Today's Foundations Devotional: God’s love in us begins at the new birth
Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been
poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Yesterday, we saw how the Greek word agape describes the perfect love of God. It is this love that made God the Father give His only Son Jesus, and the same love made Christ give His life for us to deliver us. It is the same love that the Holy Spirit supernaturally pours out in our hearts. This enables us to understand the words of the apostle in 1 John.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love (4:7-8).
The Greek words which John uses are agape and agapao. John teaches that there is a kind of love, agape, which no one can experience unless he has been born of God. Love of this kind comes only from God.
Anyone who in any measure manifests this kind of love has, in that measure, come to know God through the new birth. Conversely, a person who has never known or manifested this love in any measure has never known God; for in the measure that a person comes to know God, he is in that measure changed and transformed by the divine love, so that he himself begins to manifest it to others.
As John here indicates, this manifestation of agape – of divine love – commences in human experience with the new birth. This is in harmony with the words of Peter.
Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever (1 Pet. 1:22-23).
Where Peter says, “Love one another fervently with a pure heart,” the verb for “love” which he uses is once again that for divine love – agapao.
He directly connects this possibility of Christians’ manifesting the divine love with the fact that they have been born again of the incorruptible seed of God’s Word. That is to say, the potentiality of divine love is contained within the divine seed of God’s Word implanted in their hearts at the new birth.
Lord, I am so grateful to You that Your supernatural, divine love has been
poured out into my heart by the Holy Spirit. Help me to love many others
with that love of You, fervently and without second thoughts, so that they
see Your love in me and come to healing through it. Amen.