Love

Love

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. 1 John 4:7-12 ESV

Reflection

  • Consider how God has loved you. What are some ways you can love the people around you this Christmas in a manner that reflects the way you have been loved by God?

Read the same passage in The Message and share any additional insights with your family:

My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can’t know him if you don’t love. This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God.

My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us—perfect love! 1 John 4:7-12 MSG

Download the IBF Advent Study 2016 as PDF

This study guide includes excerpts from the Advent 2016 study of Santa Barbara Community Church

2 Comments

  1. James Wiliams

    [John 14:2] “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him”
    “It is with a lot of awe and fear of God that we dare write here that even today there are Saints (that are alive today) who saw and see Christ in the Light, they converse with him, and stay in His Sight for days and even weeks. We have been blessed by God to personally meet such people who saw Christ in His Divine Light, who attest to the fact that Lord Jesus is a True God, the only Savior of man, our only hope for Eternal Life, our only way out of the dead end that we have reached”. (John 17:3) “And eternal life means knowing you (personally), the only true God, and knowing Jesus Christ, whom you send”
    Saint Gregorios (3rd century) description of his personal experience who saw Christ in His Divine Light is used as an example to describe how the Saints are able (became worthy), to see and know God in His Divine Glory.
    “UNDER CONDITIONS OF CONTINUED PRAYER AND UPWARD EXTENSION THAT HAVE AS CLIMAX THE UNION WITH GOD, MAN IS POSSESSED ENTIRELY FROM LIGHT OF DIVINE GLORY THAT IS SEND FOURTH ETERNALLY FROM THE TRIAD. AFTER THE MIND IS SEIZED FROM THE DIVINE LIGHT AND ENTERS THE LIGHT IT BECOMES ITS SELF-LIGHT. THUS LIKE LIGHT, IT SEES LIGHT”
    A notion, which Saint Symeon goes to great lengths to clarify in his writings, is the fact that the Divine Light is a Person. It is not simply a sensible radiance—an inanimate luminosity such as one might receive from a lamp, or from the sun. Rather the Divine Light is the very ‘Person’ of the Divinity Himself: it is not simply a product of God, it is God. “Your light, O my God, is You”, he writes, and to this point of emphasis he often returns. Saint Symeon is also known to emphasise in his teachings… “If we don’t see Lord Jesus from this here life…we will never see Him ever”!
    Paisios: A Saint of the greatness of the Apostles in the 20 century…

  2. James Wiliams

    Baptism
    The Church is not an human made organization, but a living god man organism that is Divine.(Α Colossians 1:18) “He is the head of his body, the Church; He is the source of the body’s life”
    http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/stjohn_church.aspx
    Baptism which in essence abolishes ALL SIN and at the same time UNITES MAN with creator God takes place because God is present in His Church as High Priest (Hebrews 5:5) with His Holy Sacrament of Baptism. (Galatians 3:27) “You were baptized into union with Christ, and now you are clothed, with the life of Christ himself” Baptism unites man with his Creator God, by restoring man to Gods likeness, (Holy) granting him this way the opportunity here on earth to achieve immortality, a life that is eternal, otherwise known as ETERNAL LIFE.
    Ierotheos Metropolitan of Naupaktos about Baptism
    “Through the “rite of birth in God”, holy baptism, man’s nous (mind) is illuminated, freed from slavery to sin and the devil, and is united with God. That is why baptism is called illumination. But after that, because of sin, the nous is again darkened and deadened. The patristic writings make it clear that every sin and every passion deadens the nous from being able to understand the type Spiritual Truths needed for Salvation.

    Video: An ordinary Orthodox Baptism.

    Two Catholics a man and woman decide to take the Orthodox Baptism. The man did not want -water Baptism- but he only wanted to be read the blessing. A surprise waits the photographer after looking at the pictures. The video has Greek subtitles however -the pictures- will tell the whole story

    Respectfully James Wiliams

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