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 Sermons on important subjects by Rev. Paul C. Jong

 

We Have to Abide in The Love of God

 

< 1 John 4:16-21 >

ďAnd we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us. If someone says, ĎI love God,í and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.Ē



God Is Love


I thank God even for the fact that the Korean national soccer team advanced to the semifinals of 2002 World Cup. This event was big enough to make our country known around the world. I am sure this will be very helpful to our ministry. I really give thanks to God for that, and also believe that God will bless every step of our ministries in various ways like that.

Today, we have read 1 John 4:16-21. 1 John 4:16 states, ďAnd we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.Ē To reiterate, it says, ďHe who abides in love abides in God.Ē This phrase means that the people, who know and believe that they are delivered from the sins of this world by the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit, dwell within God. We can abide in God by believing in the love of God through the salvation granted to us in the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit.

Although all Christians are well aware of the fact that God is love, very few know that God has completed His love through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Nowadays, Christians know well that God is love. We can see lots of bumper stickers that read, ďGod is LoveĒ or ďGod Loves You.Ē But, unfortunately, most Christians are not aware of the real substance of Godís love. They only are prone to become emotional when they try to conceptualize it.

They cannot but be driven into a life of dilemma because they had not accepted the true love of God that came to us in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit. They suffer from an obsession that they must love God and the other people, but they donít even know what the entity of Ďthe loveí and how to love. Therefore, in order to know Godís love definitely, they first have to become authentic believers by knowing the true savior God, who came by the water and the Spirit.

Apostle John, one of Jesusí twelve disciples, had realized the love of Jesus the most. Thatís why we often call him by the title, ďthe Apostle of love.Ē That is because the Apostle John believed God to be love. The recurring theme of John, the beloved disciple of Jesus Christ, is ďBeloved, letís love one another for God is love.Ē He said in this concise statement everything he wanted to preach to the saints and the servants of God.

Although religious Christians declare without reserve that God is love, in actuality, they lack the faith in the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit, which enables them to abide in Godís love. Since they are not abiding in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, they are excluded from the love of God. This is the essential problem of todayís Christians. It is our comfort that we, different from them, abide in the love of God through our faith in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit. Consequently, God also abides in us, and we in turn can keep Godís commandment to ďlove one anotherĒ (John 15:12).

If you are a true Christian, you should know Godís love more than just abstractly. Those who know and believe Jesus as their Savior must know Godís love concretely in their remission of sins that was accomplished through the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit. We have to become true believers of this true gospel in order to know Godís love in depth. In this true gospel, the love of God manifests itself concretely and in detail. If we are to know God as love, our knowledge has to come from Godís concrete love for us that is revealed in the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit. Only then can we lead others to the true love of God.

Every Christian can become righteous, cleansed from oneís sins, only if he or she knows and believes in the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit. Only the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit can share the love of God. Therefore, a true disciple of Christ must first know the love of God through the gospel of the water and the Spirit.

Nowadays, evangelical Christians emphasize only the blood on the Cross. However, they have sins in their hearts rather than the love of God, because they lack the knowledge of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Unless they have received the remission of sin through the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, we are unable to love the souls of others. Nor can they care and embrace the born again saints with their hearts. One cannot receive God, the Lord of salvation, in oneís heart without first believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Only after you have believed in Jesus Christ, who came by the gospel of the water and the Spirit, you can receive the God of love in your heart and share the love of God with others. We can share Godís love only through our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.



I Also Have Reached an Understanding of the God of Love after I Accepted the True Gospel


I have come to know the love of God truly only after I have comprehended and believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The love of God was ďthe love of the TruthĒ††††† (2 Thessalonians 2:10) that came to us in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Before, I knew about Godís love only abstractly. I thought that God in His love for us had accomplished our salvation by the Cross alone. I was under the false impression that I had a firm grasp on the meaning of ďthe love of the Truth.Ē

However, because my heart was still filled with sins, I could not effectively witness to the true love of God by the Holy Spirit. I had to make up artificial love instead of sharing true love of God, when I knew only about Jesusí blood on the Cross. I was agonizing over my struggle.

But, I was put on with true love of God once I had encountered my Lord through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. I could feel the love of God flowing out of my own heart. I realized that God has presented us with ďthe love of the Truth,Ē only after my encounter with the gospel of the water and the Spirit.

The sins in my heart were gone and I had become a servant of Godís righteousness because I had known and believed in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit. One sure thing is that I have come to know Godís love through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. I have become an evangelist of Godís love after I have received the love of God in my heart. That I have become a distributor of Godís love is evidence that the gospel of the water and the Spirit has changed everything inside me. I believe this to be the very testimony of you, who have been born again by this beautiful gospel of the water and the Spirit.



There Is No Fear for One Who Abides in Godís Love of the Truth by Faith


1 John 4:17 states, ďLove has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.Ē

Those in whom Godís love has been perfected have no fear of on the Day of Godís Judgment because they have believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. As the Lord will be bold on the Day of Judgment, those who are put on with the love of God must also be bold on that day.

Letís all read 1 John 4:18 together. It says, ďThere is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.Ē

Those Christians, who have not yet put on the true love of God in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, surely have sins in their hearts. One who does not abide in Godís love is in constant fear of God. That fear is caused by the sins the person has in his heart.

Those who have sins in their hearts will indeed receive judgment equal to their sins. The only way to avoid Godís judgment lies in believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Hence, whether one has truly received the remission of sin in front of God becomes an important issue. If we do not receive the remission of our sins through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, our souls will perish forever.

There is no fear in the heart of a person who is put on with Godís love in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Rather, a heart of gratefulness is awakened in front of God. On the other hand, a person who is not yet put on with the love of the gospel of the water and the Spirit has fear in oneís heart. Thus, we should realize that, if someone has fear of God in his heart, he is not yet saved from all his sin.

Now, we have to come to a realization about Godís love for us. God has loved us through the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit. Our Lord has come to this earth and took the sins of this world once for all by receiving the baptism from John the Baptist. And He blotted out all the sins by bearing the judgment on the Cross and resurrecting from the dead. God has made us His children by giving us the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit.

What is the heart of a disbeliever of the gospel of the water and the Spirit like? They fundamentally live in fear of God because the sins of their hearts are not taken care of and the consequent judgment of their sins is waiting for them. However, those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit do not have to fear God, because they have received the full remission of sin by the power of the gospel and have put on with the love of God. Rather, they volunteer their lives for spreading Godís love because their intimacy with God is that intense.

It would be unusual for a dog to fear oneís master. It is natural to expect a dog, which is loved by its master, to be loyal to oneís master. My dog at home barks at strangers. As the illustration suggests, one guards against strangers and not against oneís master. Oneís master is oneís object of intimacy.

Why would we fear God when God has covered us with His love of salvation? We fear God because there is sin in us, which God hates. That is, one who fears God has not yet received the remission of sin before God. Such a person is not one who believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Such persons have not received true salvation that is in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. They say that they have been saved by believing in Jesus Christ through the man-made doctrines of Christianity instead of through the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit.

We have to understand what the Apostle John is tying to enlighten us. We have to experience Godís love through our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. A person put on with the love of God can comprehend the Words of the Apostle John. He announces that a person who does not know and believe in the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit still lives under the dominion of sin. This is why he says, ďThere is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in loveĒ (1 John 4:18).

There is no fear in the love of God because Godís love drives any fear away from us. Our Lord has blotted out all of our sins through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Godís judgment falls upon us because of the sins of our heart, but our Lord has driven out all of our fears through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We can be exempted from all judgments of our sins by being cleansed of our sins through the faith in this gospel Truth. Thus, those of us who believe in this gospel Truth become bold because of the faith in that gospel. A believer in the gospel of the water and the Spirit can have the bold heart of a lion. In the past, we were frightened even by the sound of a thunder. However, a sinless righteous has no fear, just like the Holy Spirit testifies of the righteous: ďThe wicked flee when no one pursues, But the righteous are bold as a lionĒ (Proverbs 28:1).

Regardless of how just God is in His wrathful judgment on all of our sins, we who have believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit should have no fear of Godís wrath. That is because Godís perfect love has driven out all of our fears from out hearts. All fears are caused by the anticipation of judgment. Whoever does not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit will surely receive Godís judgment. However, one who truly believes in the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit has no fear of Godís judgment because that person has come to abide in Godís love.

1 John 4:19 states, ďWe love Him because He first loved us.Ē Did God love us first or we God? It is because God has loved us first through the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit that we are saved from all of our sins. We have been put on with the love of God through our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.

What would have happened if God did not love us through the love of the Truth, which is the gospel of the water and the Spirit? What would happen to us, if the gospel of the water and the Spirit were not the real Truth? If so, there would be no way for us to live our lives free from sin. However, we are covered by the love of God through our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. God has adopted us His children by making us sinless through the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit. God has covered us with His unending love, intending us to be His righteous workers on this earth.

1 John 4:20 goes on saying, ďIf someone says, ĎI love God,í and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?Ē

A believer in the gospel of the water and the Spirit loves even those with many flaws. Still, the recently born-again through the gospel of the water and the Spirit sometimes criticize their seniors or mentors of faith. However, as one matures in oneís spirituality, one comes to love everyone in Christ, regardless of oneís affinity for another.

A person covered with Godís love practices love that is different from the love between the opposite sexes. God is love. Godís love is agape love. This agape love that God pours on us is of an absolute and unconditional sacrifice that asks for nothing in return.

ďThe first have to serve the lastĒ in Godís church. Our Lord Himself said, ďAnd whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slaveójust as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for manyĒ(Matthew 20:27-28).

Jesus loves us. God nurtures our faith by adopting us as His children and covering us with His love. We are given the power to love others as we grow in our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Especially, our brothers and sisters, who have also received the remission of sin, love one another. And I also love all of you. Donít you love me as well? Because of our Lord, we have become able to love one another in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.

Finally, 1 John 4:21 reads, ďAnd this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.Ē

Want to read more sermons on the First Epistle of John? Please click the banner below to get your free book on the First Epistle of John.
The First Epistle of John

Godís commandment is for us to love one another. Before we were born again, we had to keep the 613 codes of the Law but couldnít because of our weakness. Now, God has given us a new commandment, to love one another. The Lord said in the Bible, ďAs I have loved you, that you also love one anotherĒ (John 13:34, 15:12). Godís commandment for us is to love one another as God has loved us.

We have been blessed with the knowledge of Godís love, which also made us into Godís children. We have to know that God has poured His love into our hearts. We really have to know the substance of Godís love and practice love for one another. We have to understand and accept everyone as long as he/she does not stand against the gospel of the water and the Spirit. And we also have to provide them Godís Word for their spiritual growth. We have to realize Godís love that was inscribed in our hearts and not forget to love one another.

God truly is love. We have to abide in God by believing Godís love of the Truth. Letís give thanks to God for delivering us from all of our sins.

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