By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit (1 John 4:13).
Our God is a three part being: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Together, they create everything. Together they make all decisions. No one, or nothing, has the power they have to accomplish what they accomplish. They are three in one, which means they are inseparable, always united, always one. I suppose that man, along the way of the past centuries, thought that if he could create god, then things would be easier for him, because he determined what god would want. Whereas our God has set standards so high that no human being can achieve them or could have even devised them! Only God can achieve them through us.
God the Father is exactly that, a father. He is the final authority, but His authority comes from total love, unlike most human fathers. God the Son paid the price to redeem man from what he could not achieve without heavenly help. His blood paid for our sins, and restored us to a loving relationship with God our Father. He continues now as head of The Church. God the Holy Spirit is the essence of God. He works the works of God in us. Jesus said His Father and He would come and live inside of us, and that they do through the Holy Spirit.
When we know the Presence of the Holy Spirit inside of us, talking to us, counseling us, loving us, then we know we belong to God as His very own sons and daughters. And if you don’t know the Presence of the Holy Spirit, ask God to receive you as His child and make you brand new inside.
No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us (1 John 4:12).
I’ve often wondered about that first statement that no one has seen God. Why, the Old Testament is full of sightings of God. But I believe the point that is being made is that God has no form. He is not shaped like a human being or anything else, for that matter. Of course, He can take whatever form He wants, whenever He wants to. People in New Testament times have “seen” God, but being in the New Testament times means we live on a higher plane spiritually. The fact that God lives in us changes the whole dynamic of life. I believe the point being made is that if God lives in us, then when we love one another, when we look at each other, we see God. The more we see God in someone else, the more His love is perfected in us.
The most frequent references in the Bible where God is mentioned, He is referred to as fire. He is made of fire. It says He is fire from the waist up and fire from the waist down. Fire burns away the dross. Fire heats up passion. Fire defeats our enemies. I don’t know about you, but I want the baptism of fire! So if we want fire, what do we have to do? Love our neighbor just like God loves us. After all, He’s living in there!
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another (1 John 4:11).
You may find this strange, but, in my opinion, the best screen depiction of a true Christian can be found in the movie, “Gone With The Wind.” I believe the character’s name was Melanie, who happened to be married to the man Scarlett thought she loved. Even though Scarlett behaved abominably, manipulating events to be with her “beloved,” scheming, pretending to be Melanie’s best friend, Melanie treated Scarlett with pure love, acceptance, and grace. I want to be like that.
Now, this verse doesn’t say we are to love the world, which Scarlett represented, but we are to love one another. I take that to mean our brothers and sisters in Christ. Most of us have enough trouble with that. But it’s where we start. I’m so sick of people coming to church to see what they can get, spiritually and materially. Church isn’t a network, but we treat it that way.
I rejoice when I come across a church where people come to give! That means that before one goes to church, one asks the Lord who He wants them to bless that day, and how. In fact, every day our prayer should be, “make me be a blessing.” For that matter, daily we should be asking, “show me someone who needs whatever I have to give them.” Let the love times roll!
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins (1 John 4:10).
When I vicariously allow myself to experience what Jesus went through, I am always stunned. He paid for every sin to have ever been committed or ever will be. He took these sins right into His own body in order to cart them away and dump them in hell where they belong. Of course, all sin is propagated by Satan, but that doesn’t excuse us. Satan can’t do a thing without our participation. The old line of “the devil made me do it” just doesn’t hold water. We choose our sins.
Imagine becoming the murderer, the thieving tax collector, the batterer, the liar, the destroyer, and so on. Imagine every evil thing entering your body, especially after you’ve kept it so pristine! God loved us so much He subjected His Son to this hell. The Son loved us so much He subjected Himself to this hell. Imagine our own sins being placed in the body of Jesus, things we’ve never told anybody else. He took them all. He paid for them with His blood, with His death, burial, and resurrection.
The Bible says we went through all that with Him and we came out victorious, just like Him, and now we are seated in heavenly places with Him. Glory be to God!
In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him (1 John 4:9).
As a parent, I am in awe of what God did. If I were the parent in heaven I would have said to Jesus, “Son, don’t go out there! It’s dangerous. I don’t want you to get hurt. Stay inside heaven where you’re safe.”
But God didn’t do that. He sent His only Son. He could not generate more because this Son came from the very essence of God. When God sent Jesus to the earth, He risked everything. At any point in time during His earthly venture, Jesus could have said no, He would not finish the course. If I had been the child God sent, after my own townsmen wanted to push me off a cliff, after I was mocked and jeered, after I would have had to be strong and go ahead and heal, or proclaim the Word, time after time, while those around me were looking for ways to turn me into the Sanhedrin, after the fatigue of working day and night, I would have said, “Enough!”