The Inseparability of the Gospel and Love
In 1 John, the apostle John has greatly emphasized the inseparability of the Gospel and love. Those who have been redeemed by the Gospel, of necessity, love others. The gospel makes men others-centered, not self-centered. For John, “We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death” (1 John 3:14).
Love for others is a necessary fruit of saving faith. You cannot believe and not love. Saving faith, for John, is others-loving faith. “This is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us” (1 John 3:23). In 1 John 4:7–21, John again reinforces the others-centeredness that necessarily flows from saving faith. In doing this, he grounds the love for others in the wonder of God’s love. God’s love displayed in the person of Christ should produce sacrificial love for others in those who trust in Jesus.
When you find it hard to love, go to the God who is love and ask him to fill you with his love that it may flow through you to others. Drink deeply from the unceasing fountain of God’s love and you will love unceasingly.
“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. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 John 4:10–11)
May God grant us grace to love as He has loved us,
Pastor Dieudonné Tamfu