II. GOD’S PREDESTINATION OF US UNTO THE DIVINE SONSHIP
God’s predestination of us unto the divine sonship was motivated by the divine love. Ephesians 1:4-5 says that God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world "to be holy and without blemish before Him in love, predestinating us unto sonship." The phrase in love can be joined with the phrase predestinating us unto sonship. God predestinated us unto sonship in love. John 3:16 says that God so loved the world. He loved us before the foundation of the world.
III. GOD’S GIVING OF HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON TO US BEING MOTIVATED BY THE DIVINE LOVE
God’s giving of His only begotten Son to us that we may be saved from perdition judicially through His death and have the eternal life organically in His resurrection was motivated by the divine love (John 3:16; 1 John 4:9-10). John 3:16 is strengthened by two verses from John’s first Epistle—4:9 and 10. First John 4:10 says that God sent His Son to us as a propitiation for our sins. This is judicial through His death. Verse 9 says that God sent His Son to us that we may have life and live through Him. This is organic in His resurrection. John 3:16 should be read with 1 John 4:9-10.
IV. GOD’S LOVE BEING THE SOURCE
God’s love is the source of the grace of Christ dispensed to us through the fellowship of the Spirit (2 Cor. 13:14). This is for us to enjoy the processed and consummated Triune God.
V. GOD’S LOVE MOTIVATING US TO LOVE OUR ENEMIES
God’s love motivates us, His children, to love our enemies that we may be perfect as He is; He loves the fallen human race, who became His enemies, by causing His sun (signifying Christ) to rise on the evil and the good indiscriminately and sending rain (signifying the Spirit) on the just and the unjust equally; thus, we may become the sons of the heavenly Father who are sanctified from the tax collectors and the Gentiles (Matt. 5:43-48). The entire human race became His enemies, but God still loves the human race. If God sent Christ to us with discrimination, we would be disqualified from receiving His salvation. He causes His sun to rise first on the evil and then on the good without discrimination.
We should be like God in our love for others. The tax collectors love only those who love them. The Lord said, "If you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?" (v. 46). If we love only those who love us, we are of the same species as the tax collectors. But we are of the super, divine species, so we love the evil ones, our enemies, as well as the good ones. This shows how God as love prevails.
The vital groups should be groups that are prevailing. A proof that our vital group is prevailing is that we love people without any discrimination. Some Christian co-workers may feel that we should let certain persons suffer eternal perdition. They may say that they would not love certain persons, such as bank robbers. But while Christ was being crucified on the cross, two robbers were crucified with Him (Matt. 27:38). One of them said, "Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom" (Luke 23:42). Jesus said to him, "Truly I say to you, Today you shall be with Me in Paradise" (v. 43). The first one saved by Christ through His crucifixion was not a gentleman, but a criminal, a robber, sentenced to death. This is very meaningful.
VI. LOVE BUILDS UP
First Corinthians 8:1b says, "Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up." Teaching without love may puff us up. We may listen to the messages of the ministry and become puffed up with mere knowledge. This does not build up. Love builds up.
(The Vital Groups, Chapter 8, by Witness Lee)