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[thoughts] Living in God's Love (November 3-9, 2003)

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  • Mark Roth
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    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 3, 2003
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      I have no control over and hereby disclaim ads/links above.
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      If you're going to buy at eBay or Amazon.com,
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      LIVING IN GOD'S LOVE
      (1 John 3:11, 14-16; 4:7-16)


      LOVE: PROOF OF LIFE

      We humans require proof and tangible reality before we can
      experience assurance. That is true in many areas of our lives, but
      let's focus particularly on the issue of salvation. "How can I
      *know for sure* that I am saved?" has got to be one of the key
      recurring questions in the church. Something as tangible and
      experiential as baptism doesn't prove it. And if the experience
      doesn't prove it, then a baptismal certificate certainly won't do
      it either. So how *can* we know we are saved then?

      Today's lesson reveals one very practical evidence of regeneration:
      "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love
      the brethren" (1 John 3:14). Forgiveness frees us to love others.
      Redemption cleanses us from self and sin, turning our focus from
      ourselves and thus enabling us to think of and love others. Grace
      empowers us to love others. The Spirit within us fills us with
      God's own love. Yes, our love for others give us the certainty that
      we are saved!

      In the following chapter we are further blessed with three more
      verses that give us the same certain proof and assurance of
      salvation. Listen! "Beloved, let us love one another: for love is
      of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God"
      (1 John 4:7). "If we love one another, God dwelleth in us" (1 John
      4:12). "He that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him"
      (1 John 4:16). Without the love of God within us, we cannot love as
      He loves. Furthermore, without God Himself within us, we cannot
      love as we ought. So most definitely, if we love others we can be
      certain of our salvation!

      Jesus declared in John 13:15 that everyone (even we!) will know
      that we are His disciples, if we "have love one to another." Godly
      love for others is a most unnatural commodity in the world. Only
      the redeemed have it . . . and having it, express it.

      But what is love? And how do we show it?


      LIFE: PROOF OF LOVE

      As humans we do not perceive the spiritual realm and its realities
      well at all. So that presented God with a "problem" -- how to
      reveal to us the love He has always had for us. His solution was to
      *do* something. Since doing and living are inseparable, we could
      also say that God's solution was to *live* His love for us.

      "Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life
      for us" (1 John 3:16). Had He not put our lives ahead of His own,
      we could not have known His love for us. The conclusion of that
      same verse tells us how to make our own love perceptible to others:
      "and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren." To show my
      love for others I must live it by putting their best ahead of my
      own.

      "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God
      sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live
      through him" (1 John 4:9). God demonstrated His love by paying a
      high price for the purpose of blessing us. Without that
      demonstration, we could not even know about His love. To show my
      love for others I must live for *their* blessing, not my own.



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      Mark Roth




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