7541 - False Claim

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Let’s investigate 1 John 4:20. It says, “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ yet hates his brother he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.”

God says that the person who says with his mouth, “I love God,” and holds bitterness and hate in his heart toward a brother in the body of Christ, simply is lying. These two emotions are not compatible. Let’s look at the inconsistency.

The spotlight is on a person who openly declares “I love God.” We may understand better if we know that the word ‘love’ comes from the concept of “agape” love, godlike love. In other words this person is saying that I have received God’s supernatural, sacrificial, unselfish love into my heart, and it forms a reservoir, which flows out through me and from me to others. The totality of this description is wrapped up in “agape” love. God’s love is a life-changing experience. It becomes ours when the indwelling Holy Spirit takes up residence in the heart of a person as a part of the salvation experience.

Anyone who walks in the Spirit in daily life is a living dispenser of this love from God, which, is meant to be poured out on others.

According to the Bible this supernatural love came to us when we were alienated from God because we were in bondage to sin (Rom. 6:17,20), we were His enemies (Rom 5:10).

The means by which this love came to us was through the love and grace of God who sent His One and only Son, Jesus Christ, as the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Even when we did not deserve His mercy, nevertheless He loved us anyway, and gave His Son to reconcile us to Himself.

The verse under study today uses the strong word ‘hate’ in regard to this person’s relationship with a fellow believer. Hate involves bitterness and unforgiveness. Forgiveness precedes the giving up of hate.

According to Colossians 2:13, “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins.”

An integral part of love is forgiveness. They go together.

God expects that interaction in our life. In Colossians 3:13 God tells us: “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievance you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

And we read in Ephesians 4:32: “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

Notice the degree of forgiveness, which God expects from His children? Just as the Lord God forgave us. Friend, God forgave all our sins. We’ll never be confronted with them again.

So we see that forgiveness is welded to love, and God’s love cannot exist in the presence of unforgiveness. So He expects the saints to depend upon His indwelling power in order to forgive even as we have been forgiven by Him. Oh friend, in our old nature we will not — cannot — forgive. It must be His presence and power, which enables us to love with forgiveness.

Then there can be no hate. Friend, when we see a brother and hate is in our heart, the compassion of God should come to life. If God’s love is truly in our heart, He’s going to spring into action to reconcile this described situation. That’s why love and hate cannot exist together. The love of God wipes out offenses, which are the roots of hate.