CQ Plus December 28 2013-January 3 2014

Benefits of Love

Preface:All of our disciple-making endeavors must be about Jesus and what He has done for us.

A Christian without love is nothing. Some seek to validate their Christianity by a display of spiritual gifts, miraculous answers to prayer, and eloquent exposition of biblical truth. God says that without love, which is the basic spiritual fruit, all else is meaningless (1 Cor. 13:1-3).

Some in John’s day thought it was possible to know Jesus because they were keeping various commandments and were morally free. But John is clear and concise: It is only through the Holy Spirit that a person can be joyfully certain of salvation.

When John ministered in Ephesus, he was exiled to Patmos and seemed to be the last living witness of the ministry of Jesus. All the other apostles were dead.

Jesus Christ knew the heart of John, the brother of James. When he heard the spiritual teaching of love, he humbled himself and accepted that he was a sinner. Love changed his personal characteristics. He learned the lesson of love. And it transformed him from carnal to spiritual life. “We have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him” (1 John 4:16, NKJV).

Love is important in our daily lives. Without love perhaps John couldn’t have followed Christ’s teachings on his own. We cannot be called true Christians if there is no love. “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us” (Eph. 5:1, 2).

John did not give up his faith even though he was thrown into boiling oil. But God preserved his life. This experience proves that God cares for our safety–on condition that we believe in Him and trust in His love.

John’s experience–that he was still alive in the boiling oil–is a great lesson that God saves His people not only in this present world but also in the judgment day. Just trust in God’s love. A father tells his baby to jump from a table and the baby jumps without fear. The father immediately stretches his arms and catches the baby because he loves it.

“Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love” (1 John 4:17, 18). John has an assurance of salvation because he knows God and His love.

“He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. . . . If God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (verses 8, 11). Through love John was able to influence people in his surroundings, and seeing he faced persecution and trials without fear, some were converted.

When we became believers, we passed from death to life, the life of the age to come. That life which is a life of joy and self-sacrificial love in the power of God, will fill all the universe after Jesus returns.

Love is a prerequisite for our salvation.