Romans 11:33-36

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Love as Evidence of Salvation — 1 John 4:7-4:21

The next test that John offers by which a believer evaluates his salvation
is the quality of his love. John’s logic is simple. If God is love, and if we
claim to know Him, then we must love. If God is love and we claim to be His offspring but we do not love, we don’t really know Him.

Love is not discoverable on our own. It is something that God has revealed to us by sending his only Son to die so we could live. If this is how God shows love, this should be how we show love. If we say “I love you,” we must be willing to sacrifice and even die so that others can live with God? If not, do we understand how to display His love?

John then defines this real love that God revealed. Real love is not encompassed by our best effort to love, but by God’s love toward us. Specifically, love is a gracious sacrifice that covers others’ sins. We were God’s enemies. He graciously declared us His friends by faith. Love bends the forgiveness that we have received from God toward our enemies. If we don’t consider our enemies sins to be covered by Christ and if we do not humbly extend mercy to them, do we really know God’s love?

Finally, love that perseveres is evidence that we remain in God and God in us. It gives us confidence on the day Christ comes to judge because it assures us that we are His. It removes all fear of that day since the only thing to fear in judgment is punishment. If we love like Jesus loves, dying so others might live and forgiving the undeserving just as we have been forgiven, then we prove to be God’s children.

Help your spiritual children evaluate their faith based on their love, and show them what real love is, how to display it, and how it drives out all fear.


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