Bible Reading: 1 John 4:7-13
The Apostle John teaches us that the presence of Godâ€™s â€œSpiritâ€ in us is proven by the â€œperfectingâ€ of Godâ€™s love in our lives toward others. On the other hand, to be unloving toward others and to claim to â€œknowâ€ God, who â€œis love,â€ is like claiming to be on intimate terms with someone whose language you cannot speak. How can someone be â€œborn of Godâ€ if they bear no resemblance to Him, being devoid of love, Godâ€™s most distinguishing characteristic?
Many an unloving soul attempts to excuse their refusal to love others by arguing that others are unworthy and undeserving of their love. However, no one was ever more unworthy and undeserving of the love of another than we were of the love of God. As John puts it: â€œHerein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.â€ The Apostle Paul makes this same point even more poignantly: â€œBut God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for usâ€ (Romans 5:8). God loved us so much, despite our unloveliness, that He sent his Son to die for us, even though we were sinners totally undeserving of His love.
If Godâ€™s love for us is really in us, â€œwe ought to love one anotherâ€ unconditionally as â€œGod loved us.â€ It is our God-like, unconditional love that distinguishes us as the children of God, as Jesus taught in Matthew 5:43-48.
â€œYe have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.â€
If you only love those you deem worthy and deserving of your love, then, you cannot possibly be a child of God. Only those who are compelled to love all men unconditionally truly know God, who â€œis love.â€ No one professing to be a born again child of God can possibly be â€œborn of Godâ€ if they bear no resemblance to God, especially if they are void of Godâ€™s most distinguishing characteristic, namely, His unconditional love.