7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 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
We have been learning about love for a while now. As we saw, since the fall of man, the God given ability to love has been replaced with selfishness and deceit. Last week, we studied the differences between human love and the divine Agape love.
Today let’s take a look at one very popular statement which is associated closely with the concept of love.
GOD IS LOVE – CONTEXT
God is love.
I bet you have heard this line being quoted and misquoted left, right and center.
We need to understand the context in which this statement (verse 8 above) has been made in the passage.
1) RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS CHRIST
The Bible says in verse 7 above that, ‘…and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God’. This verse implies that our ability to love comes out of a relationship with Jesus. It’s not something that we can cough up naturally. When we believe Jesus as our Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit pours God’s love into our hearts.
2) KNOWLEDGE OF GOD
Verse 8 says, ‘He who does not love does not know God’. There might be people who bear Christian names and hail from Christian backgrounds and yet not even remotely have God’s love in them. The Bible says that those who have God’s love in them can definitely be identified as His children. Or in other words, our love is a litmus test to know whether we are the children of God or not.
3) GOD IS LOVE
It is in this context that the Bible says in verse 8, ‘He who does not love does not know God, for God is love’. Our knowledge of and relationship with Jesus necessitates Godly love because God is love.
4) PROOF OF DIVINE LOVE
Verses 9 and 10 say that, ‘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’. We are told that the proof of the divine love is in Jesus Christ having become a sacrifice for our sins.
…to be continued…