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GOD IS LOVE….
By Edward O’Hara
This is a direct quote from the Bible. Not God is vengeance. Not God is wrath. And not God is anger. But, only that God IS love. So that anything that God does is the expression of that love. Like His being Creator and His being all powerful and all knowing etc.
This is clearly what Jesus, John, Paul, and all the prophets and apostles want us first and foremost to know about God. Why? Because we must know this to know Him. Because we are saved by faith. And faith only works by love. So we must know that we know that we know that God IS love to be saved.
In the 4th chapter of 1John the apostle shows us how imperative it is that we do know this. He begins by showing us exactly how it is that we can differentiate the Spirit of God from the spirit of antichrist. He says, “Beloved”. What a beautiful sentiment to start off with, right? It is not an accident that John begins this way. By this we see that first and foremost we need to know that we are beloved. Why? Because God IS love.
So John writes, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.”
Here John makes sure that we who are truly saved would not be deceived to believe the kind of Gnostic heresy that was being taught in his day, and continues to be taught today, that teaches the flesh is evil.
Whose doctrine also gave birth to those who teach the equally heretical doctrine of original sin and sin nature today. So that we will never join ourselves with these who deny that Jesus came in the same flesh all men have. Because in 2John1:9 John says that if we believe that Jesus came in a different kind of flesh from that which all men have we “have not God”.
Now that John has shown us how to distinguish the Spirit of God from the spirit of Antichrist John begins to show us who God IS as he explains,
“Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.”
We who are saved know that Jesus’ flesh was the same flesh all men have. They who are of the world do not believe this. And we know that God who is in us is greater than the god of this world who is in them who deny that Jesus came in the same flesh all men have.
Explaining further John says,
“We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.”
So John says those who know that Jesus came in the same flesh all men have know the Spirit of truth and will hear us. And those who do not won’t hear the Spirit of truth. So it is very important that we know and believe that Jesus came in the same flesh all men have.
Adding also that if we have this “Spirit of truth” that knows that Jesus came in the same flesh all men have we speak as those who “love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God”. Why? Because John says “GOD IS LOVE”.
How wonderful it is to know that this is who God is. John simply says God is love. John is saying this is the embodiment of who God is. John does not say only that God does love. He says God IS love. And because John taught us this we will never mistake the description John gives of satan in John10:10 of stealing, killing, and destroying to be the message or work of the true and living God who is love. So that we will always speak of the things of God as they pertain to God’s love that edifies to always bring reconciliation, restoration, and healing.
Why? Because of what John says following this. He says, “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.”
John10:10 corresponds perfectly with this passage when Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life, and that life more abundantly.” He came so that we who are mortal could be made immortal. No more would we be subject to death. But, we would now have the gift of eternal life that is only found in Jesus. This is why Jesus said He is the way, truth, and life in John14:6. And that because He alone is the way, truth, and life no man can come to the Father except through Him.
John continues here in 1John4 saying that when we know Him we will see that “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
John says God loved us before we even knew Him. This is what makes God’s love unconditional. Because not only does this mean that God love us before we knew Him. But, also that there is no performance needed for God to love us. No standard of perfection. Because He has always loved us.
And as our propitiation for sin, which literally means mercy seat, Jesus’ sacrifice is God’s mercy and unconditional love shown to us. Because His sacrifice makes it possible for natural man to become spiritual. For mortal man to put on immortality. Which is why we must be born of the Spirit to be heirs of God’s kingdom.
This is why Heb.4:16 says we can now approach the throne of grace boldly to obtain mercy. Our boldness comes from the fact that as spiritual men we finally know that God IS love. Because we are no longer only natural as Adam was when God made him. We are now made spiritual men by the new birth. And it is this that now makes us able to worship God in spirit and in truth. And to know the awesome power of God’s love.
Paul shows us this in 2Cor.5:19 that says God was in Christ 2,000 years ago, so that as the final once for all sacrifice for sins under the law, no one’s sins would any longer be imputed to them. Because Rom.5:13 says sins are only imputed when there is law. And Heb.9:15 says it was “for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.” Heb.10:9 says Jesus did this to “take away the first(law), that he may establish the second(grace).”
And since Gentiles have never been, nor ever will be, under the law, this makes all sins that were under the law un-imputable in the New Covenant in this dispensation.
So for 2,000 years we have been in the dispensation of the grace of God where God is not imputing our trespasses to us. Showing us that He loved us before we loved Him. And loving us brought His grace which is this love in action. The sacrifice of Himself so that we could know His love. This is why when we speak of who God IS we speak of His love. And we trust in Him that because of the love that He has shown to us we have eternal life.
God wants us to know that He loved us before we ever knew Him. Because then we know His love for all men is never based on our works or the imputation of someone else’s works to us. And that because this love is unconditional and freely given to us by God, we can trust Him that no matter what He will always love us this way.
He has done this so that we need never worry that He will act in an arbitrary way towards us. Or suddenly change His mind and become angry with us because of something we may do. But, He will be consistent to always relate to us in a way that does what is in our best interest. Just as He did for Adam and Eve after they ate the fruit by clothing them with skins for protection in their new environment of thorns and thistles. This is what God does because God IS love.
This is what it means when John says “God is love“. And only when we know His love in this way does the fact that He is our mercy seat become a reality for us. It is by this that we know we are truly saved.
In the next message we will continue to look at 1John4 that shows us that God IS love. But, before we do would you like to know that you are truly saved? Do you believe God loves you? Do you believe that Jesus came to show you God’s love so that you would desire to know Him and His salvation? If so then will you pray with me now so that you too can have God’s gift of love that is eternal life?
Dear Jesus, thank you for joining with me in my death. So that I can join with you in eternal life. Thank you that you rose from the grave to conquer death for me. I receive the life you died to provide me with. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
If you prayed with me then welcome to God’s family. And now when you read the Bible believe what it plainly says. That God is love and He wants you to know that love. And to live by the faith that only works by His love.
See you there or in the air!This message can also be heard at: Rumble
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