“We love Him because He first loved us.”
John has been given to set forth the facts about the conditions of a child of grace. These facts are not set forth for debate or for comparison for they are completely subjective. John is not attempting to prove that someone is a child of grace or give any one the assurance that they are bound for heaven. He has stated that one who is born from above is of God and His Spirit abides in them. This Spirit within gives the witness to the truth and reveals the beauty of the grace of God to the seed born from above. His testimony causes them to believe and confess that Jesus is Messiah of Jehovah. He also produces the manifestations of His presence by the fruit of the Spirit, therefore, one born from above must have love (Gal. 5:22).
But this love is not required to be produced, sustained or fostered by the natural man or the earthen vessel he inhabits. Rather this love must be the same love that the Father has for the Son, the Son for the Father and the children for the Godhead. Since it is of the Spirit of God who is eternal, it also must be eternal; “Jehovah hath appeared to me of old, saying, Indeed I have loved thee with an eternal love, therefore, with loving kindness have I drawn thee” (Jer. 31:3). Since there is no disorder or discord in the Godhead, for “these three are one” and the immutability of God is essential to His purpose, the children must therefore love with the exact same love as the Father.
This love is exemplified in the sovereign act of God as he hath chosen His people in His Anointed from before the foundation of the world for the purpose that they should be Holy and blameless before Him in love. Therefore He predestinated the entire household, the seed of the firstborn, “unto the adoption of children by the anointed salvation of Jehovah (Jesus Christ) to Himself, according tot he good pleasure of His will” (Eph.1:4) Each and every one of this “general assembly of the called out assemble’ (church) of the firstborn” existed IN HIM before the creation of the heavens and the earth and Adam. IN HIM they have the redemption through His shed blood, they have ALSO obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh ALL things after the counsel of His will and they were sealed with that Spirit of promise. So if one loves the Father (and this is completely subjective since no one can prove that they love the Father. He is Spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit which cannot be proven to the natural man or by the actions of the natural man), because the Father first loved them, they must also love all for whom the Father has ordained eternal life. His love is each and every member of His flock and between each and every member of the flock. If one says he loves God but does not love his brother (a fellow son of God) he is a liar. If he is a liar he has not the Spirit of truth within him and if he has not the Spirit he is none of God’s. If he is a liar he does the work of his father the Devil who is a murderer from the beginning and abode not in the truth (John 8:44). Everyone who defiles, works an abomination or makes a lie is not of the Holy city and their names are not written in the Lamb’s book of life (Rev. 21:27). And since, “that which is highly esteemed among man is abomination in the sight of God (Luke 16:15), anyone who places the love of the world before the love of the brethren is cast forth as an abominable branch and not gathered into the barn.
This love of the brethren is first because of the love of the Father and second because of the common experience between the daughters of Zion. Each has been born from above and has laid silent as asleep in the dust until the voice of the Bridegroom calls unto them to “Awake, awake, put on thy strength, O Zion, put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the Holy city. For there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean. Shake thyself from the dust, arise, sit down , O Jerusalem, loose thyself from the bands of thy neck O captive daughter of Zion” (Is. 52:1). They have all known the presence of the law and the commandments and have confessed before their Father that they have sinned before heaven and in His sight and are not worthy to be called the sons of God and they have all experienced the forgiveness and love of the Father. Therefore, they love each other because of the common salvation which they all have.
Is this love tangible? The theology of the world demands to see this love being demonstrated in order to render judgment upon the candidate but this love is first and foremost, from faith to faith by the communication of the Spirit. Does that mean that it cannot be seen or felt? Not at all. Paul said that he not only had heard of the faith of the brethren at Ephesus, which, since faith is the evidence of things hoped for and the substance of things unseen, must have had a tangible manifestation as they turned from idols to serve the living God, but he also heard of their love unto all the saints. This love is demonstrated to those whom the world has cast out and despises. They are called sinners and publicans and the demonstration of this love is a manifold testimony that these were the disciples of Jesus Christ. “By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love (of publicans and sinners) one for another” (John 13:35). Those whom the world hates because of righteousness are loved of the brethren and those who are loved of the brethren are rejected of the world.
Paul also told the Philippian brethren that their conduct must be commensurate to their citizenship. One who is born from above shall have their conversation (their politics) as it becomes the gospel of Jesus Christ. They shall stand fast in one Spirit, which is the Spirit of the Most High God that dwells within them, be of one mind, which is the mind of Christ and be striving together for the faith of the gospel and in nothing be terrified by their adversaries (Phi. 1:27). These are not high and lofty principles that have no practical meaning. They represent that fact that if your citizenship is in that city that hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God, your conduct will be commensurate to that land. You will not love the world nor the things of the world, even though we are drawn away and tempted by that which we can see every moment of our existence in this foreign land and that we shall be, “filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding (so) that we might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God (being) strengthened with ALL might according to His glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness” (Col. 1:10).
Brethren, “he who loves God loves his brother also” (I John 4:21). God has given us this understanding and the desire and ability to walk in the light of Jehovah. He has put His Spirit in the inner man and, thanks be unto His name, His children shall never fail to keep His commandments and to love one another, because He never fails. This is the testimony of God, which is greater than any witness of man, and by this do we, who believe on the name of the Son of God, know we have eternal life.
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
January 15, 2012