“As He is, so are we in this world”

There is a passage that the Apostle John writes in his first epistle that has incredible implications for us who are saints.  (A saint is one who is called, meaning, has believed, by God)  The passage is from chapter 4, verses 7-19 (my translation)

“Brothers, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who is loving has been born from God and knows God.  The one who is not loving has not known God, because God is love.  In this the love of God was made manifest in us, that God sent His only unique Son into the world that we should live through Him.  In this is love, not because we have loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son, a means by which sins are forgiven, for our sins.  Beloved, if in this way God loved us, we also ought to love one another.  No one has beheld God at any time.  If we should love one another, though, God abides in us and His love is in us, having been perfected.  In this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He gave from His Spirit to us.  And we have seen and testify that the Father sent the Son, savior of the world.  Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him and he in God.  And we know and have believed the love which God has in us.  God is love, and the one abiding in love abides in God and God abides in him.  In this, love has been perfected with us, that we should have boldness in the day of judgment, because just as He is, we also are in this world.  There is not fear in love because perfect love casts out fear, because fear has punishment, and the one who fears has not been perfected in love.  We love because He first loved us.”

There is a HUGE implication in this passage, which John wraps it up in one particular statement: “…as God is, so also are we in this world.”  Because of the mutual abiding reality of those who have believed (God abiding in us and us abiding in God), even though no one has seen God at any time, when a person looks upon us, they should see and experience the nature of God because God is abiding in us.

Notice John didn’t say “one who is moral” or “one who is morally opposed to something.”  He said love.

We who are believers are in an awesome position for it is through us that God has chosen to have His nature flow.  And what flows from us reveals how we know God and how we have experienced Him.

Have we experienced His love?  Then that love will flow through and from us.

Have we experienced God’s favor?  Then that favor will flow through and from us.

Have we experienced God’s grace (His empowering presence)?  Then that grace will flow through and from us.

Have we experienced God’s goodness and kindness?  Then that goodness and kindness will flow through and from us.

This is the result of God abiding in us and we abiding in Him.  His nature flows through and from us.

One last thing to note.  Many of the verbs John uses to describe this relationship are in what is known as the Perfect tense.  For example, when John says, “In this, love has been perfected in us,” “love” is in the Perfect tense.  This is significant because this tense means that an action was started in the past, was completed in the past, and has present results.  That means the perfecting has been completed already, placed within us, and we are now experiencing the results of that completion.  So, God isn’t still working to make the perfection complete; He’s already done that.  He is now working to have us experience that completed perfection to a greater extent with each passing day.  We don’t have to work to help make it complete.  We need to open ourselves up to experiencing it and having it flow through us.

I will wrap this up with one last thought.  Because of this mutual abiding relationship with God, no one in our presence is safe, safe from a blessing, or an experience of love, or grace, or goodness, or kindness, that is.

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