The Believer's Spiritual DNA - Part 2 of 3

by Wayne Barber

Wayne Barber

The Apostle John wrote in 1 John 4:7-14: "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him." Now, in writing this, John is pointing us to the fact that this love is more than just a quality-it is a person.

Once again, John tenderly addresses them as "beloved," which is agapets in the Greek. It describes the love relationship which binds us to God and to one another. In saying "Beloved, let us love one another," John puts this in the present tense, which would literally translate: "Beloved, let us be loving one another."

But he uses the subjunctive mood, which would suggest that not all of the believers are living this way towards each other. The active voice shows that this is a choice that we must make, regardless of how we feel at the moment. Since we are forever bound in love with God in Christ and since we are bound in Him to one another, it is like John is saying to the church, "then let's live like it!"

The word "another" comes from the Greek word allos, which means another of the same kind, speaking of believers. We have only one word for "another" but in Greek there is also the word héteros, meaning another of a different kind. So John is actually saying: "Beloved, let us love one another of the same kind." Then he says "for love is from God." This love that John is talking about flows out of God Himself. He connects our spiritual birth with the ability to love when he says "and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God." Love is the distinctive spiritual DNA that is produced in the one who is born of God.

The word "knows" is ginsko in the Greek, and means to experience God! When we love one another then we are at that moment experiencing God as He is producing His character in us. "And everyone who loves is born of God and knows God" "Knows" and "loves" are in the present tense, thus allowing this translation: "and everyone who is loving is born of God and is experiencing God."

The song I love to sing goes like this: "Jesus be Jesus in me, No longer me but Thee, Resurrection power fill me this hour, Jesus be Jesus in me." Oh, that the church of Jesus Christ in the 21st century would understand that this love is the only thing that proves that we truly are the children of God.

John then makes his point absolutely clear: "The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love" (v. 8). Love is who God is! He draws a contrast between the one who is consistently loving and the one who is not. The one who is not loving, John says, does not know God. The phrase "does not know God" is in the aorist tense, telling us that the person who does not love others has never known God. Why not? Because God is love and that is the divine DNA that comes with our being born of God.

"You do what you do because you are what you are." You can live as a believer without understanding all the attributes of God, but you cannot live without understanding His love, because that is who He is and to know Him is to know His love! "God is love" is a qualifying statement of who God is, not just what He does.

So, how is your love life? If Jesus is being Jesus in you then He will be loving through you because that is who He is! Jesus is the person who is this love!

Wayne Barber is senior pastor of Hoffmantown Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico

2011 Disciple 155x50 2011 AMG 155x50
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