Believe God’s Love

Key Verse: “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is [begotten] of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.”
—I John 5:1

Selected Scripture:
I John 4:13 — 5:5

OUR HEAVENLY FATHER has made special provision for us as his consecrated children. We are provided, through the words of the Apostle Paul, the assurance that “the God of love and peace shall be with you.” (II Cor. 13:11) This wonderful promise was made possible through the giving of God’s son—“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”—John 3:16

One of the important responses to God’s love which we must develop is to “believe” in it and its effect upon our lives. This is brought to our attention in these words from our lesson: “We have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” (I John 4:16) In this is expressed the need that we believe in God’s love and that he will accomplish the work that he has begun in us. In so doing, we then are enabled to come to the realization that “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Rom. 8:28) In another place, Paul says, “Our Father, which hath loved us, … hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace.”—II Thess. 2:16

As a faithful Father, God will continue to show his love to those whom he has called. “I have loved thee with an everlasting love.” (Jer. 31:3) If we have given our “all” to him from the heart, we can claim the promise that “he would also finish” in us “the same grace also.” (II Cor. 8:6) To know God and “believe” in his love, we must know Christ. This is because God, through Christ, has been in the process of “reconciling the world unto himself.” (chap. 5:19) In his love and wisdom, God has committed a special work to his son. Thus, we “believe” in God’s love by “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.”—Heb. 12:2

It is important in this lesson to note that the words of our Key Verse are specially addressed to those “begotten of God”—those who have responded to his call and have given their hearts to him in unreserved consecration to do his will. This should be a very humbling thought, and serve as a reminder that “We love him, because he first loved us.” (I John 4:19) A further reflection on this is found in these words: “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”—Rom. 5:8

Belief in God’s love as manifested in the gift of his son, Jesus, is expressed to us in the Bible as that of faith. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. … Without faith it is impossible to please [God].” “By grace ye are saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.”—Heb. 11:1,6; Eph. 2:8

Paul takes this matter one step further, saying that we are to develop “faith which worketh by love.” (Gal. 5:6) Indeed, true faith is given evidence to by the workings of the law of love in our life. To be pleasing to God thus requires a proper character, obedience of heart and mind, and the demonstration of these by the works of love. Let us, therefore, strive to fully believe God’s love by daily cultivating the fruits and graces of the Spirit.—Gal. 5:22,23; II Peter 1:5-7