1 John 4:7-21
Life and Love
This charming scripture speaks of love, life, peace, power, and boldness. The introduction is very beautiful, “Beloved, let us love one another.” Love is always occupied with the blessing and the good of others. If you want an explanation of love, read 1 Corinthians 13. That chapter is an antidote for selfishness. Do you love God’s children? Then you are born of God. “Every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.” You show that you love God because you love His people and are occupied with their blessing. What a wonderful thing in a world of darkness and selfishness to know the love of the living and true God! By acquaintance with Him your heart is made happy; it is the knowledge of God that gives peace and rest, as well as life, to the soul. The outcome is that you love all Christians because they belong to the family of which you are a member, and they have a common place before the Father. He that loveth not knoweth not God. Why? Because God is love.
I might not be able to understand His love in things He passes me through, but if I wait on Him, I shall learn that He makes all things work together for good to them that love Him. In all His doings love comes out, the blessed unfolding of His nature. Having tasted His love, I am to show it in deeds. Talking of love is not love in action; God loved, and His love took action and form. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. There is no “must” in Christianity, but there are a good many “oughts.” We ought to love one another. Why? Because God has loved us. If we love one another, God dwells in us and His love is perfected in us. God dwelt in Jesus when here, but He is not here now. Who are here? The children of God, begotten by the word of truth and by the Holy Ghost. What men saw in Jesus when He was here ought to be seen in you and me today, the love of God coming out of us. That is Christianity. Distributing truth to others is not the same as living the truth ourselves. The great necessity today is downright, real, practical following Christ in life, and ways, and conversation, and behaviour. If you and I are living the life of Christ, then the love of God will be flowing out from us.
God dwells in us by His Spirit, and we dwell in Him. How? Because He has given us of His Spirit. What is the power of a Christian? The Holy Ghost. If you are living with the Lord and walking with the Lord, what will come out? The grace of Christ in the power of the Spirit will be manifested. You are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise. It is a great thing to bear in mind you have got the Holy Ghost in you. This should make you careful where you go, because, wherever you go, you cannot leave Him outside the door; He never leaves the Christian; even when grieved He never forsakes. He is God’s seal until the day of redemption.
Power lies in this, that you cleave to the Lord and you yield yourselves to the blessed Spirit of God that dwells in you. He is then free to bring you into the enjoyment of what God your Father is; you have the Spirit of God’s Son sent into your heart because you are a son. Now walk in dependence, walk in the holy dignity of a son of God; the man who is holy and the man who is dependent will be the preserved man, will be the happy man, and God will use him in blessing for others. We can look fearlessly into the future, because as Jesus is, so are we in this world; we are in all the acceptance and delight of God in Him. Who is? Every believer. Where? In this world. As He is, so are we, in this world. He represents us there, and we are to represent Him here. We not only have life, peace, and power, but boldness—wonderful boldness—in view of the Day of Judgment. Who is going to be the Judge? The Lord Jesus. What will He judge? Our sins? No, He was judged for them. Then what will He judge? What you and I have done for Him down here on earth in our pilgrim pathway. He is going to appraise, and reward every single bit of devotedness to Him; if it is only a cup of cold water given in His name it will not be forgotten. But as to our persons we shall never come into judgment; we have already been judged in our Substitute when Christ took the guilty sinner’s place on the cross.
Our Calling 1912