We Know God by Knowing Love – 1 John 4 – part 1

The 4th chapter of 1 John has a lot to say about love.  This is a theme that is repeated throughout 1 John.  It is evidently important.  In this post, I want to talk about verses 7-11.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this 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 also ought to love one another.  1 John 4:7-11

Note what verse 7 and 8 say about love.  We are called to love one another and in doing so we better understand God, since God is love.  Learning to love as He loves puts us in touch with God.  Let that sink in a moment.  Our love for one another is directly tied to our relationship with God.  This also provides a criteria for knowing that we know God.  If we do not love our brethren with this love, we are not of God and do not know Him.

The origin of this love is God Himself.  He is not just described as One who loves.  “God is love.”  (Click on the tag “God is Love.” in the cloud on the right side of this page to read other posts about this topic.)

Verse 9 tells us that He demonstrated His love toward us in the sending of Jesus into the world.  This culminated in His crucifixion and resurrection, but we should not miss the fact that it was through the life He lived among humans that He demonstrated Love in everyday living.  All of this was worked out knowing how He would be treated and for a humanity that did not love Him.  That is agape love.

Now look at verse 11.   “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”  If we are moved by His love for us, how can we not commit to love one another?

We see in verses 7 and 8 that this love comes from God, but it is not automatic.  Verse 11 makes it clear that we are instructed to learn this love.  It is not optional.

What do you think?

There is much more in this and the next chapter on love.

Until next time…


This entry was posted in A Loving God, Love in Action, Loving One Another and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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