May 21st, 2007
If you really believe that love is just a chemical reaction, a primal instinct developed over millions of years as part of the evolutionary process of the survival of the fittest, then once you’ve experienced bedroom intimacy in all its starkness, that’s all there is. But if you believe that there is a God who created us and who loves each person deeply and intimately, and if you believe that we can only truly learn to live when we learn to love other people deeply in the way that God first loved us, then you can experience a depth of love that is unimaginable to other people…
John’s First Letter — Chapter 3
3:1 You can see what sort of love the Father has given to us, letting us be called children of God, and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is because it did not know him. 3:2 Friends, we are God’s children now, although it is not yet apparent what we will become. But we know that when Christ appears we will be like him, because we will see him just as he is. 3:3 People who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. 3:4 Everyone who sins also breaks the law. Sin is law-breaking. 3:5 You know that he came to take away our sins, and there is no sin in him. 3:6 Whoever remains in him does not sin. Whoever sins has not seen him, and does not know him.
3:7 Children, do not let anyone lead you astray. People who act rightly are righteous, just as he is righteous. 3:8 People who sin belong to the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The Son of God came to destroy what the devil has done. 3:9 People who are children of God do not commit sin, because God’s seed remains in them. They cannot sin, because they are children of God. 3:10 This is how the children of God are revealed, and the children of the devil. People who do not act rightly, and people who do not love their fellow believers, do not belong to God. 3:11 You have heard this message right from the beginning: we must love each other.
3:12 Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one, and killed his brother. Why did he kill him? Because the things he did were evil, and the things his brother did were good. 3:13 Do not be surprised, my friends, if the world hates you. 3:14 We know that we have switched from death to life, because we love our fellow believers. People who do not love remain dead. 3:15 Whoever hates a fellow believer is a murderer, and you know that murderers do not have eternal life living in them.
3:16 We have known love, because he laid down his life for us. We should lay down our lives for our fellow believers. 3:17 How can the love of God be inside people who have plenty, but close their hearts against a fellow believer whom they can see is in need? 3:18 My children, let us not just love in words, or with our tongues, but with our actions and in truth. 3:19 By doing this we know that we are genuine, and can be confident in the presence of God, 3:20 even if we feel guilty, because God is greater than our emotions, and knows everything.
3:21 Friends, if our conscience is clear, we can be confident towards God, 3:22 and we receive anything that we ask from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. 3:23 His commandment is to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love each other, just as he instructed us. 3:24 People who obey his commandments live in him, and he lives in them. We know that he lives in us, because of the Spirit which he gave us.