Posted by: Moses | June 26, 2008

Living Love (1 John 4 cont.)

“In this the love of God was manifest, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him.”

It strikes me in light of some recent reading, that many people want to live, but not through Christ. In fact I would dare say that everyone wants to live, but they want to do it on their own terms in the same way the rich young ruler wanted eternal life and his riches too. Christ was not enough, and when he counted the cost the price was too high.

“If we love one another, God abides in us and His love is perfected in us…by this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world.”

A recent sermon that I heard by Jeff Purswell stressed a purposeful pursuit of the presence of God. But in a sense, we the vines, cannot make ourselves abide and dig ourselves into the root-stock. God graciously puts us there and holds us there. But how do we the finite know where we are in the cosmic scheme of vines and branches? How can we know for sure what we are? Here is a description of what God dwelling with His people and transforming them looks like: they love whoever is near them. They take on the characteristics of the root. God’s love is perfected in us! We don’t love on our own! So we have confidence in the day of judgment because we are living even as He did in the world! Seeing this happen gives us confidence that we are truly following the Way. We are becoming like Christ.

It doesn’t seem like this is a formula: love each other and then I’ll abide with you. It’s not a condition. Rather, it seems like a description of what God’s initiatory love produces in the lives of His saints. It transforms us, “completes us,” and changes us to love one another. God is at work in us when we love. And we should praise Him for it. “May the humble hear and rejoice” at what God is doing! As we strive to walk “even as He walked,” we can be supremely confident that we would not do this naturally. This is a miracle from God’s mighty hand! Working love through a sinner like me is a miracle of miracles!

Even more, John draws the same parallel between abiding and confidence at the beginning of Chapter 3. There we had confidence because we held fast to what was taught and greatly anticipated our transformation by His power. There was orthodoxy preaching confidence before the throne of God.

Here in chapter 4 we live the Christ-life and we marvel at God’s power transforming us. We look at our lives and see His life in us, even “as he is, so also are we in this world.” This is a type of resurrection of our decaying flesh even now. We are “in not of”–living as Christ–rebelling against the kosmos system of life! Orthodoxy births orthopraxy, and orthopraxy gives sure confidence that Christ is alive and transforming us to be like Him.

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Responses

  1. I agree that is a miracle that God uses us to show His love. I’ve been thinking about this recently and it truly is amazing.


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