Title: Ruth 4:8-12. Final chapter - Our home with Christ in the word “abide” - graciousness in goods and truth.
This study has come from the blessings bestowed upon Boaz from the court.
1JO 3:16 We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
1JO 3:17 But whoever has the world's goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?
They are called the world’s goods because they are of the earth, food, clothing, money, shelter, etc. What is of God is the love. Certainly, God owns all of the world’s goods, but they are all destined to perish.
As the Lord said, food goes into the body and is eliminated. He said that it is not what goes into a man that defiles a man, but what comes out of his mouth, for what comes out of his mouth comes from his heart.
The Pharisees were upset that the disciples were not following their hand washing rituals before they ate. They thought that failing to wash defiled them when the Lord said that all defilement comes from within a man’s heart.
Goods are from the earth and subject to decay and destruction, but the heart belongs to God. He demands that it has His love.
In this passage, the one without the love of God, closes his heart, and so the love of God is not in his heart. That defiles the man.
When the love of God abides in a believer’s heart he is gracious.
Another great paragraph on agape love is written by Paul in Rom 12.
ROM 12:9 Let love be without hypocrisy [not in word only]. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.
ROM 12:10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor;
ROM 12:11 not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;
ROM 12:12 rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer,
ROM 12:13 contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.
ROM 12:14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and curse not.
ROM 12:15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.
ROM 12:16 Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation.
ROM 12:17 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men.
ROM 12:18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.
ROM 12:19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord.
ROM 12:20 "But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head."
ROM 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
The born-again believer has been designed for gracious giving. The flesh will wince in fear at such graciousness, but you tell him/her to get back in the tomb and give blessedly and unreservedly.
1JO 3:24 And the one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And we know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.
The Holy Spirit bears witness with our Spirit that we are children of God.
The principle of this section is self-explanatory and has been repeated. Abiding in Christ is a command. The one who keeps His commands abides in Him.
Also, the Holy Spirit will reveal to us that He abides in us. He will do so in a supernatural way, and knowing that He indwells us, it is without doubt that His life is our only option.
1JO 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
1JO 4:12 No one has beheld God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.
Now that Christ sits in heaven, God is revealed through the love of believers.
No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten God, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.
Christ is still explaining Himself, but now He is doing so through the church, through each individual believer. We are witnesses of Him and ambassadors for Him.
The love of God displayed in His people is the strongest apologetic that God has in the world. If they are perfect as their heavenly Father is perfect, MAT 5:48 (extraordinary in the love of God), then they are the revealers of God.
Our witness is the love of God in us. That love will be graced with the words of the gospel, the invitation to all men to be saved by the Savior of the world, vv. 13-15.
1JO 4:13 By this [our love for one another] we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.
1JO 4:14 And we have beheld and bear witness that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.
1JO 4:15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.
What a wonderful privilege it is to be free and to be able to invite other captives to be free. We will be persecuted for it, but the souls of those who will believe are far more important than our personal comfort. Let them persecute. We will love them.