WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
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BELIEVE GOD’S LOVE
(The HOLY SPIRIT helps us to love and overcome fear)
(1 John 4:7-5:5)
Since love originates with GOD in the Christian sense, a person who loves his fellowman is born of GOD, and thereby, in a very discerning way, knows GOD. By contrast, the absence of love can be viewed as evidence that a person does not know GOD. In 1 John 4:7-21, the apostle, and author of GOD, elevates the topic of “love” to yet another level. Here John shows us the divine and inseparable link between “GOD” and “love”.
GOD showed us how much HE loves us by sending HIS only begotten SON into the world, so that we would have eternal life through HIM (v.9). HE did not send HIM because we were so lovable, but rather, HE sent HIM because HE felt that HIS love for us required that HE rescue us from ourselves. Such an action from GOD provides the defining standard for love as we know it, and thus, we as Christians are responsible to love each other because we ourselves enjoy the privilege of GOD’s largesse. Not only is GOD the source of love, HE is love by way of HIS very nature. GOD is love, and anyone who doesn’t love HIS fellowman doesn’t know GOD.
Christians who say that they love all mankind, and indeed, really do have the love of CHRIST in their hearts, cannot stand by idly and watch while any other group of people different than themselves, is being treated unjustly, or is being oppressed in any way, without coming to their defense, in the name of JESUS. The love of CHRIST must be expressed fully by us, and exemplified through us, in our actions (v.12).
In the New Testament Greek, the word used for “abide” is “meno”, and it means “to stay in a given place, state, relationship, or expectancy”. If we abide in our relationship with GOD, our love will grow more perfect. And when our history judges us, we won’t be afraid to come before GOD, but rather, we can face HIM confidently, because our history will show that we tried to live like CHRIST, here on earth (v.17). Learning to show and express the divine love of CHRIST will dispel all “fear” of the coming judgment.
Because GOD is love, and JESUS’ new commandment is love, it only stands to reason that love will inevitably bring us closer to each other, and, at one and the same time, closer to GOD. It is only by love, that we ever come to know GOD, and it is only by GOD, that we come to know love.
All that we know now is partial and incomplete, because, until we finish our Christian race, we will remain children in the GODly sense of what true knowledge really is. We are incapable right now, of handling the Heavenly knowledge that GOD will one day impart to those who abide in HIM until the end. However, we do know now that if you don’t have love for those brothers and sisters that we now see around us, we will never be able to love GOD, WHOM we cannot physically see at any time.
GOD HIMSELF has commanded that we love, not only HIM, but also, our Christian brothers and sisters. And when we honor and obey that command, we can be confident that when we stand before the LORD, our conscience will be clear, and we will be able to face HIM without fear, guilt, or shame. Those who win their battle against the world are the ones who truly believe that JESUS CHRIST is the SON of GOD (1 John 5:5)
A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander
LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website