King's Business - 1920-03

THE K I N G ' S BUS I NE S S Christ and the anti-Christian spirit without (4:1-6) making necessary the manifestation of the Christian spirit of brotherly love by cleaving close to­ gether,. loving each other. In Ch. 2:7-11 brotherly love is set forth as a sign and consequence of walk­ ing in the light. In Ch. 3:10-18 it is a mark of conduct— a special form of righteousness. Here in our lesson it is a gift of the Spirit in contrast with the anti-Christian spirit. Outline. (1) THE MEANING OF LOVE— Imparting Life. (2) THE MANIFESTATION OF LOVE— The Incarnation of Desire. ( 3 ) ' THE MEDIUM OF COMMUNI- CATION-jgThe Indwelling Spirit. (1) THE MEANING OF LOVE. There are three aspects of God: 1. God is a Spirit (John 4:24). This was the revelation given to the woman at the well by our Lord. This gives us the view of His personality. Those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit .and in truth. 2. God is Light (1 John 1 :5). This reveals the perfection and purity of His nature. He is a just God. He is Righteous. 3. God is Love (1 John 4 :8). In this statement we have declared the persuasive power of God’s nature. These three definitions give us the fullest comprehension and conception of God. God is a Spirit. To know Him, you must have a spiritual conception of Him. God is Light, and to have fel­ lowship with Him, you must walk in purity of life. How can two walk to­ gether except they be agreed? God is Love, and we must know and feel the conscious power of love animating and controlling us. God is the source of love. The heart of God is the fountain and spring from which love flows. (2) THE MANIFESTATION OF LOVE.

291 Love must have an object, and we find the object in the heart of the Gos­ pel. Love must have a medium of com­ munication. How could God reveal Himself to man? He could not reveal His love through nature. While nature may suggest the goodness of God, yet every catastrophe would -nullify this thought. The tornado which sweeps to destruction in its onward rush the trees,; tlie plants and flowers; the fire which reduces to ashes everything ih its track,S-would cause a question mark concerning the goodness of God. So God reveals Himself in His Son (v. 10). Were God to write in golden letters on the blue dome of Heaven “ God is Love” it would be meaningless to us, but in His Son He has mani­ fested that He is love. The love of God is sacrificial (v. 9; John 3:16; 15:13); it is gratuitous (v. 10; Rom. 5 :8 ); it is propitiary (v. 10) reconciling us (Rom. 5:10; 2 Cor. 5: 18-20; 1 Pet. 3 :18 ); it is life-imparting (v. 9; John 5:24; 1 John 5:11, 12). Jesus Christ is the manifestation of the light, life and love of God. God made the great sacrifice in the gift of His Son. Christ made the great sacri­ fice by the gift of His life through serv­ ice and death. Love is a fruit, but there is first the seed. The Spirit of God makes love real by applying love to our hearts, and then producing a like love in our hearts. The object of love is to perfect itself in life. We are commanded in v. 7 to love one another, for “ love is of God, and every one that loveth is born of God.” As the abstract statement that “ God is love” is meaningless, so the mere statement of a man “ I am a Christian” is without force. What is true of God must be true of man. God demon­ strated that He is love, and so must we as children of God. God gives. This is a proof of His love, and so must

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