The Power of God’s Love by Laura Urista
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.—1 John 4:7-8 (my emphasis)
In the scripture above, we are admonished to “love one another for love comes from God.” The word translated into our English word “love” throughout this passage is the Greek words agapao (verb) or agape (noun). Agapao refers to the supernatural love of God, but that is only part of the meaning. Agapao also refers to the love which arises from a “keen sense of the value and worth of the object loved.” When we are commanded to love (agapao) one another, part of the meaning is to deeply appreciate the worth and value in others.
Unfortunately, it is not in our human nature to generate this kind of love on our own steam, by making up our minds to do so and trying our best. But through the power of the Holy Spirit, God gives us the ability to recognize the value in others and love them with his supernatural love.
“God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Romans 5:5).
What does it mean “BORN OF GOD”?
To be born is the beginning of new life, both physically and spiritually. The start of human life begins with the sharing of the deepest, most intimate expression of love between a husband and wife—the way God intended new life to come into the world. Through the beautiful act of husband and wife sharing the ultimate expression of love for each other, a new life can begin as a couple starts a new family.
To be born of God is to become part of HIS family. From the beginning, mankind was meant to join in the deep loving relationship of the family of God. We are born spiritually through the power of the Holy Spirit as a NEW Creation because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and his risen life in us through the power of the Holy Spirit.
What does it mean “KNOW GOD”?
The Greek word for “KNOW” used in 1 John 4:7-8 is ginosko. That same Greek word for “know” is translated in Matthew 1:25 as “marital relations” or what older commentaries refer to as “carnal knowledge.” Those who know God in this way are in a deeply intimate family relationship with God.
This Greek word ginosko is also translated elsewhere in the New Testament as “to perceive, to discern, to be assured or to view with favor.” I often hear younger folks express their delight when they feel their significant other “really GETS” them. In other words, they feel understood and accepted.
What a blessing it is to know that our heavenly Father “really GETS” us. He perceives, discerns us and views us with favor. He knows ALL about us and he still loves us more than anyone ever has or ever will.
What does it mean “GOD IS LOVE”?
Love is the essence of God’s nature. God is pure, supernatural love from eternity. Out of God’s loving generosity he invites us to be a part of his family and share his love with others.
We can’t fake, pretend our act out God’s genuine love. But as Christ-followers, God lives in us and HIS love flows out from us through the power of the Holy Spirit.
As we enjoy a flourishing relationship with him, we will overflow with genuine concern and love for others. Christ living in us and sharing his love will change the way we value others and therefore how we treat others, recognizing that everyone is a treasured child of God. That’s the power of God’s love!
Laura Urista is the managing editor of Plain Truth and CWR magazine.