Who is Jesus? How does the reality of who he is impact the way we live? What would Jesus do in these uncertain times? John experienced similar questions and concerns during his lifetime. Near the end of his life, he finds himself exiled on the island of Patmos and receives this vision in Revelation 1:4-6, 17a,

“…from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings on earth. To him who loves and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen… When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, ‘Fear not…'”


Jesus loves his people. When John encounters Jesus, his initial response is fear. Fear is a common response to the divine in Scripture! God’s people should rightfully fear him (see Psalm 111:10 and Proverbs 9:10). However, God’s people receive the response, “Fear not” (see Genesis 15:1, Daniel 10:12, and Luke 1:30)! Earlier in his ministry, John writes, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18a). If perfect love casts away fear, then what is love? Again, John answers the age old question in 1 John 4:8,

“Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”


Love has always been hard to define apart from God. Is it a feeling? Is it an emotion? Is it an action? Or is it more? In fact, the responses of feeling, emotion, action, etc. issue from the acceptance or rejection of perfect love. The ancient Greeks employed many terms attempting to describe love including: “Eros” (sensual or romantic love), “Storge” (familial or natural love), “Philos” (brotherly love), and “Agape” (godly love). While many aspects of love exist, only one definition can be given: God. Creation cannot define love; only the Creator defines love. Perfect love satisfies the soul and that satisfaction is God himself. John Piper writes, “God doesn’t have ultimate satisfaction in us; we have ultimate satisfaction in him.” 1 John 4:9 continues,

“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.”


God’s love (as Creator) is displayed to us (as his creation) through the giving of his son, Jesus Christ, to cover our sins (see Genesis 3 and John 3:16). God isn’t just the definition of love; his love pours forth to restore his creation. This display of love allows believers to take on an identity of restoration. Revelation 12:11 declares, “And they have conquered him [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.” This testimony wouldn’t happen without the undeserving blood of Jesus! 1 John 4:10 reads,

“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.”


Thank God love is not based on our own merit! History shows us we will always mess everything up. Just turn on the tv, browse the internet, or look at your phone. Or maybe not. Wayne Grudem concludes, “Every part of our being is affected by sin–our intellects, our emotions and desires, our hearts (the center of our desires and decision-making processes), our goals and motives, and even our physical bodies.” We need a Savior! This propitiation, or satisfaction of God’s wrath toward sin, is taken on in love by Christ himself (2 Corinthians 5:21). He saves us by grace alone through faith alone for his glory alone (Ephesians 2:1-9). We don’t deserve it, but he freely offers it (1 John 1:9). However, his love demands a response (see John 3:36 and Ephesians 2:10). 1 John 4:11-12 challenges,

“Beloved, if God so loved us, we 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.”


Just as God displayed his love by giving his only Son, we display the love of God by how we love one another. God’s two greatest commands to his people were to Love God and Love People (see Matthew 22:35-40, Mark 12:28-34, and Luke 10:27). Paul writes in Romans 12:9-10, “Let love [agape] be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love [philostorgos] one another with brotherly affection.” In these verses we see godly love, agape, is the basis for how we love one another as his people by way of philostorgos, a combination of natural, familial love with brotherly love. This means we love each other as we are family. Love is the mark of Christianity. It’s what defines us. It’s what we do. It’s who we worship! Restoration is here. His name is Jesus. Follow Love today!

#RestorationIsHere #JESUSis

  • Written by: Dean Ross (11/13/20)
  • This blog is part 4 of 7 based on the “Jesus Is…” series by Family Church NOLA. For more resources visit: http://www.JoinTheFamily.Church
  • John Piper quote taken from an interview entitled “What Is Love?” (7/28/15) archived on
  • Wayne Grudem quote taken from his book “Systematic Theology: An Introduction To Biblical Doctrine” (Zondervan, 1994, pg.497)
  • All scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (Crossway)