“Love, Don’t Talk” (1 John 3:18 HCSB) by Carley Evans


Little children, we must not love with word or speech, but with truth and action. (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

My little sons, love we not in word, neither in tongue, but in work and truth. (Wycliffe)

But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? (King James Version)

Jesus says exactly the same thing as His disciple says. Jesus says that the least kindness you show to the least is a kindness you show to Him – if you visit the prisoner, you visit Jesus. If you feed the homeless man, you feed Jesus. If you adopt the orphan, you adopt our Lord. And so on.

If we talk love but never show love, then the love of God is not in us. Worse, if we talk love and show hate, then our spirit is not of the Holy Spirit but of our own corrupted nature. We are like pigs remaining in our own mud and corn husks.

God calls us to love in action, not in talk.

Advertisements

“The One Who Remains in Love” (1 John 4:16, HCSB) by Carley Evans


Real love, genuine agape love is unconditional, period. If you doubt this truth, re-read Paul in his first letter to the church at Corinth. He boldly tells the church – a church battling crippling sins – that “love is kind” and “keeps no record of wrongs.”

And in his first letter, John writes:

And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him.

John doesn’t write, “The one who remains in God remains in love.” Rather, he turns it on its heels and states emphatically that “the one who remains in love remains in God.” You cannot hate people who you are able to see and touch while you claim to love God. You can not refuse to forgive others while expecting God to forgive you. Frankly love and hate are like oil and water – incompatible in the mix.

You can not be a Christian and hate people.

“In This Thing?” ( 1 John 4: 8-10, Wycliffe Bible (WYC)) by Carley Evans


Jesus Christ Crucifix

“In this thing?” What thing is this? Is the author using this phrase for emphasis, akin to “thing is…” or “see here…” or “verily, verily…” as used by Jesus Himself? Is this why the New International Version completely eliminates this carrier phrase? Or does the author mean “in Christ” when he states “in this thing”?

8 He that loveth not, knoweth not God; for God is charity.

9 In this thing the charity of God appeared in us, for God sent his one begotten Son into the world, that we live by him.

10 In this thing is charity, not as we had loved God, but for he first loved us, and sent his Son forgiveness for our sins [and sent his Son helping for our sins].

If we do not love others, we don’t know God for God is charity. God is love. In Christ, the charity of God appears in us because God sent His one and only Son, Jesus, into the world. In Christ is love. God first loves us in Christ. He sent His Son so as to forgive us our sins. And, we live by Him.

“We Know And Believe The Love” ( 1 John 4: 16, KJV ) by Carley Evans


One of the saddest personality flaws is the inability to know and believe that you are loved. Janis Joplin had such a personality flaw; she was incapable of believing people loved her. Despite accolades for her music, she lead a barren existence of self-doubt, self-hatred, and abject loneliness. By loneliness, I am not referring to solitude, but to that feeling of complete isolation in the midst of shouting people — people shouting adoration and respect and yes — love. The loneliest moments for Janis were likely those in the midst of her public admirers. Janis also unfortunately did not know and believe the love of those closest to her, no matter how they tried to convince her. She found herself totally unlovable.

The author of 1 John writes that “we know and believe the love that God has to us. God is love.”

What an amazing statement — read it again. “We know and believe the love that God has to [or toward] us.” Why? Because “God is love.” And if we know and believe God, then we know and believe His love. Like Paul reminds, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31) “What shall separate us from the love of Christ?” (Romans 8:35) Essentially, assures Paul, nothing “shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.” (Romans 8:39)

Do not insult God. Do not hold yourself in such low esteem that you fail to realize God is love. Know and believe the love God has toward you! His love does not depend upon you; His love is wholly dependent upon the sacrifice of His Son.

“Faith Active In Love” ( 1 John 3: 18, NEB ) by Carley Evans


“My children,” writes the author of 1 John, “love must not be a matter of words or talk; it must be genuine and show itself in action.”

James writes, “My brothers, what use is it for a man to say he has faith when he does nothing to show it? Can that faith save him? Suppose a brother or a sister is in rags with not enough food for the day, and one of you says, ‘Good luck to you, keep yourself warm, and have plenty to eat’, but does nothing to supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So with faith; if it does not lead to action, it is in itself a lifeless thing.” (James 2:14-17) He tells us, “The kind of religion which is without stain or fault in the sight of God is this: to go to the help of orphans and widows in their distress and keep oneself untarnished by the world.” (James 1:27)

Paul writes, “The only thing that counts is faith active in love.” (Galatians 5:6) He warns, “I may have faith strong enough to move mountains; but if I have no love, I am nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:2)

Love is not a lifeless thing. Although kind words are involved, love is primarily action directed for the benefit of our fellow humankind. Love looks for opportunities to show others the same love God shows to us. Therefore, says Paul: “Put love first.” (1 Corinthians 14:1) After all, love is everlasting.

“No New Command; Yet Again New” ( 1 John 2: 6 – 8, NEB ) by Carley Evans


The author of the letter 1 John offers us a test — a test of whether “we are in Him,” who is Christ the Lord. If we “claim to be dwelling in Him” then we “bind [ourselves] to live as Christ Himself lived.” And, in living as Christ lived, we will follow what the author refers to as “no new command. It is the old command you always had before you; the old command is the message which you heard at the beginning. And yet again it is a new command that I am giving you — new in the sense that the darkness is passing and the real light already shines. Christ has made this true.”

 

“Only the man who loves his brother dwells in the light; there is nothing to make him stumble.” (1 John 2: 10-11)

 

The darkness which is passing is hatred — hatred of God, of self, of neighbor, of brother and sister, of strangers, of the world God has created. If we hate, then we necessarily dwell in darkness. “The one who hates his brother is in darkness; he walks in the dark and has no idea where he is going, because the darkness has made him blind.” (1 John 2:11)

 

The darkness which is passing is blinding — hatred of God, of self, of neighbor, of brother and sister, of strangers, of the world God has created makes us sightless, wandering about directionless and literally lost.

 

“Do not set your hearts on the godless world or anything in it.” (1 John 2:18) Instead, set your hearts on “the real light [which] alr

“He Himself Is The Remedy” ( 1 John 2: 2, NEB ) by Carley Evans


“My children, in writing thus to you my purpose is that you should not commit sin. But should anyone commit a sin, we have one to plead our cause with the Father, Jesus Christ, and He is just. He is Himself the remedy for the defilement of our sins, not only our sins only but for the sins of all the world.” (1 John 2: 1 – 2)

Yes, we sin. And, sin defiles us. But, a greater truth exists: Jesus is the remedy for our sin and defilement. Both are destroyed on the Cross.

“God’s act of grace is all out of proportion to Adam’s wrongdoing,” writes Paul. “For the judicial action, following upon the one offense, issues a verdict of condemnation, but the act of grace, following upon so many misdeeds, issues a verdict of acquittal.” (Romans 5: 15, 16)

Acquittal, a verdict of not-guilty, is the gift of Jesus Christ to those who believe.

“The conclusion of the matter is this: there is no condemnation for those who are united with Christ Jesus, for in Christ Jesus the life-giving law of the Spirit sets you free from the law of sin and death. What the law can never do, because our lower nature robs it of all potency, God does: by sending His own Son in a form like that of our own sinful nature, and as a sacrifice for sin, He passes judgment against sin within that very nature, so that the commandment of the law finds fulfillment in us, whose conduct, no longer under the control of our lower nature, is directed by the Spirit.” (Romans 8: 1 – 4)

God’s Spirit within us directs us. “Thanks be to God! In a word, then, I myself, subject to God’s law as a rational being, am yet, in my unspiritual nature, a slave to the law of sin.” (Romans 7: 25)

The only rescue, the final remedy is Jesus.

“If we claim to be sinless, we are self-deceived and strangers to the truth. If we confess our sins, He is just, and may be trusted to forgive our sins and cleanse us from every kind of wrong; but if we say we have committed no sin, we make Him out to be a liar, and then His Word has no place in us.” (1 John 1: 8 – 10)