7517 - Strangers to God


Audio transcript

We’re so glad you’ve joined us today for a short study in God’s Word. Let’s talk about Strangers to God.

In our last study we entered a portion of Scripture laden with definitions and expressions of love: That would be 1 John 4, verses 7 through 21. This next passage opens by telling us that love comes from God. God is the source of unselfish, sacrificial love. Those who have been born of God and know God have experienced this “agape” love –– unselfishly bestowed upon undeserving people.

Today let’s look at 1 John 4:8.

“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

Now those last words affirm what was discussed in the previous verse –– God is the source of love. You see, God’s very nature is love. And the word from which love is translated is “agape”, which in the understanding of people, received a great upgrading from the love demonstrated by God as He sent His Son, Jesus Christ to die for the sins of men and women, boys and girls.

It is true that the Greek word “phileo” is translated by the English word love, but in the original language it expressed a lesser degree. It implies that the one who expresses this love sees some value or worth in the one who is being loved. So “phileo” does not carry the deep meaning of dedication and sacrifice, which the “agape” lover lays on the line as he loves.

But look at this verse for today. It gives a negative picture. It talks about people who do not love. Have you ever known a person who did not love anybody?

According to the Bible there are more people in the world who do not love this way, than there are those who do truly love.

I remember a drama, which illustrates what this verse is saying.

Bill was the father of a small son, but Bill never seemed to really care about his son. He was busy. The unstated agreement was that Mother would tend and care for the children, while Bill was committed to work and provide for the necessities of life.

The son continued to grow. Bill would pat him on the head occasionally and that was about all the affection he showed to his son.

Of course, the son did not know what a relationship between a father and a son was meant to be, so he didn’t really know he was missing anything. Oh yes, at little league games the son would see other fathers helping their boys and then cheering for them from the stands. Occasionally the son wondered why Bill didn’t attend his games. Well, you may sense that there really was no love shared between Bill and his son. As the son grew the separation increased. The son began to pain from the neglect of love.

The problem was Bill did not know God. God was a stranger to Bill. He had no way to plug into the very source of love.

There really was no sacrificial love between Bill and his wife either. In fact Bill did not sacrifice for anyone. He was number one.

But the Holy Spirit was wooing Bill and he was weakening. One day a neighbor actually shared the gospel with Bill and he readily responded. His life changed.

Suddenly he experienced love for others, including his family. One evening Bill helped with the nightly routine, and as he sent his son to bed he said, “I love you,” for the first time! The son stopped for a moment till this sank in. Then he jumped into the air shouting: “My daddy said he loved me.” “He loves me.” The atmosphere was charged with a new excitement.

This family had experienced God’s love, and now the source of love was living within and flowing through their dad. It changed every relationship.

God will do that in your life if you invite Jesus to be your Savior and Lord. His invitation is still open.