Yesterday, I was reminded that our salvation is more than just a profession of faith, it is more so a possession of the evidences of faith. That to claim you believe in a certain truth will manifest itself in that you behave in a certain way. That by this we know He abides in us, that we love not only in word or talk but in deed and in truth (1Jn. 3:18-19, 24-25).
But John’s not done. This morning he narrows down “deed and truth” and focuses on the need to love one another.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. . . Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and His love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.
(1John 4:7, 11-13 ESV)
Loving the brethren, and the sistren (it’s a word, check it out). By this we know that our salvation is the real thing. Family affection, extending goodwill, willing to love fellow believers as Christ loved us into believing, that’s how we know this whole abiding dynamic is actually “dynamic-ing.”
Can’t see God. No one has. But know God living in and through us? Experience evidences of His presence and power? Witness the ways of Spirit on spirit melding? That can be seen — as we love one another.
Hover over 1John 4:7-21 and tell me you don’t get how important it is that we love one another? Not just for our good (though knowing God is pretty good), but that God’s glory may be known in a world where, as lawlessness increases, “the love of many will grow cold” (Matt 24:12). Loving the church (the people not the institution, the building, or the programs) is integral to advancing the mission. The church hanging together is visible evidence of a hope that is real in a world that is falling apart.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” ~ Jesus
(John 13:34-35 ESV)
Love one another as God has loved you.
By this we’ll know that the abiding thing is a real thing.
By this the world will know the power of the gospel is also a real thing.
Because of God’s grace. For God’s glory.