According to John, all of God’s love dwells in Jesus, He writes, “And of his fullness have all we received…” (John 1:16). How have we received the Father’s love? We’ve obtained it by being in Christ.
But, you may ask, what’s so important about knowing God’s love is conveyed to us through Christ? How does this affect our everyday lives?
How does God’s love impact our lives? We have to look to Christ as our example. Jesus has already told us the Father loves us in the same way he loved the Son. So, what impact did the Father’s love have on Jesus?
“Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us…” (1 John 3:16). Here was the fruit of God’s love in Jesus: He gave of himself as a sacrifice for others. The second half of this verse tells us the purpose of God’s love in our own lives. It reads, “…and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” God’s love leads us also to present our bodies as living sacrifices.
Have you ever thought about what it means to truly lay down your life for your brothers and sisters? John isn’t talking about becoming martyrs on foreign soil. He isn’t referring to being an organ donor. And he doesn’t mean we’re to take the place of some condemned criminal on death row. Christ alone made that sacrifice. No, the only kind of Christian who can bring life and hope to his brethren is a dead one. Such a servant has died to this world—to all self, pride and ambition.
This “dead” Christian has allowed the Holy Ghost to take a spiritual inventory of his soul. He sees through the corruption and ungodliness in his heart. And he willingly goes to God’s altar, crying, “Lord, consume me. Take it all.” He knows that only through being cleansed by Christ’s blood can he give his life for his brethren.