Loving Like Christ
Category : General
1 John 4: 11 (KJV)
11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
In an engine-room it is impossible to look into the great boiler and see how much water it contains. But running up beside it is a tiny glass tube, which serves as a gauge. As the water stands in the little tube, so it stands in the great boiler. When the tube is half full, the boiler is half full; when the tube is empty, the boiler is empty. Do you ask, “How do I know I love God? I believe I love Him, but I want to know.” Look at the gauge. Your love for your brother is the measure of your love for God.—S. S. Chronicle
In this chapter, John repeated over and over again many of the closely related topics he had already mentioned, each time going a little further, giving a slightly different antithesis, stressing a little different aspect, or urging a closer attention, – all in such a marvelous way that, at last, his meaning becomes incontrovertible. In this verse, Christians’ loving each other is motivated by the overwhelming majesty of the love of God himself.
Observation has shown that God’s original love, poured forth through Christ, envelopes us all, and requires that we should all be enciphered in one common threefold love, with each other and with Christ and God. To know and to respond to God’s love should and will result in a desire to reveal that love to all who truly love Him, for we will be transformed by that love and desirous to ensure that the love which flows from what He is, is effective and continuing. That is the demonstration of love by God is our model for showing love to others. As God manifested love in (among) us then by sending Jesus Christ, so He manifests His love among us now as we love one another (1Jn4:12-13).
It is important for us to see and understand how the Almighty accommodates to His own purpose what He has just taught us respecting the love of God. We are exhorted by God’s example to brotherly love; as also Paul sets before us Christ, who offered himself to the Father a sacrifice of pleasant fragrance, that every one of us might labor to benefit his neighbors. (Ephesians 5:2.) And John reminds us, that our love ought not to be mercenary, when he bids us to love our neighbors as God has loved us; for we ought to remember this, that we have been loved freely. And doubtless when we regard our own advantage, or return good offices to friends, it is self-love, and not love to others.
It is without any reason or consideration on our part, and without any desert in us; we ought also, in like manner, to love one another, and not suspend our love to a fellow-creature, either on his moral worth or his love to us. We should love one another for God’s sake; and then, no unkind carriage of a brother would induce us to withdraw our love from him; for if it have God for its motive and model, it will never fail.
Again, love should be exercised by us after the example of the love of God (verse 11). What, then, were the features of the Divine love, and what ought to be those of our love? The love of God was universal. He expressed it to all, good and bad, worthy and unworthy. More than this, the love of God has been conspicuous toward His enemies (Romans 5:6; 8-9). In this respect also we are bound to imitate the Divine example. This is farther demanded, though it should be at the cost of the greatest self-denial. It need not be asked at what expense did God express His love for sinners? What, then, shall we refuse to suffer for the benefit of others? Nor let us overlook that our love, like God’s, should be aggressive. We are not to wait until we are besought. God did not so deal by us. To complete all, love should be constant. Nothing should weary it or cause it to relax. Let us remember, Christ loved with partiality, favoritism or prejudice!
Have a Great and God filled Day