1 John 4:7
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
The apostle John here defines believers in a revealing manner indeed. He calls us the BELOVED of God. That means we have experienced the amazing love of God. We’re recipients of the steadfast love of God. Likewise Paul says the love of God is poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5).
Remember how the Father said of Jesus as He emerged from the waters of baptism, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased…” (Matthew 3:17). Is it not remarkable that God also calls us His beloved children through Christ? The implications of that appellation are enormous.
For instance, praying from the vantage point of knowing that you’re the apple of His eye makes all the difference. When you draw near to the throne of grace with a deep seated assurance that you’re loved and cherished by the Heavenly Father emboldens your faith and prayers beyond recognition. That’s why the Lord Jesus-as the prototypical believer-exemplified this powerfully.
Our text teaches that those who are aware of how much the Father loves them (the Beloved), cannot help but also love fellow beloveds. The Greek text brings this out even more clearly: agapētoi, agapōmen-beloveds, let us love! In other words, it is a contradiction of a believer’s true identity to walk in hate, resentment and hostility. It’s unChristian to hate fellow believers. Sadly this unloving attitude manifests among the saints in many ways-slander, sabotage, strife, envy, jealousy and more!
The beloved must necessarily also walk in love. The forgiven must also forgive. Recipients of mercy must also be merciful. The justified must not be judgmental. The blessed must also bless. Those who’ve been given second chances must also do likewise to fellow humans. The measure with which we’ve received the grace of God is the measure we must use to mete it out as well. To be true to our new creation nature is to walk in selfless love-agape love. Pastor Josh