Inspirational, Uplifting and Encouraging Bible Verses: : Love is the Answer, Love One Another; 1 John 3:16
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 1 John 3:16 NIV
The Bible tells us that Jesus, out of love for His own, died for us.
Immediate question, buying into, for the moment, that He was as claimed to be, the fleshly embodiment of God, thus co-Creator of all that is, including us: Why would He go about the following sequence of operations?
- Create us, with the propensity to sin.
- Watch us sin.
- Demand punishment in the form of blood sacrifice for that sin.
- Take the hit for us in order to compensate.
Why not forego the whole sin thing in the first place? Create us with the desire to be obedient and do right. Much cleaner solution. We and our world would be in much better shape. Much better.
Assuming again, for the moment and for the sake of discussion that scripture is accurate and true, I can’t say for sure. But what I have gathered from scripture and experienced in life:
I, as a parent, desire more than anything, to have a genuine relationship with my kids. In order to establish and achieve that end, I have come to an understanding that relationship by definition implies a two way desire to participate. That desire requires an exercise of free will on both ends. Free will, then, is an essential ingredient. Otherwise the relationship would not exist.
It is much the same way, maybe, with God. We might be born then, as prospective children, dependent on our desire to know Him. Let’s assume He is fair, just and loves us. We might then conclude everyone would be given the same opportunity to know Him. That goes for Tom who is born in the Bible belt, and Dick who was born X years ago in some far off place where there were no Bibles and a religious system was in place that had nothing to do with Jesus. Some might say, I guess from a Calvinistic standpoint, luck of the draw is God’s providence. I for one do not. Rather, perhaps, and supported by the context of scripture, desire to know Him and respond might be a function of revelation given to the prospective child. In one extreme case, we have Tom born in the Bible belt. As scripture has been revealed in full to Him, he might be expected to respond to it. In the other speculative extreme, maybe the only revelation afforded would be creation that lies before those in that place and time: sun, moon, starts, animals of all sorts…..etc. The beauty that it entails. On the other hand, perhaps He has, over time, utilized more direct forms of revelation depending on what the situation required. I don’t know.
All that said, look now to the second part of the verse. Jesus said, to paraphrase, we can cover all of His commandments with one: by looking upon and treating each other with love. In effect, “lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters”. I see the “Coexist” bumper stickers, which imply that directive. Act in love, which means being nice even when others are not so nice back. That seems like a good place to start no matter what one might believe (or not), and imparts a challenge in specific to one who does happen to believe in and on Christ: If He is real, act like Him.