Conquered By Love (1 John 3)
Our main problem before coming to Christ is that we are outside of God’s love and God’s love is outside of us. The light of divine love has not pierced our hearts. Our lack of love has affected all avenues of our existence; our words, thoughts, and actions are all manifest symptoms of our deficiency in love. We may have passion, infatuation, self-love, or lust, but these are all selfish and twisted counterfeits. Our sins continually drive the nails into the hands and feet of Jesus, the image of divine love. Without God’s love, all we can do is sin; but our sins separate us from God, who is love. We desperately need Someone to step in and break the cycle!
If we come to the cross, we may find beauty in the sacrifice of Jesus. But if we come a little closer, we will find that we ourselves are the brutes who put Him there! He died on the tree for you and me, to pay for our countless words, actions, and thoughts of loveless rebellion. And yet, if we dare to move even closer, as God desires, we will find that we are set free by this love which persists and persists despite how we drove the nails further and further. Who will win the fight between the persistent power of our sin and the power of Jesus’ death on the cross? If we keep going to the cross and do not run from Jesus, the love of God will conquer us. Go to Jesus, expose yourself to the light of His love, and let Him break the power of sin in you.
“Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him, and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God” (1 John 3:9). Here, the word for “cannot” does not suggest impossibility, but rather a lack of power or strength. The born-again person is no longer powerful to keep sinning. There is a stronger force in his heart that conquers the power of sin, and that is the love of God! We lose our grip on the hammer, and we stop driving the nails. We weep as we find that the One we crucified is the very One whose love zaps our strength to sin.
If we are born of God, then “the love of God is poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Romans 5:5). His love now flows from our hearts out into all avenues of our existence. This may begin in an instant, but growth can take time. Love is a fruit of the Spirit, so “bear fruit with patience” (Luke 8:15). You will be tempted, and it is even possible to stumble, but if you do, the seed of God’s love and truth is now in you. And it picks you up off the ground, dusts you off, and cries out in your heart, “I must not continue in this; I will overcome in Jesus’ Name.” And you will, because of the conquering love that lives in your heart.
The Rock Church