Last night I read II and III John and was amazed at how many times the word ‘truth’ is used. John refers to ‘truth’ in one way or another 28 times in I, II, III John (all three contain 7 chapters in total). Another word quite frequently used by John is ‘love’. In all of John’s writings love and truth are interwoven throughout like a beautiful vibrant tapestry.
Recently I heard about someone reciting the pledge of allegiance and substituting the word ‘love’ for ‘God’. Are we ‘one nation under God’? The answer to that is: ‘probably not’. When someone says ‘one nation under love’, I have to ask: “How do you define love?” Where do we learn what love is? Where do we learn how to love one another?
I John 5:1-3 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
Love and truth are intimately intertwined for someone who believes in God. We don’t define love; God does. As I have been working through Genesis, I have realized even more emphatically, that God’s love permeates the whole Bible. Genesis is a foundational book for understanding the love of God. It has added a richness to reading things in the New Testament. The epistles of John are some of the last writings recorded in the Word of God. God is faithful to His Word throughout.
In I John 3:12, there is a reference to ‘the way of Cain’ from Genesis 4. Cain reinvented God’s word to suit his own thinking and lashed back at God in disagreement when confronted by God Himself. Cain’s brother Abel was annihilated in the process. This is not the way of love and truth.
In our modern times, this ‘reinventing’ of God happens more often than not. At present, there is a growing trend to see love as synonymous with ‘tolerance’. Tolerance may be involved as a part of loving someone, but ‘love’ is a much bigger word. We cannot redefine love outside of truth. In order to really love, we need to understand how God loves and believe that He can work in us. We get that understanding by delving into God’s Word. It is the truth that manifests love and sets us free and then we can truly help others.