Audio Sermon “God's Miniature”



Oct 16, 2017
“God's Miniature" No.11 by Rev. Toru Asai
Mat 5:43-48, 1 John 4:7ff., etc.




Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Eph 5:1-2)





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Summary
                 

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God (1 John 4:7).

The foundation for the lifestyle of God's miniature is God's love. Note here the statement, "love comes from God"—not from man. God is the source of love, and apart from him, man cannot love. John confesses that he did not know the existence of this love till he saw Christ crucified.

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers (3:16).

It was a shocking experience for him, and has completely changed not only his concept of God, but also his values, world-view, way of life, and everything. The same must be the experience that we all came to have in Christ, and it is the very basis upon which we love one another. When the world sees us loving one another this way, it comes to know that we know God and have fellowship with him. But If we do not love one another, it proves that we neither know God nor have fellowship with him.

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love (4:8).

If man does not love, it is because he has not been born of God and has not experienced his love yet. Such a person does not know how to love and cannot love. However, John says, "Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God." And to those who have been born of God, Jesus said:

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another (John 13:34).

It is very crucial for those who have been born of God to know that his love is different from human love. Here, Jesus said, "As I have loved you, so you must love … " specifying the manner in which his disciples should love. The way Jesus loved was different from the way the disciples loved. Peter, by insisting that he loved Jesus, said to him, "Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you." He did love Jesus, but it was by human love that he loved. God's love, meaning his kind of love, never fails, but human love fails. You can compare the way Peter loved with how Jesus, knowing that Peter would fail, forgave him, prayed for him so that his faith would not fail, and went on to die on the cross alone. God's love covers over a multitude of sins. It is interesting to see how Jesus asked Peter, and how Peter answered, after Jesus' resurrection: Jesus asked, "Simon son of Joh do you truly love (agapao) me more than these?" and Peter answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love (phileo) you," admitting that he did not love in the same way as Jesus loved. He could say that because he saw that Jesus' unfailing love was made complete through his death and resurrection while his human love had miserably failed.

No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us (1 John 4:12).

Note the expression, "… is made complete." Love is not something you do, but it is something that is made complete, or fulfilled. As God's word, which comes from the mouth of God, is carried out by human vessels who believe in it, and thus becomes fulfilled, God's love, which comes from him, is made fulfilled and perfect through his vessels who understand and believe in his love. Just as God's word does not come from you, and God himself fulfills his own word through you, his love does not come from you, but God himself makes it complete through you. When you try to love by bringing out your own love, then you fail, but when you let God love by being led by his Spirit, you will succeed. In fact, Satan uses human love as in the case of Peter whose love was set for "the things of men": Jesus said to him, "Get behind me, Satan!"





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