This is Love

Scripture: 1 John 4:9-11, ‘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. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.’

 

Observations: This passage really forms the heart of John’s letter. According to John we walk in the light if we love others (2:10), because not only is God light (1:5), but because God is also love (4:16). Now John discusses how ‘God showed his love among us.’ This is how God proved his love. Rather than just telling us that he loves us God ‘sent his [only begotten] Son into the world.’ Jesus is proof of God’s love. Jesus was the most precious gift that God could send. In fact, because Jesus is the Second Person of the Trinity, God showed his love for us by coming Himself into our world. And God’s love in Christ results in three things. Firstly, it results in life. Through faith in Jesus Christ we receive eternal life, or as Jesus puts it ‘life to the full. (Jn 10:10)’ Secondly, Jesus reconciles us to God because he is the ‘atoning sacrifice for our sins.’ The Greek word refers to the idea of propitiation, or how the appeasing of God’s anger against our sin. God hates sin and he is angry with those who commit sins against Him and others, but in taking our sins on the cross Jesus also took away God’s anger. Now there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus (Rom 8:1). Thirdly, Jesus’ love is the example we are called to follow. Since God so loved us we ought to love one another.

 

Application: Do you understand how much God loves you? If you believe Jesus died on the cross for you, then you need nothing else to prove God’s love. God loves you so much he sent his own Son to die for You so that you could be reconciled with Him, so that you could receive eternal life, so that you could become His child. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done, God has given everything in order to reach out to you and rescue you. The story of the Bible is the story of God’s unbelievable and unmerited love for broken sinful people, which includes you. The amazing thing about God’s love is that it changes us from the inside out, making us more like Him, making us more loving people.

 

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, may I never doubt Your great love for me. Lord, every time I think of the cross and what Jesus endured, may I be reminded that he endured it for me, that he might appease Your anger against my sin, that I might no longer be condemned, but instead receive eternal life. You loved me so much that You Yourself came into the world in order to rescue me from my sin. You loved me so much that You did whatever it took to make me right with You. Lord, help me to love as You loved me. Help me to become more like You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

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