How is the love of God perfected in us?
How is God’s love for us evident? More importantly: How is our love for God made evident?
The love of God perfected: Mutual love
Usually people assume that if a person is showered with spiritual gifts, God must really love him. However, this is only an expression of God’s love for us, not our love for Him. The only evidence God has that we love Him is that we keep His commandments.
During revivals, we often see people being showered with spiritual gifts. You would think that people who have been so richly blessed by God would, in return, love God very much. But as the years go by, it frequently becomes evident that these people stumble when the smallest act of obedience is required. They are enthusiastic as long as they are showered with gifts—as long as no requirements are placed on them. But as soon as God requires a little act of obedience, they sink into deep discouragement and despair. Is this the tried faith that is more precious than gold? No! This is why the apostle says, “But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him.” 1 John 2:5.
One-sided love is not perfect love. For it to be perfect, it must be mutual. Only then can it be said that we are in Him and He in us. (1 John 3:24)
The love of God is perfected inwith the Father and the Son
The commandment to love remains an old commandment as long as it is only true in Him; however, if we keep His commandments, the old commandment will become a new commandment that is true in us, just as it is true in Him. This mutual love will drive out darkness, and the true light will radiate in its full strength. The prophetic Word is like a light shining in a dark place. This is the holy commandment. By keeping His commandments, this dark place in the heart will be enlightened. Everything that was light and truth in Him will become light and truth in us. By continuing to take heed to the holy commandment, the day will dawn and the morning star will rise in our hearts. (2 Peter 1:19)
“That which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.” 1 John 1:3-4.
It is impossible to have fellowship with the Father and the Son without keeping God’s commandments. Unless we keep His commandments, our joy will not be perfected.
Keeping God’s commandments
How people deceive themselves when they live a happy-go-lucky life, never thinking about what God’s will is for them! They dwell on the past, continually reminiscing about the day they were saved, or the day they were baptized in the Spirit and received the gift of tongues. The apostle Paul forgot what was behind and pursued the things that were ahead.
If we want to make progress in God’s kingdom in the days to come, we need to search out God’s commandments, know His will and offer ourselves in the power of an eternal Spirit. In this way we will blossom as a garden of the Lord. Those who thought you were living in bondage will gasp in speechless amazement when they realize that—contrary to their belief—this really was God’s way—the way they had scorned.
This article has been translated from Norwegian, and was first published under the title “Old and new commandments” in BCC’s periodical Skjulte Skatter (Hidden Treasures) in October 1922.
© Copyright Stiftelsen Skjulte Skatters Forlag
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Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.