Treasure Day 5 Live Like You’re Loved: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days

Finding the original intent of Scripture and making good application to our everyday lives as we become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Today is 2-for-1 Friday!
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The Questions

1) Is it not possible to love others without being born of God and knowing God? (verse 7)

2) What is the connection between God’s love being revealed and our “living through Him”? (verse 9)

3) How does one “come to know and to believe the love God has for us”? (verse 16)

1 John 4:7-19

Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his one and only Son into the world so that we might live through him. 10 Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we also must love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God. If we love one another, God remains in us and his love is made complete in us. 13 This is how we know that we remain in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and we testify that the Father has sent his Son as the world’s Savior. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God—God remains in him and he in God. 16 And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us.

God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him. 17 In this, love is made complete with us so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment, because as he is, so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears is not complete in love. 19 We love because he first loved us.

Original Intent

1) Is it not possible to love others without being born of God and knowing God? (verse 7)
Student of Scripture, and closely acquainted with the Lord because he followed Him and studied Him all of his life, Andrew Murray, supplies us with a simple, but profound understanding of this concept of loving others in his book, Absolute Surrender. (It’s $4 on amazon. Buy it! Read it!) Murray describes how a sheep is by nature, gentle. A wolf, by nature is ferocious. A sheep would never need training to be gentle, just as a wolf would never need training to quickly sink his teeth into the sheep. They are simply acting out their nature. It would be ridiculous to think the sheep would naturally attack the wolf. Just as ludicrous is the idea that we, on our own, can be just as loving as God without God’s nature within us, teaching and guiding us. When sin first entered the world in the Garden of Eden, it was a love of self over a love for God that flung wide the door for Eve to sin. She wanted the fruit for herself. She no longer wanted to love and honor God. She loved herself. Adam wanted what Eve had. He wanted her experience, and so he loved himself over loving and obeying God. There is only one antidote to loving ourselves, the fullness of a God who has eternally existed as love. Generously, kindly, tenderly, with deep compassion loving one another as Father, Son, and Spirit for eternity. Only this kind of love can overcome the love of self. Which is why God says through John’s pen, “everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.” (verse 7) Only those who have His Spirit of love living and moving within them, as an entirely new nature, can possibly love like God! John follows it up with, “The one who does not love, does not know God, because God IS love.” (verse 8)

2) What is the connection between God’s love being revealed and our “living through Him”? (verse 9)
John penned this verse giving the assumption his audience already firmly grasped the reality that without Christ, we are dead. Christ came so we could live through Him, which builds upon the reality John stated a few verses earlier, “…the one who does not love, remains in death.” Essential to understanding John’s letter is understanding our nature. Without Christ, our nature, what comes naturally, that which we cannot escape, is our sin nature, which always, always leads to death. “The wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23) Sin earns death, every time. With our sin nature, we cannot help but earn death. Without a new nature being given, and the old nature itself being put to death (Romans 8:13), it is absolutely impossible to live in love. Unredeemed souls, stuck in their sin nature, can modify their behavior to a certain extent, learning what actions will get best results in their relationships and jobs, but they cannot change their nature, only cover it up. Eventually, the weight of working so hard “to be loving” will either crush them, leave them endlessly empty, or will eventually be uncovered as a skin-deep façade. Christ was revealed to the world by demonstrating true love for us by sacrificing Himself and paying the penalty of death on our behalf. (verse 9) When we embrace this gift of grace, which we could never earn, we are given a new nature, His Love Nature. (2 Corinthians 5:17) He did this so we could be free to walk in love!

3) How does one “come to know and to believe the love God has for us”? (
verse 16)
John stated, “we have come to know and to believe the love God has for us”, as a conclusion statement wrapping up a 3-point thesis of, “how we know we remain in Him and He in us”. John began in verse 13 setting out to once and for all put to rest the question, “how can I know for sure I genuinely have a new nature?”. 1) He has given us of His Spirit(verse 13) The first mark of a genuinely new nature is the deposit of the Holy Spirit in our hearts as a seal and promise of the forever life with God. (Ephesians 1:13-14) 2) We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the world’s Savior.” (verse 14) For John, who was a firsthand eyewitness of Jesus, seeing Jesus physically and recognizing He was God in the flesh was a clear reality. He knew Jesus because He had seen Him with his eyes and witnessed His miraculous life, death, and resurrection. However, the recipients of John’s letter didn’t have that benefit. Still, John listed it as a key ingredient for knowing you’ve been made new because you don’t need to physically “see” Jesus in order to witness His work or experience Him. Peter uses Jesus’ own words from John 20:29 when he says, “Though you have not seen Him, you love Him. Though you do not now see Him, you believe in Him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory.” Genuine encounters with Jesus have the potential to radically makes us new. When we take in an encounter with Christ, and it is coupled with testifying about Him, we have John’s second mark of a new nature. John experienced Christ deeply, personally, and intimately and because he was genuinely made new, John couldn’t help but testify about the Savior who had come to rescue the world. 3) “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God – God remains in Him and he in God.” (verse 15) This isn’t simply confessing that Jesus existed as a historical figure, or was a man who could acted like “a god”, but this is confessing Jesus to be exactly who He claimed to be, God Himself, the exact physical representation on earth of God in Heaven. (Hebrews 1:3, Colossians 1:15)

Everyday Application

1) Is it not possible to love others without being born of God and knowing God? (verse 7)
I have often wrestled with this question as I’ve attested to the kindness of people who are far from a saving relationship with the Lord, or, even more confusing, who have blatantly rejected Him.  How can this be so? How can people who reject God be kind, generous, and loving? The more I study, and the more I engage with people, the more clear it becomes how shallow our view of God is and how enhanced our view of self is. Just as we assume we are “basically good” because we’ve never murdered anyone or slept with another woman’s husband, so we assume we are “loving” if we excel at generosity or have good listening skills or are strongly empathetic. God’s standard of “good” is flawless and without a hint of sin, it’s wholly righteous. We can’t break one of God’s laws and be declared righteous. (James 2:10) God’s definition of “love” is equally as impossible to attain. Love is patient. (1 Corinthians 13:4) I’m out right there! Even if I’m patient sometimes, anyone in my house will tell you I’m not always patient! We can have the appearance of “good” or the appearance of “love” to many people, including ourselves, but no such masquerade will fool God. Like the wolf can never actually be as gentle as a lamb no matter how soft his fur may appear, neither can we ever be as actually full of altruistic love like God without the Spirit of God living within us to make us new.

2) What is the connection between God’s love being revealed and our “living through Him”? (verse 9)
The takeaway from these verses leads naturally to self-examination. Are we working to modify our behavior, or are allowing the living Holy God to radically transform us through His Spirit because He has given us a new nature, making us alive? Only you and the Lord know the answer to this. If you have never actually, willfully, surrendered your will to His knowing and understanding that you are forever dead if you remain with your sin nature, then you are still dead in your sin. (Colossians 2:12) Don’t back away from the uncomfortable question, we are meant to squirm with it because our offense against a holy God is impossible to remove on our own strength. The story told by every page of Scripture across thousands of years and over 40 different human authors points, remarkably, to one single Story: redemption of mankind back to God. He knew we would sin, He knew we were stuck in our nature, and because He IS love, He bridged the gap between us to show us love. We would never choose to love Him on our own; no, our nature would not allow it, so He put love on display in Himself, wrapped in our flesh for us. This Is Love! Christ Jesus cancelled “the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This He set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in Him.” (Colossians 2:14-15) Which nature are you chained to, my friend? And if you are free, are you declaring this freedom to others?!

3) How does one “come to know and to believe the love God has for us”? (verse 16)
Today, we are two thousand years removed from when Jesus came in physical form to walk among us, teach, heal, love, and proclaim His deity along with His plan of salvation for all people. It’s incredibly comforting to know Scripture itself teaches you can know with assurance that your heart has genuinely been made new and you’ve been given a new nature. This concise list here in 1 John 4, isn’t even the only list by which we can study and come to know that we have been given new life. Scripture is full of such evidences! As John noted in verse 15, “whoever confesses…God remains in him and he in God.” Once we’ve been given a new nature of love and awakened to real life from our former nature of sin and death, the new nature cannot be taken back. It Remains. God in us, and us in Him. We lose the ability to remove ourselves from His grasp. He is strong enough to remain in us, and keep our souls for eternity, all that is needed is our genuine confession of surrender. Do you see the evidence of the Holy Spirit dwelling in you? Is He creating growth in you and making you more like Christ in ways that far surpass what you know your own abilities are? His Spirit on deposit in us, stirs us up to desire to love Him and know Him. As we experience Him, we achingly long to testify to others about His work in our lives and the hope and freedom He offers to all. In what ways are you experiencing Jesus? Who are you telling about it? Have you confessed Him to be God the Son as your personal Lord and Savior? If so, be assured that you have indeed “come to know and believe the love God has for you” because you are allowing the God of Love to transform you!

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Digging Deeper is for Everyone!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read it, and the verses around it,
several times
3) Write down your questions
as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you
other related verses!). (
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God
in your everyday!

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Why Dig Deeper?

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Study Tools

We love getting help while we study and is one of many excellent resources, providing the original Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament) with an English translation.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Discover “origin”, “definition” and hear the original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want more background? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

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