What Saith the Scripture?
Without Love, I Am Nothing
"GOD is Love"
(1 John 4:8)
by Katie Stewart
Much has been said about love. This world is always falling in and out of it. Families are started and ruined in the name of it. Love has been the theme of many poems, stories, plays and movies. It has been portrayed in as many fictional scenarios as there are in real life. If the world knows so much about love, then why does the world suffer so much from the lack of it? What the world calls "love" is not God's definition of "love". Since the world doesn't know God, it doesn't know love either, because "God is Love" (1John 4:8).
In dealing with "true love", we must try to understand the nature and Person of Love. There are two viewpoints a Christian must understand.
The Manward View
When we think of love, it is something we give, or something we get. Whether a verb or a noun, love is a "thing".
It is a fairly common fact that 1Corinthians 13 is "The Love Chapter". And there's quite a few Christians that can recite a little of "The Love Chapter", even if it's only a verse or two. And Christians understand that this chapter teaches the motivation for right actions is-- love. "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity [love], I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing" (verses 1-3). 1Corinthians 13 does teach that the foundation and motivation of doing anything for the LORD must be, always and only, love.
As Christians, we ought to think of love, not just as something, but as Someone. Love is Someone we know intimately. Whether Love is a Verb or a Noun, Love is divinely Someone. It's as if "Love" is another name for the LORD.
The Godward View
To know this Love is breathless, with a scope that's infinite. "God is Love." Simplicity? Yes. "He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is Love" (1John 4:8). Unsearchable? Definitely "Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable" (Psalm 145:3).
This viewpoint, that God actually is Love, is the same Love spoken of in 1Corinthians 13. Love is foundational in our obligation -- which is, of course, absolute and only "reasonable service" (Romans 12:1). 1Corinthians 13 is looking at love from man's physical focus-- that of looking up. But "God is Love" is not just from "the ground up". This vantage point has an Advantage, and sweeps downward, from God to man. From "God is Love" to us. And the observation is so real! Real, and yet unbelievable. "What is man, that Thou shouldest magnify him? and that Thou shouldest set Thine heart upon him?"(Job 7:17). "LORD, what is man, that Thou takest knowledge of him! or the son of man, that Thou makest account of him!" (Psalm 144:3). To leave the glories and joy of the Heavenly Home Jesus shared with His Wonderful Father-- to leave His majesty and authority and sovereignness-- to leave His attributes of "God-ness", Omnipotence, Omniscience, and Omnipresence-- to leave more than our poor physical frames can imagine-- to leave All and willing offer Himself to His Most Perfectly Loving Father as a Sinless Substitute for the most vile offenders-- us-- is positively the very most UNHEARD of thing to any ear!
How Can He?
As unlovable as we are, HOW CAN HE love us? None ever born can answer that. But we have all the proof needed that He did love us-- and still does!
Oneness in Love
But wherever God's Love embraces our lives, enriching our efforts, and making sweet our existence, then we must respond with the same Love and mingle our sacrifices with His Divine Influence. "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work." (John 5:17). Our combined Love is a result of the "Oneness" of dwelling in blessed unity. "And we have known and believed the Love that God hath to us. God is Love; and he that dwelleth in Love dwelleth in God, and God in him" (1John 4:16). This unity of Love reaches out to the world and causes a greater Oneness to occur in the Salvation of more "Unlovables". "Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ" (Ephesians 3:8). "God, Who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation" (2Corinthians 5:18). The Godhead Trinity and "all saints"-- One-- sharing the same Grace, Love, and Fellowship. "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all" (2Corinthians 13:14). "I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in One; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me" (John 17:23). So, "God is Love" unifies the family of God with Himself. All of us "Unlovables" are truly loved by the Father and His Son with the same Love that they share between Themselves. We are One.
We share His Oneness even in The Judgment
Being of "the same mind and in the same judgment" (1Corinthians 1:10) with our LORD, we will be One with Him as He reclaims all that is His.
Without Love, we can do nothing for the LORD-- none of the noble acts spoken of in 1Corinthians 13. Without Love, we are nothing, because the unity of our Oneness is founded only in Him, i.e., "God is Love". "Beloved, let us Love one another: for Love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God" (1John 4:7). Without Love we are without God. And without God, we are nothing.
"We love Him, because He first loved
"The LORD direct your hearts into the
Love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ"
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