“If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.” 1 John 4:13.
Yesterday we talked about how when questions about the reality of our salvation come that the true response of faith is to ask those questions of God. Today, let’s look at a piece of the evidence the Holy Spirit will use to demonstrate the reality of our salvation experience.
“If we love one another…” Weeks ago, as we were considering the fruit of the Spirit, we spent a day talking about love and how we are incapable of producing true love without God. But what is true love like? The Greek word translated love in 1 John 4:13 is agape. Agape is a selfless love that does not count the cost. It is truly other focused. For the greeks this kind of love was only producible by the gods. But when you read the accounts of the activities of their gods your driven to wonder if even divinity knows what truly selfless love is.
And then we turn and look to Jesus. In him we see true love demonstrated and the apostle John tells us that when this love starts to flow from our lives that this is evidence that the Holy Spirit is abiding in us. For most of us this love isn’t going to be first seen in how we love our closest friends and families. Most of us are already, for self serving reasons, trying to be loving toward them. It’s our loving attitudes toward neighbors and coworkers that we truly dislike where the Holy Spirits presence begins to reveal itself first. Because God loves everyone his love will shine forth from our lives if he’s abiding in the heart. And this is evidence that we are children of God.
But if we can’t be forgiving. If kindness has to be forced out of us against our wills. If the prospering of an adversary is capable eroding the joy in our lives. If we can’t even think about the person without hatred and anger beginning to well up. Then we have evidence that selfless love is not present in our lives. And this tells us that God is not there.
Fortunately, that condition is simple to remedy. Just ask God to give you what you need. Luke 11:13 tells us that like every good father would, our Heavenly Father will give us the Holy Spirit if we ask him.