The Nature of Love

1 John 4:7-8 “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”

What can be said regarding love that hasn’t already been said? The topic of love permeates every inch of society, from Hollywood themes to romance books, there is no shortage of ways people use it to draw interest.

Like most terms used in society, love is one of many that has been given connotations that twist its meaning. “I love my car”, “I love to go to the beach”, “I love your hair”, eventually, when true love is expressed it has been diminished to the point of only giving an extravagant description. Rather than implying the fullness of an expression meant to reveal the heart, it isn’t worth much more than a latest hair style or well cut yard.

Any attribute of God displayed in mankind is a testament to God’s divine ability to connect His people with His nature. Those of the world recognize the power of love and it’s far reaching effects upon relationships, even though they lack understanding.

“Love is the first truth from which all of life originates.
It is in this truth that we not only find our purpose but our common destiny.”

Wald Wassermann, new age physicist

Wasserman may not know his statement is biblical in nature but through his ability to observe the effects of God’s love on the world, he sees a universal principle that is existent across all walks of life.

Foundational Principles

1 Corinthians 8:3 “But if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him.”

The nature of God is not isolated to Himself, He shares Himself with those who want to know Him.

The expression of God’s nature in people is an expression of the knowledge of God. To those who live by God’s nature is given the opportunity to truly know God.

The term ‘know’ is the greek term ginosko, it implies getting to know through first hand experience. In Luke 1:34 Mary was confused by the revelation of her virgin pregnancy when she declared to the angel she had never known (ginosko) a man, or in other words had sexual intimacy with a man. The union of a believer with God is likened to the union of a husband and wife. This principal is important to know in a world that thinks an expression of love is simply having sex, regardless of the one it is with or which gender it is with.

We cannot know God or His nature on our own terms. The terms are congruent with His nature and His nature never changes.

Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew(ginosko) you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

The nature of God’s love forms the doorway by which we might experience the fullness of who God is. Love is woven throughout every expression of God’s revealed nature, it is experienced in every aspect of God’s intervention in our lives, and it forms the basis from which God acts.

Jesus was expressed the fact that many claim to have fellowship with Him but only deceive themselves. The notion that benevolent acts or spiritual innuendos are implied by doing things for others to see, is lost when it comes to what really matters. What really matters is union with God. When we walk in Him, we do His work, we express His character, we complete His mission for us, and the world sees Christ through our love. When we do things according to our efforts, for our glory, for others to see, we reveal the true heart of our service….an elevation of ourselves.

Through the Door

John 10:9 “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.”

Jesus is the door to knowing God.

To understand the nature of God is to know the Son. You can never experience or know God unless you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior.

Hebrews 1:3 “And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,”

The nature of God was manifest in Christ. If you truly want to know and understand the nature of God, watch Jesus.

The Nature of Jesus

Philippians 2:5-8 “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”

Do you see the nature of God?

  • Humble
  • A Servant to all
  • Powerful but gentle
  • Glorious but not needing to be glorified
  • Over all yet still obedient
  • Fully God but coming in the form of man
  • Deserving of praise yet receiving abuse
  • A Shepherd who identifies with His sheep
  • The offended Judge yet gracious and merciful

All of the expressions of Christ listed here are but a sampling of the glorious nature of God. It is this nature that God wants to express through His people. The Spirit of God is supplied to those who accept Jesus as Lord and Savior and believe in His name. Once the transformation from death to life has occurred, the life of Christ in you becomes the foundational element for change.

John 17:19 “And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.”

It is this process of sanctification by the Spirit of God that brings a person from resembling the world, to resembling Christ, it is a process of obedience, humility, and servanthood.

The Spirit filled believer recognizes the work of the Spirit in another. It is this process by which the church strengthens one another, helps one another grow, and sharpens one another into walking in this transformation. If we don’t connect meaningfully with other believers, we leave ourselves short on fulfilling all that God wants to work out in us.

“Sanctification is the real change in man from the sordidness of sin to the purity of God’s image.”

William Ames

Walking in the Spirit is to take on the nature of God. Expressing the nature of God is to be a light in the world.

We know if we are effective in our testimony when we see Jesus being glorified. Jesus didn’t glorify Himself when He was on earth, He established His church to do that for Him.

One day we will exalt Him as Lord and King, our lives will be a testament of His goodness. Will you be among that throng of believers?

I hope so.

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