This morning in church, we sang a new song that our worship pastor Josh Tullis wrote recently that was prefaced by 1 John 4:10. For some reason, that passage really spoke to me today. I always find it amazing how I can read through the same Scriptures time and time again and God teaches me something new each time I do. 1 John happens to be one of my favorite books in the New Testament right now and this passage never caught my attention in the same way that it did this morning. It says this:
“In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
I can’t tell you the exact reason this affected me the way it did, but I found so much hope in this simple sentence. In the previous verses, John encourages us to love one another not because it is the right thing to do, but because God is love and by doing so we affirm that we know God and have been born again of Him. In this love, He manifested Himself in the form of Jesus so that we might live through Him.
But verse 10 spoke to me specifically because it says that we do not know how to love because of the way we ourselves have loved God. Instead, we know love because He bestowed Himself upon us out of love. Christ came and died for our sins while were His enemies. And He did it because in the midst of our rebellion, He loved us and continues to do so. Verse 11 continues this point by telling us that in light of Christ’s sacrifice, we should strive to love one another. In doing so, we share the Lord with others.
This verse served as a reminder to me that despite my best efforts, I cannot truly love another person apart from God. We did not develop the ability to love on our own. Rather, God created us as a reflection of His glory and manifested His love in the form of Christ. Rest in the Truth of the Lord and keep your eyes on God. In that pursuit, we will learn how to truly love one another. Jesus is the propitiation for our sins. Apart from Him, we are nothing but sin and destruction. He is the beginning and the end. His work is finished. Nothing can be added to it or taken from it.
What a Savior is this that He would love us so…