgment.
That we may have boldness in the day of judgment shows the greatness of God’s work in us. We might be satisfied to merely survive the day of judgment, but God wants to so fill our lives with His love and His truth that we have boldness in the day of judgment.
The Bible says that one day, all of humanity will gather before God’s Great White Throne and face judgment. This day is coming! “The day of judgment is as fixed in God’s eternal timetable as any other day in world history.” Some think they will go there and judge God (“When I see God, there’s a few questions I have for Him!”), but that is nonsense. The only way to have boldness in the day of judgment is to receive, and walk in, the transforming love of God today.
How can anyone have such boldness in the day of judgment? We can imagine Jesus being bold before the throne of God, but us? Yet, if we abide in Him, and He in us, then our identity is bound up in Jesus: as He is, so are we in the world. How is Jesus now? He is glorified, justified, forever righteous and bold, sitting at the right hand of God the Father. Spiritually, we can have that same standing now, while we are in the world, because as He is, so are we in the world. Certainly, this glory is in us now just in “seed” form; it has not yet fully developed into what it will be. But it is there, and its presence is demonstrated by our love for one another and our agreement with God’s truth – and that all serves to give us boldness.
There is no fear in love: The completeness of love means we do not cower in fear before God, dreading His judgment, either now or in the day of judgment. We know all the judgment we ever deserved – past, present, and future – was poured out on Jesus Christ on the cross. What about the many passages of Scripture, Old and New Testament (such as Ecclesiastes 12:13 and 1 Peter 2:17), which tell us we should fear God? The fear John writes of here is not the appropriate reverence we should all have of God, but the kind of fear which involves torment – that agonizing kind of fear which robs our soul of all joy and confidence before God. It is the fear that is the opposite of boldness in the day of judgment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love: If our relationship with God is marked by this tormenting fear, it shows that we have not been made perfect – that is, complete, and mature – in His love.
In this great statement ‘We love Him’, John begins by declaring the heart of every true follower of Jesus Christ. Simply and boldly put, we love Him. +0This is a fact for every true follower of Jesus. “There is no exception to this rule; if a man loves not God, neither is he born of God. Show me a fire without heat, then show me regeneration that does not produce love to God.” It is something that every Christian should be unafraid to proclaim: “I love Him; I love Jesus.” Can you say that? Are you embarrassed to say it? Can you say, “I love Jesus”? “I cannot imagine a true man saying, ‘I love Christ, but I do not want others to know that I love him, lest they should laugh at me.’ That is a reason to be laughed at, or rather, to be wept over. Afraid of being laughed at? Oh sir, this is indeed a cowardly fear!” “Look through all the pages of history, and put to the noblest men and women, who seem to still live, this question, ‘Who loves Christ?’ and, at once, up from dark dungeons and cruel racks there rises the confessors’ cry, ‘We love him;’ and from the fiery stake, where they clapped their hands as they were being burned to death, the same answer comes, ‘We love him.’ If you could walk through the miles of catacombs at Rome, and if the holy dead, whose dust lies there, could suddenly wake up, they would all shout, ‘We love him.’ The best and the bravest of men, the noblest and purest of women, have all been in this glorious company; so, surely, you are not ashamed to come forward and say, ‘Put my name down among them.’” “Be out-and-out for him; unfurl your colours, never hide them, but nail them to the mast, and say to all who ridicule the saints, ‘If you have any ill words for the followers of Christ, pour them out upon me… but know this – ye shall hear it whether you like it or not, – “I love Christ.”’”
He first loved us declares our love for Jesus, it also tells us when He loved us. Some people imagine that Jesus loved us because He knew we would love Him and come to faith in Him. But He loved us before that, and even before the worlds were created, when our only existence was in the mind and heart of God, Jesus loved us. He loved us when we were still sinners: “Every man that ever was saved had to come to God not as a lover of God, but as a sinner, and then believe in God’s love to him as a sinner.” “Jesus loved you when you lived carelessly, when you neglected his Word, when the knee was unbent in prayer. Ah! He loved some of you when you were in the dancing saloon, when you were in the playhouse, ay, even when you were in the brothel. He loved you when you were at hell’s gate, and drank damnation at every draught. He loved you when you could not have been worse or further from him than you were. Marvellous, O Christ, is thy strange love!” We love Him because He first loved us: This verse tells us where our love for Jesus comes from. It comes from Him. Our love for God is always in response to His love for us; He initiates, and we respond. We never have to draw God to us; instead, He draws us to Himself. He first loved us: This means that it is true that He loves us now. Do you believe it? “Oh, if you do really believe that he has loved you so, sit down, and turn the subject over in your mind, and say to yourself, ‘Jesus loves me; Jesus chose me; Jesus redeemed me; Jesus called me; Jesus has pardoned me; Jesus has taken me into union with himself.’”
Third, God’s love constrains us also to love. God sent His only begotten Son Jesus Christ to die for us as the ultimate expression of His love. Those of us who claim to be Christians must pray and strive to reflect that Godly love in our own lives. Since God loved humans enough to die for them, we also ought to love our fellow man with a self-sacrificial love. The example that God set ought to bind us as His children to follow in the pathway of His love.
John Greenleaf Whittier wrote:
Fold to your heart your sister and your brother:
where pity dwells, the peace of God is there;
to worship rightly and to love each other,
each smile a hymn, each kindly deed a prayer.
For he whom Jesus loved has truly spoken:
the holier worship which he deigns to bless
restores the lost, and binds the spirit broken,
and feeds the widow and the fatherless.
Follow with reverent steps the great example
of him whose holy work was doing good:
so shall the wide earth seem our father’s temple,
each loving life a psalm of gratitude.
If you are a Christian listening today, here are three things you need to do:
1. Confess and repent of your own sins. You already know what they are.
2. Pray for your brothers and sisters in Christ to repent of their sins and get back to their first love
3. Pray for souls to be saved, and do your part by witnessing to the lost.
Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please email that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.