1 John 4:9-14;
All from NASB
“By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.” (v. 9)
The reason for Jesus Christ is that we can live in Love. Salvation is being saved from worldly desires, being transformed into a child of God. Living in Christ and Christ in us is being born again, a second birth, of the Spirit.
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (v. 10)
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. (v. 11)
This is Jesus’ command (John 13:34). This seems even greater than what he said was the Second commandment, “love your neighbor as you love youself” (Matthew 22:39). Perhaps this is what He meant by “A new command I give you” (John 13:34). Which leads me to a greater understanding of “If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all” (Mark 9:35).
To love as God loves is even more than we typically love ourselves. In the world there seems to be two ways the Second commandment could be confused. Either we “love” ourselves in a skewed way of affection or even lust, by means of carnal gain and satisfaction, which leads to the second idea: selfloathing. Depression and poor self image is very commonplace. We cannot even truly love ourselves in the way God loves! This idea can been seen in Paul’s second letter to Timothy.
“For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.”
2 Timothy 3:2-5 NASB
This is quite accurate to how the human race is, self-promoting and self-satisfying. This is what we can be saved from. From our sins and the nature where our sins are born.
Being saved from ourselves and the ways of the world is having our hearts changed.
No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. (v. 12)
We know that our hearts have been changed when the focus of our heart changes; going from lovers of self to lovers of God and of others. This continues to spread through our entire being, down to the core of our will. Our thoughts become redemptive, our emotions become compassionate, and our purpose for living is so that others may live in Him too.
By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. (v. 13)
Be lead by His Spirit! Listen to His voice, for He cares for us and is our Helper. If we are in Christ and Him in us, then His Spirit is in us. Allow the Spirit to move in your life, entirely setting you apart from the world on every level your being.
We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. (v. 14)
This is Christmas! Our Father in Heaven sent His one and only Son into the flesh to overcome this world. By His grace we can overcome the self loving ways of the world.
1 John 4:9-14 NASB
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”
John 3:16-17 NASB