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 5, 2012

A Love That’s Hated. . .a Spiritual Paternity Test—Part 2 - 1 John 3:10-18

In verse 10, John contrasts those who are children of the devil with those who are children of God. Having offered righteous living as one criteria for determining who one’s spiritual father is, John narrows his focus, now identifying the way we love as a particularly conspicuous expression of this righteous life.

The command to love is nothing new. John refers to Cain and Abel as early examples of one who loved and one who hated. With this ancient illustration, John affirms that the world will hate those who love. Being hated by the world is yet another evidence of being God’s child. So believers should not be surprised that they are hated by the world on account of their love. Instead, they must love in action, not just in words, those who hate them, recognizing that this hatred is good evidence that they are God’s child.

This passage clearly presents love and being hated for it as markers of salvation. John uses the phrases “of God,” (v. 10), “passed from death to life” (v. 14), “have eternal life” (v. 15), “come to know love” (v. 16), “love reside in Him” (v. 17), and “belong to the truth” (v. 19) to refer to salvation. It is easy to say “I am a Christian," but can we say “God’s love is in me?”

So what is this love? We know what love is because we have see it in Jesus. He laid His life down for us and we are to do the same for others. Consistent refusal to
love like Jesus loves us and to be hated as He has been hated are indicators of who
our spiritual father might be.

First, ask yourself how well you lay your life down for others. Does the world see so clearly that you are God's child that it angers them? Do they envy your contentment in Christ, your unconditional joy and peace, your future hope, and your holy life? Second, help your teen understand that following Christ means loving so radically that God's enemies may hate him or her for it. Help your teen seriously evaluate who his or her spiritual daddy is in light of how they love.


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