1 John 4:7-21
Love may be the most misunderstood thing in the world. It is something we all desire and desperately seek to find. In this passage of Scripture, our Lord describes for us perfect love. May He quicken our minds to understand and our hearts to demonstrate perfect love.
The Bible says in 1 John 4:7-21,
“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God...He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love...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...Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins...Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another...No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us...Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit...And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world... Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God...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...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...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...We love him, because he first loved us...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?...And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.”
The classic passage of Scripture on love is found in 1 Corinthians 13, but for many studious Christians, this portion of 1 John is the exemplary passage in the Bible on love. Pay special attention to an expression in the 18th verse, “perfect love.” By the very nature of this expression, we can be dealing with no other love than the love of God.
Remember, we read in 1 John 3:1, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us.” What kind of love is this? It is perfect love. John, under the inspiration of the Spirit of God, is talking about the love of God, and he writes of “perfect love.”
When the Bible declares 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,” it is speaking of perfect love. In this passage of 1 John 4, we are dealing with perfect love.
Consider the Person of this love. The Bible says in 1 John 4:7-8, “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God...He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” The person of this perfect love is God. In other words, this love begins with God and it is shed abroad in our hearts. The love that God expects from us is not an emotional expression that we have when we have empathy for someone; the love that God expects from us is the love He has imparted to us in the Person of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who indwells us by His Holy Spirit. He says to us that this love of God is shed abroad in our hearts and is to be demonstrated to all people (Romans 5:5).
Remember, loving someone means desiring the best for that person. There is no better thing we could desire for anyone than for that person to know the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour. The greatest desire we could have for others is a desire that they truly know Christ. There is nothing greater. It is the work of every one of God’s children to seek the salvation of other people. In doing so, we are showing the love of God.
When God blessed my wife and me with 4 children, we wanted them to grow up to be fine Christian people. But most of all, we wanted them to know the Lord Jesus as their Saviour and become true followers of Him.
We cannot force salvation on anyone. The greatest weapon we have is the weapon of prayer. Then we can use our influence as we live for God in a joyous way to speak to people about the Lord Jesus Christ. I think many people have a testimony “in word only.” They can tell you the way of salvation, but there is nothing for others to desire in the salvation they are living.
God loves the vilest person just as much as He loves the most tender person who serves Him and loves Him. We are capable of loving others because Jesus Christ has come to live in us. God lives in us; He indwells those who have come to know Him as Saviour. If you are not a person who loves others, you are giving evidence that you do not know God.
The Bible says in 1 John 4:8-9, “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love...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.” God sent His Son.
We believe in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. We believe that God the Son became a man without ceasing to be God. He came to dwell among us; He lived a sinless life and paid our sin debt on the cross. He died and rose from the dead.
“But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another” — 1 Thessalonians 4:9-10