“Regard Others As New Creations” (1 John 4: 11 – 12, ESV) by Carley Evans

The author of 1 John says that God’s “love is perfected in us.”

God is perfect; His love is perfect — lacking in nothing. How is it that His love is perfected in us?

Jesus says to His disciples, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you.” (John 15: 13 – 14)

Jesus dies not to remain on the cross or in the grave; instead Jesus is raised to live both in us and at the right hand of God the Father, where He intercedes for us. His love is expressed to us from heaven, but it is also expressed through us as we love one another on earth. In this sense, God’s love is perfected in us.

Paul says that no one dies for an enemy, and that hardly anyone dies even for a friend; but Jesus does both — He dies for His friends even when we are still enemies. (Romans 5: 6 – 8)

What is Jesus’ command? He commands us to love one another as He loves us.

“For the love of Christ controls us, because we conclude this: that one dies for all, therefore all die; and He dies for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for Him who for their sake dies and is raised. From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh…Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old is passed away; behold, the new is come.” (2 Corinthians 5: 14 – 17)