By Pastor Lee Hemen
June 5, 2008
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. (1 John 4:7)
If you do not understand Scripture you would think that John is saying that all a person has to do is “love” and they are saved. This is not only inconsistent with Scripture, it is heresy. Why? John makes it plain that the “love” he is speaking about is the love only those who already have given their lives to Christ. In fact, any “spirit” that says you can simply feel “love” and you are saved is satanic! Not my words, John’s! He related just a few verses earlier to “test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” Anyone “that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.” Then he goes on to call his readers “dear children” because they had already “acknowledge” Jesus as the messiah. They knew the love of God was Jesus Christ and not some fuzzy feeling, emotion, or good deed.
John makes it very plain when he related that “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” God is love because He sent His son Jesus into the world as a sacrifice for our sins: “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.” There comes a point whereby you have to acknowledge Jesus as Savior and Lord or you do not know God and you are not saved. Period. Why? Because, John would continue: “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins!” (1 John 4:8-10)
Notice it is contingent on the fact that “If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God.” It is not a “feeling,” an emotional outgrowth, or a nice act but an acknowledgement of who Jesus is! It is our faith that is placed squarely on Jesus alone: “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love.” We can be absolutely sure of those who have done this because “Whoever lives in love [Jesus Christ] lives in God, and God in him.” It is by our faith in Christ, His death and resurrection that “love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him.” We become like Christ when we accept Him as our Savior and Lord. In fact, if you are trying to be “good enough” before knowing or acknowledging Jesus as Savior and Lord, you have failed. You are therefore trying to appease God because you fear that you might not be “good enough!” What one more good thing can you do? The beautiful truth is that because of this “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:15-18) If you trust Jesus, you are made perfect in love. If you are trying to do enough good things, you had better be afraid!
John is not describing some emotional outburst here. He is describing for the believer how they can be absolutely sure of their faith, because that faith will be expressed in who God is and who His son is: love. The greatest expression of God. Love expressed in the sacrifice of His Son for our sins! We live in this “love” as we sacrifice ourselves. We say “no” to our selfishness, our sin nature, our unbelief, and say “yes” to Jesus. “We love because He first loved us.” We are Christians, because Jesus died for us and we have believed this truth for our lives. God displayed His love for us in this, while we were yet sinners, Jesus died for us. The godly for the ungodly.
So today, dear little child of the Lord, remember that the Lord loves you. Not with some mushy squishy emotional feeling, but by the sacrifice of His Son. You became a child of His not through feelings, but by faith. Faith in the love of God that was shown by His Son who died on a cross for you. No greater love has anyone than this!
NOTE: This article is copyrighted by Pastor Lee Hemen © 2008 and the property of Pastor Lee Hemen. You are welcome to copy it, email it, or use it but please if you copy it, email it, or use it you must do so in its entirety.