TEXT: 1 John 4:7-21
7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.
14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.
15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
19 We love him, because he first loved us.
20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.
Thomas Fuller said, “If God should have no more mercy on us than we have charity to one another, what would become of us?”
In our last group of messages in this series, we looked at how we ought to love our fellow Christians. Those who claim to be Christians but hate others may think they are walking in the light of God, but they are actually walking in darkness. A chapter later, John returns to the topic of loving others. Let’s begin looking at what the Bible Knowledge Commentary has to say about this passage: “The writer now returned to the subject of love which, like faith in God’s Son, is a product of the Spirit. As a confession of the incarnate person of Christ marks one off as being actuated by God so does love, since love comes from God. Hence, one who loves (in the Christian sense of that term) has been born of God and he knows God. Love stems from a regenerate nature and also from fellowship with God which issues in knowing Him. The absence of love is evidence that a person does not know God. Significantly, John did not say such a person is not born of God. In the negative statement only the last part of the positive one is repeated. Since God is love, intimate acquaintance with Him will produce love. Like light, love is intrinsic to the character and nature of God, and one who is intimately acquainted with God walks in His light. If one wishes to know how God has demonstrated His love, he need only look at the fact that God sent His One and only Son into the world that we might obtain eternal life thereby. Moreover, this love was not a response to man’s love, but an initiative on God’s part. By it the Son became an atoning Sacrifice for our sins. Nothing less than God’s love in Christ is the model for the love Christians should have toward one another.”
Notice three points from this passage:
First, love is of God, and God is love. This does not mean that “love is God” but rather that God defines love. Love is not a human emotion, but a divine one. We have the capacity to love because God created us in His image. In fact, this passage tells us that anyone who loves is of God. This is because true love comes only from God, not from humanity. The ultimate show of God’s love was of course the sending of Jesus Christ to die on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins to save us from hell. The spirit of God will naturally foster love in those He dwells in. The essence of God’s being is love, and all His works are brought forth out of that love. Alongside traits like holiness and omnipotence, love is the essential characteristic of God.
Second, those who do not love are not of God. The Bible tells us that God is love. Therefore, whoever does not love is opposed to God. Someone who is note moved to love others does not know God. He does not have the Spirit dwelling in Him. It is important to note that much of what is called love in our world is not the true holy love of God. There are many people who would say they are in love with each other, but it is only a love motivated by carnal lust and fleeting emotion rather than the lasting love of God.
Third, God’s love constrains us also to love. God sent His only begotten Son Jesus Christ to die for us as the ultimate expression of His love. Those of us who claim to be Christians must work to reflect that Godly love in our own lives. Since God loved humans enough to die for them, we also ought to love our fellow man with a self-sacrificial love. The example that God set ought to bind us as His children to follow in the pathway of His love.
John Greenleaf Whittier wrote:
Fold to your heart your sister and your brother:
where pity dwells, the peace of God is there;
to worship rightly and to love each other,
each smile a hymn, each kindly deed a prayer.
For he whom Jesus loved has truly spoken:
the holier worship which he deigns to bless
restores the lost, and binds the spirit broken,
and feeds the widow and the fatherless.
Follow with reverent steps the great example
of him whose holy work was doing good:
so shall the wide earth seem our father’s temple,
each loving life a psalm of gratitude.
If you are a Christian listening today, here are three things you need to do:
1. Confess and repent of your own sins. You already know what they are.
2. Pray for your brothers and sisters in Christ to repent of their sins and get back to their first love
3. Pray for souls to be saved, and do your part by witnessing to the lost.
Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please email that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.