Tag Archives: God is Love

By This We Know: Living Love Manifests God to Others – 1 John 4

I think that, from time to time, every Christian faces the challenge of assurance in their relationship with God.  Circumstances in our lives might lead us to wonder about our closeness to Him and question whether we are indeed maturing in our faith.  This is one of the reasons that 1 John was written.  Notice how many times the phrase “by this we know…” is included.  There are specific things at which we can look to truly assess our relationship with Him.

This part of 1 John 4 includes an opportunity to assess our relationship with Him.  This is the passage I want to consider:

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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

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Love in Action – 1 John – part 4

The first 3 posts in this series looked at the first 2 chapters of 1 John.  There are several more places in the last 3 chapters of this letter that talk about love, with several repeated themes.  I want to focus on the beginning of chapter 3 in this post.

But first, I would suggest that you take a couple of minutes to reread the epistle of 1 John.  It will only take a couple of minutes.  I’ll wait.

Now let’s look at the beginning of chapter 3.

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Love Never Fails – 1 Corinthians 13


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For the last 14 posts I have been studying and discussing the detailed description of love provided for us in 1 Corinthians 13.  This “agape” love that is described there is the love that we, as disciples of Jesus, are expected to live.  This is mentioned many times in 1 John and other places.  This is the love God possesses (John 3:16, for example) and that we see modeled for us throughout scripture and, most specifically, in Jesus’ life on earth, culminating in His crucifixion and resurrection.

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God is Love – part 2


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One of the most famous verses in the New Testament also tells us a lot about God’s love.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

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God is Love – part 1


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There are some powerful phrases in 1 John 4 that are important for our understanding of love in our relationship with God and each other.   “…God is love” (v. 8, 16) and “...love is of God” (v. 7) are expressions that carry great significance for us.  The more I have thought and studied about these short phrases, the more impressed I have been with what they claim.  I have found it challenging to get my head around the impact of these statements for anyone seeking to be a disciple of Jesus.

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The Realization of the Story of God’s Love – the New Testament


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God’s love is seen throughout the bible.  As noted in 1 John, love is the essence of God’s nature.  When we get to the New Testament we see the culmination of the scheme of redemption, which is the ultimate manifestation of God’s love.  That event was set in place before time began, (1 Peter 1:18-20) and prophesied for millennia.  God lived as a human, sacrificed Himself for humanity and conquered death itself, ascending to His throne.

So, it is no surprise that so much is recorded in the New Testament about His love.  Here are some examples that speak of God’s love.

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Let’s Start Here – a framework for the study of God’s love


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Learning is often unpredictable and can lead in unexpected directions.  I guess that is the nature of learning.  I propose this outline as a guide to get started.

  • God Loves
    • This is familiar to a student of the bible.  We see examples of God’s love throughout His word.
  • God Is Love
    • This is very different and important in understanding what love is.  For me, this is a more challenging concept to get my mind around.
  • Abiding in His Love
    • The essence of what He wants of and for us
      • Love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength
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Learning God’s Love. Where should I start?


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So , where do I start?  As I mentioned in the last post, the essence of knowing about God, what He expects of us and so much more, is LOVE.  We need to understand love.  There is no shortage of sources willing to tell us about love.  In fact, the multitude of voices from books, organizations, movies, culture, popular media and endless other places speaking about love is noisy, confusing and full of contradictions.  The word “love” is used to mean almost anything.  To rephrase an old proverb, that which means too much, comes to mean nothing at all.  I would not presume to speak for Satan, but could this be his work?  From the scriptures mentioned in my last post, an understanding of love is needed to know God and to be His disciple.  If the meaning of love is lost in confusion, it is a victory for Satan.  Is it any wonder that so many people have given up in frustration or resolved to carry on with what seems good, until something else that seems better comes along?

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