To have true love toward others
To cling to Christ and his Word
Today’s text: 1 John 4:7-21
THE LUTHERAN THEOLOGIAN Werner Elert in a meditation on the Christian life warned his readers not to confuse faith and love: “[these] must always be distinguished in such a way that faith concerns the person while love concerns the works. Faith purges out sin and makes the person well-pleasing to God… [and] then the Holy Spirit and love are given him, so that the person does the good willingly, joyfully.”
In our day, we wish to dispense with the faith/person side of things and move right on to the works, because we believe that our deeds are a reflection of ourselves, and there is no need for God. Yet John, that Apostle of love, grounds the act of love in the prior act of the Father, who has sent his Son into the world: whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we know and believe the love God has for us.
Christian love for the neighbor begins in and is rooted in faith in Jesus Christ, in obedience to his word, in walking in his ways, in following his path. Anything we call “love” apart from faith in Jesus Christ is simply our own substitution of our wants/desires for the good and perfect will of our Savior.
May your day be grace-filled ~ Pr. Dave Brooks