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Sermon #97[i] — Romans Series
Title: ÒThe Love of ChristÓ
Text: Romans 8:31-39
Subject: Our Security in the Love of Christ
I want to talk to you, as God the Holy Spirit will enable me about ÒThe Love of Christ.Ó That is my subject — ÒThe Love of Christ.Ó — What a subject it is! LetÕs read about it in Romans 8 — Romans 8:31-39.
(Romans 8:31-39) ÒWhat shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? (32) He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? (33) Who shall lay anything to the charge of GodÕs elect? It is God that justifieth. (34) Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. (35) Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (36) As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. (37) Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. (38) For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, (39) Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.Ó
The Apostle asked, ÒWho shall separate us from the love of Christ?Ó Then he asserts, with emphatic dogmatism, that nothing in heaven, earth, or hell, nothing in time and nothing in eternity, shall ever Òbe able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord!Ó — What a blessed assurance of grace!
The Apostle has been talking to us about our struggles and conflicts in this life. Once you confess Christ and begin to follow him, you begin to suffer many things; and your sufferings will continue so long as you live in this world. The believerÕs life is a constant struggle and warfare with the world, the flesh, and the devil. It is not always pleasantness and joy.
á We struggle against the temptations of Satan.
á We struggle with the allurements of the world.
á We struggle with the trials of life.
á We struggle with ourselves, with our flesh, with our sin, with our own inward corruption!
Paul has been telling us about these things. But, suddenly, he seems to shake himself from these distressing realities of every believerÕs life in this world. He fixed his eyes upon the world to come, and says, ÒI reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.Ó His eye of faith seems to catch a vision of the believerÕs security in the love of Christ. It is as though he were saying to us — ÒWhy should we be cast down and distressed by these trials and troubles in the flesh. They will do us no harm. After all, ÔWho shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.ÕÓ
Proposition: Throughout this section of Scripture, Paul is driving one blessed truth home to our hearts. And this is the thing that I want set before you in this message — Though tempted and tried, from without and from within, GodÕs elect are safe and secure in the love of Christ.
The Apostle Paul shows us our security as the people of God in the love of Christ by raising and answering four remarkable questions. Standing, as it were, upon the highest mountain of faith, Paul looks up to the very angels of God, he looks out at the holy law of God, he looks down upon his earthly trials and the demons of hell, he looks within at his own corrupt, depraved, sinful heart, and says —
ÒIf God be for us, who can be against us?Ó — My brethren, if the God of heaven is the sovereign Ruler of all things, if all things are under his dominion and under the government of his will, and if he has revealed his steadfast love to our hearts, we can safely trust in him. If this God be for us, who can be against us?
Note: The weak, pathetic god of this modern religious world is not worthy of trust. But our God is trustworthy!
ÒIf God be for us, who can be against us? — We raise this bold challenge in the face of our many trials, in the face of our manifold temptations, and in the face of every spiritual enemy. We even raise this challenge in the face of the old serpent himself, because –
á God is for us in the sovereign providence (v. 28). He that is our God is the God of providence (Genesis 50:19-20; Psalm 76:10; 115:3; Proverbs 12:21; 21:1; Daniel 4:34, 35-37; Isaiah 45:5, 7; Romans 11:36).
á God is for us in his saving purpose (vv. 29-30). — Electing Love! — Sovereign Predestination! — Effectual Calling! — Perfect Justification! — Eternal Glorification!
Every link in this golden chain of grace stands firm and unbroken. All whom God knew in eternal love, he predestinated to be like Christ. All that he predestinated, he called. All that he called, he justified. All that he justified, he glorified. Not one of the elect of God shall perish! — ÒWhat shall we then say to these things?Ó — What can we say in addition to these things? Nothing! — What shall we say because of these things? Well, we will just say this – ÒIf God be for us, who can be against us?Ó Not the law, it is honored! Not divine justice, it is satisfied! Not our sin, it is gone! Not Satan, he is defeated!
á God is for us in his substitutionary provision (v. 32).
Here is the amazing love of God toward sinners. Here is the super—abounding mercy and wondrous grace of the eternal God toward us. — In order that he might save us, God spared not his own Son!
á Anything agreed upon in the covenant.
á Any of the shame of our nature.
á Any of the strict demands of his law and justice.
á Any of his infinite wrath.
In love, grace, and mercy, the eternal God spares us. But he spared not his own Son.
The holy Lord God delivered up his darling Son, the Lord Jesus Christ as a substitute to die in the place of his people.
á In the Covenant of Grace.
á In the incarnation.
á Into the hands of wicked men.
á Into the hands of the law (Romans 3:24-26).
Christ was delivered up for us all, all the host of GodÕs elect. He died just as fully and completely for one of his elect as he did for all the others. There are no degrees in his love and no degrees in his atoning sacrifice. He died for us all.
God will, most assuredly, give all his elect people all that Christ purchased for us at Calvary as our Substitute. Justice demands it!
Let others, if they dare, scoff and mock at the efficacy of the SaviorÕs blood. As for me, I rejoice in this glorious foundation doctrine of the Gospel. — Our Redeemer is an effectual redeemer! — The blessed old, Gospel doctrine of particular, effectual redemption is the sweetest joy of my soul. Christ is God. All that he intended to redeem are redeemed. All that he purchased with his blood are sure for heaven. If Christ died for me, in my place, it is not possible for me to die. Christ did not die in vain! — This is what God the Holy Ghost tells us in this one verse (v. 32). Every soul for whom Christ died at Calvary shall have all the fulness of divine grace and eternal glory.
Believing as I do in the full and perfect satisfaction of Christ as my Substitute, I am not at all reluctant to join Paul in raising this next challenge of faith – ÒWho shall lay anything to the charge of GodÕs elect?Ó (v. 33).
Paul stands forth as the herald of good news. He looks up to the holy angels. He looks down to the accusing devils. He looks around at the scoffing world. And he looks into his own conscience. And he asks this question — Who can accuse one of those whom God has chosen and Christ has redeemed? It is God who justifies! The Holy God has declared that his elect, redeemed people are perfectly clean, righteous, and freed from sin. God will not charge his own elect with sin (Romans 4:8); and God will not hear any accusation against his redeemed ones — Not now — Not in the judgment — Not in eternity! Those whom the Father has justified through the blood and righteousness of his Son shall never be charged with sin. They shall never be held accountable for their transgressions. And they shall never suffer for their iniquities!
Resting in Christ alone as my Savior, my Redeemer, and my Lord, the Lord my Righteousness, I say to the angels of heaven, the inhabitants of the earth, and all the fiends of hell, — ÒWho is he that condemneth?Ó (v. 34).
Paul looks around upon all the judges of the world, who are skilled in law and justice. He looks upward to the holy angels, whose superhuman sight pierces deep and far into the righteous government of God. He looks up to God, the Judge, who must do right, who is righteous and just in all his ways, and he asks this question — ÒWho is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died!Ó It is as much as if he had said, ÒSince Christ has paid the full penalty of sin in the place of his people, every righteous basis of judgment must declare that Òthere is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus.Ó
Who shall condemn to endless flames
The chosen people of our God,
Since in the Book of Life their names
Are clearly writ in JesusÕ blood?
He, for the sins of all the elect,
Hath a complete atonement made;
And justice never can expect
That the same debt should twice be paid.
Note: No court of law and justice in the world will allow one offence to be paid for twice.
We rest our souls upon the glorious Person and finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our freedom from the fear of condemnation is not our repentance and faith. It is not our holiness and obedience to the law. It is not our zeal, our good works, and our self-denial. Our freedom from the fear of condemnation is the finished work of Christ.
Free from the law, O happy condition!
Jesus hath bled and there is remission:
Cursed by the law and bruised by the fall,
Christ hath redeemed us once for all.
Here in Romans 8:34, Paul gives us four reasons for the eternal security of GodÕs elect. Here are four facts which guarantee that not one person who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ shall ever perish.
1st — Since Christ died in our stead, we cannot be condemned. We fully believe that the death of Christ was the complete satisfaction of divine justice, the complete payment of that penalty which was due to GodÕs law because of sin. ÒIt is Christ,Ó the Son of God, Òthat died!Ó And now all the sins of those people for whom he died are forgiven.
I firmly believe that there is not a single sin left in GodÕs Book against any believer. It is not possible that any particle of punishment shall ever be exacted from any believing soul, because Christ has been punished to the full extent of GodÕs law in our place.
When I think of my sin, it seems impossible to me that a satisfactory atonement could ever be made, sufficient to wash it away. But when I think of ChristÕs atonement and death, it seems impossible to me that any sin could ever require such a sacrifice! Yet, I know this — The sacrifice of Christ is all-sufficient and effectual, having put away all my sin.
2nd — We shall never be condemned because Jesus Christ has risen from the dead. If Christ had not risen from the dead, he would have been proved an imposter and we would be condemned. But in as much as he is risen again, we boldly defy the possibility of condemnation for any believer.
á The death of Christ was the payment of our debt. His resurrection is the receipt of payment of our debt.
á ChristÕs death was the digging of the well of salvation. His resurrection is the Fountain of Life.
á The death of Christ was the cancellation of sin. His resurrection is the promise of life.
In the resurrection of Christ, the Triune God publicly accepted the substitutionary sacrifice of his Son as our Representative. ÒHe was delivered for our offenses, and raised again for our justification.Ó Is it now possible for God to deny his own testimony of satisfaction, and condemn us? — Perish the thought!
3rd — Again, GodÕs elect shall never be condemned because at this very moment, our Substitute is sitting at the right hand of God (Hebrews 10:12, 14). What does the fact that Christ is sitting on GodÕs right hand imply? What does his posture in heaven tell us (Isaiah 53:10-11)?
á His work is finished.
á His atonement has been accepted.
á His redeemed are all safe. — ÒHe shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied!Ó
4th — We have no fear that any of GodÕs elect shall ever perish because Christ, our Priest and King, intercedes for us in glory (Hebrews 7:24-25; 1 John 2:1-2). If the Son of God intercedes for me, I am perfectly safe. I need no more than this to secure my soul. God cannot reject those for whom his Son prays without rejecting his Son.
Arise, my soul, arise! Shake off thy guilty fears;
The bleeding Sacrifice, In my behalf appears.
Before the throne my Surety stands,
My name is written in his hands.
The Father hears him pray, His dear anointed One,
He cannot turn away, The presence of his Son.
Here is one great High Priest who is worthy of your faith and trust. This Priest is able to save to the uttermost all who come to God by him.
á In spite of the lawÕs curse.
á In spite of SatanÕs accusations.
á In spite of your many sins.
á In spite of your trials.
á In spite of your weaknesses.
Who is he that condemneth? ÒWhere are those thine accusers?Ó Bring them here and slay them! ÒIt is Christ that died!Ó And this I know —
Payment God cannot twice demand,
First at my bleeding SuretyÕs hand,
And then again at mine!
Here is the fourth of PaulÕs bold questions — ÒWho shall separate us from the love of Christ?Ó — Again, in confident faith, Paul looks over all the created worlds. He looks at the might of the mightiest angel, the satanic power of the demons of hell, and the rage of a God-defying world; and when he sees sinners safely folded in the arms of Christ, he cries, ÒWho shall separate us from the love of Christ?Ó Oh, my friends, I want you to see this: — Believers are safe in the arms of ChristÕs love! Not all the forces of ten thousand worlds combined could separate us from the love of Christ. — ÒWe are more than conquerors through him that loved us.Ó
I want you to know the love of Christ, that love which is revealed in the redemption and the full salvation of our souls. Truly, the love of Christ is a love that passes knowledge (Ephesians 3:14-19). It is like the blue sky, into which you may see very clearly, but its real vastness you can never comprehend. It is like the deep, deep sea, into which we may look with wonder, but whose bottom we cannot see. The love of Christ is seen in many, many places. But its greatest, fullest, most glorious display is at Mount Calvary. In his cross, we see the SaviorÕs love. It has a breadth without a bound, a length without an end, a height without a top, and a depth without a bottom. Its breadth covers all our sin. Its length stretches across eternity. Its depth reaches to the lowest cesspool of fallen humanity. Its height reaches up to the very throne of God. Truly, his is a love that passes knowledge!
Could we with ink the oceans fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade —
To write the love of God above
Would drain the oceans dry,
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky!
Divisions: I want to show you three things about the love of Christ which are revealed in this text; and I will wrap my message up.
1. There is a people in this world who are loved by Christ.
2. The many trials which we experience in this world only magnify the love of Christ for us.
3. Nothing shall ever be able to separate us from the love of Christ.
A People Loved
The first thing clearly set forth in this text is the fact that — There is a people in this world who are loved by Christ. — I know that ÒGod is love.Ó And I know that the Lord Jesus Christ is good and benevolent to all of his creatures upon this earth. He causes it to rain upon the just and the unjust; and he makes his sun to shine both upon the righteous and the wicked. But not all men have an interest in the love of Christ. The Son of God does not look upon all men as the objects of his love (Matthew 7:21-23).
Our text is talking about the special love which our Lord Jesus Christ has for his own elect, that love which secures our everlasting salvation. The love of Christ as our Mediator and Savior is the subject of our text.
á If Christ loved all men, he would surely pray for all men.
á If Christ loved all men, he would surely have shed his blood for and redeemed all men.
á If Christ loved all men, he would surely reveal the Gospel to all men.
á If Christ loved all men, he would surely save all men.
á If Christ loved all men, he would certainly never send any man to hell.
The Word of God nowhere speaks of GodÕs love being universal to every man in the world. In fact, no man is ever given any assurance of GodÕs love and mercy for him in particular, until he is untied to Christ by faith — (Noah and the Ark).
The blessed truth of our text is that there are some people in this world who are loved by Christ!
When did this love begin? —This river of love began to flow before the world was. From everlasting, since the very beginning, before the world was, Christ loved us. ChristÕs love to us is as old as the FatherÕs love to him. Before angel loved angel, before man loved man, Christ loved us and delighted himself in us. His love is an eternal love (Proverbs 8:30-31; Jeremiah 31:3).
Who is this One that loves us? — The great Lover of our souls is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ, God the eternal Son. It is one thing to be loved by a man; it is something greater to be loved by an angel; but we are loved by the eternal Son of God. That One who loves our souls is God!
á All knowledge is in him.
á All authority is in him.
á All power is in him.
á All riches are in him.
á All things are at his disposal.
Who does the Son of God love? — He loves us! He came into the world Òto save sinners, of whom I am chief!Ó — ÒThe Son of God loved me, and gave himself for me!Ó — Had he loved one so glorious as himself, we would not be surprised. Had he loved the holy angels, who reflect his holiness, we would not wonder. Had he loved the lovely among the sons of men (the kind, the gentle, the moral, the rich, the great, the noble), we would not be greatly amazed. But, my soul, he loves us — the poorest, vilest, guiltiest, most sinful wretches that crawl upon the earth!
á Manasseh, a man who had murdered his own children, was one of those who Christ loved.
á Zacchaeus, the grey-haired swindler, was an object of his love.
á Rahab the harlot, Mary Magdalene, and the lascivious woman of Samaria were all objects of his love.
á The dying thief was loved by him.
á Saul of Tarsus was a man upon whom ChristÕs heart of love was fixed.
á The lascivious Corinthians were loved by him.
á And you and I, in all the blackness of our sin, were the objects of his love from all eternity (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
We were as black as hell when he looked upon us. We were under the wrath of God and the curse of the law. Yet, he loved us and said, ÒI will die for them.Ó
This is amazing love! He that was so great, so lovely, so pure, so righteous chose us, died for us, and redeemed us, men and women who are black and filthy with sin (Isaiah 38:17).
(Isaiah 38:17) ÒBehold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.Ó
What did this love cost the Lord Jesus Christ? — When Jacob loved Rachel, he served for seven years to have her. He bore the summerÕs heat and the winterÕs cold. But Christ bore the hot wrath of God, and the winter blast of his FatherÕs anger for us. Jonathan loved David with a love greater than that of women, and for DavidÕs sake he bore the cruel anger of his father, Saul. But Christ, because of his love for us, bore the wrath of God poured out upon him.
á It was love for us that made him leave the happy surroundings of heavenÕs glory (2 Corinthians 8:9).
á It was love for us that made him assume our nature (Philippians 2:5-11).
á It was love for us that drove him into the wilderness of temptation.
á It was love for us that made him the man of sorrows.
á It was love for us that made him go up to Jerusalem (Isaiah 50:5-7).
á It was love for us that led him down into dark Gethsemane.
á It was love for us that nailed him upon the cursed tree.
ÒGreater love hath no man than this!Ó — ÒI am the Good Shepherd: the Good Shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.Ó — ÒChrist loved the church, and gave himself for it.Ó
Come to the cross. See the Son of God bruised and beaten, stripped and mocked, bleeding and dying. Hear him as he cries upon the tree, ÒMy God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?Ó And there you will see the love of Christ for us! His love for us cost him his glory, his honor, his holiness, his life, his all! Because he loved us, he took our sins and made them his own!
I stand amazed in the presence
Of Jesus, the Nazarene,
And wonder how He could love me,
A sinner condemned unclean!
Christ showed his love for us by taking our sin upon himself and dying in our place.
á He did not have to die. He died voluntarily.
á We had no claims upon him.
á There was no appeal made for him to come and die for us.
á He knew that if he laid down his life for sinners, he would get no love in return from those for whom he died, except he create it.
á He died by the hands of men, as well as for the sake of men.
á He died for men who wished that he should be made to die.
á In dying for us, he took upon himself the awful mass of shame and dishonor, and an infinite, intimate relation to sin. — He was made sin for us!
O my soul, can you get hold of this blessed fact? Christ loves sinners! Christ died for sinners! Christ lives in heaven to save sinners! We were sinking into the red-hot flames of hell. Christ plunged in, and swam through the awful sea of divine wrath, and gathered his own to himself! The sword of justice was bare and glittering, ready to destroy us. He, the man that is GodÕs own fellow, opened his heart and took the stroke. We were set as a mark for GodÕs arrows of vengeance. But Christ came and stood between us and GodÕs anger, and the arrows of death struck his heart. This is the love that passes knowledge. This is the love that I set before you today.
What is the result of ChristÕs love toward us? — Christ loved us from all eternity. That love is manifest by the fact that he died in our place at Calvary. But what is the result of his love?
á Because he loved us, he agreed in the covenant of grace to redeem us.
á Because he loved us, he arranged all the affairs of our lives to bring us to himself (Hosea 2:6-23).
á Because he loved us, he came to us in saving grace (Ephesians 2:4; Ezekiel 16:6-8). When we would not and could not come to him, he came to us!
á Because he loved us, he will present us holy and without blame before the throne of God in glory (Ephesians 5:25-27).
God help you now to know the love of Christ.
á He loves sovereignly.
á He loves sinners.
á He loves sacrificially.
á He loves savingly.
á He loves steadfastly. He will never cease to love us!
á The love of Christ is without beginning.
á The love of Christ is without cause.
á The love of Christ is without measure.
á The love of Christ is without end.
Nothing is more delightful than the joy of being in the love of Christ. To be in his love is to be happy, blessed, safe, and secure. To be out of his love is to be lost, miserable, and undone. How can I know that I am in the love of Christ?
á He has revealed himself to me.
á He has drawn me to himself.
á He has conquered my heart by his love.
á He has given me faith.
á I come to him.
á I trust him.
Have you seen his preciousness? Have you come to him? Do you trust him? Do you love Christ? Then, you may be sure that he loves you, and he will never cast you out of his love.
Trials and Love
Second, the many trials which we experience in this world only magnify the love of Christ to us. — Those who know Christ and know his love will experience many trials in this world. Salvation does not keep anyone from trouble. We experience all the pains and troubles of life in this world which other people experience. — ÒMan that is born of woman is a few days, and full of trouble. He cometh forth as the flower, and is cut down; he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not.Ó — ÒIn the world ye shall have tribulation.Ó God has chosen us in the furnace of affliction. All believers have to endure the ordinary trials and troubles of life which other men endure.
And we have other trials, even more difficult to endure than these, for Christ sake.
á Warfare Within
á Temptations of Satan
á Allurements of the world.
But the believer, with the eye of faith, looks upon his trials as a blessing rather than a curse. Our trials come to us by the hand of GodÕs good and wise providence. And our trials are intended by God, our Father, to do us good (Hebrews 12:5-11).
á They show us our need of Christ.
á They show us the vanity of this world.
á They wean us from the things of this world.
á They correct our sin. — With the chastening rod of affliction, our heavenly Father drives the sin which he hates from the child he loves.
á They teach us to live by faith.
á They make Christ more precious.
á They make heaven more desirable.
Our many trials in this world serve to manifest, display, and reveal the love of Christ more clearly to our hearts.
á I know that Christ loves me, because he chastens me.
á Trials draw the Savior and his people closer together.
á Trials make the glory which shall be revealed in us more precious and make our souls more anxious to enter into it (1 Peter 1:3-9; James 1:12; 2 Corinthians 4:18 – 5:1).
Third, Paul shows us that — Nothing shall ever be able to separate us from the love of Christ. —
ÒIn all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded thatÉ(nothing) shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.Ó
It is true, we shall face many trials and struggles in this world; but we have no reason to fear. He that is our God and Savior will be with us. He will never cease to love us (Isaiah 43:1-4).
(Isaiah 43:1-4) ÒBut now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. (2) When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. (3) For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. (4) Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.Ó
Nothing in this world shall ever separate us from the love of Christ.
1. Not all of Our Sins
2. Not all the Temptations of Satan
3. Not all Our Worldly Trials
4. Not all the Power of Hell
Nothing shall separate us from the love of Christ in the Day of Judgment.
á Not the Righteousness of God
á Not the Law of God
á Not the Justice of God
Nothing shall be able to separate us from the love of Christ in eternity. The multiplied ages of eternity shall not diminish the love of Christ for us.
These four things establish the blessed security of our souls.
á The Eternal Purpose of God
á The Perfect Justification of Grace
á The Substitutionary Sacrifice of Christ
á The Immutable Love of Christ
Have we experienced the love of Christ? If so, then let us walk in that love.
á Love one another.
á Forgive one another.
á Serve one another.
Would you know the love of Christ? Come, enter into this blessed Ark of Salvation; and you will find it written everywhere — ÒI have loved thee with an everlasting love.Ó
[i] Danville — Sunday Morning — September 11, 2016
Reading: 1 John 4:1-19
1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
5 They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.
6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.
14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.
15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
19 We love him, because he first loved us.
20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.