All of Christ for All of Life
Grace Alone, Faith Alone, Christ Alone

22 June 2020 – 1 John 4:7-12

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have 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. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. – 1 John 4:7-12

The statement that “God is love” is one of the best known verses even among people who are not Bible-readers.

Karen Jobes writes:

Although this biblical statement is so well known by those outside the Christian church, it is also largely, and sometimes grossly, misunderstood, for love is distorted and misunderstood in our society. Ask someone on the street what love is, and you’re likely to get a variety of answers. “Love is a feeling,” some may say. “Love is a commitment.” “Love is a sexual relationship.” “Love is sharing.” “Love is an orientation.” Or perhaps, “Love is an abstraction that is hard to define, but you’ll know it when you see it.” Proper interpretation requires allowing John to define what he means by love. Proper theology means rooting the definition in God’s authority.

If all the Law and the Prophets can be summed up by two commands, to love God and love others as you love yourself, then a biblical definition has to do with right behavior in relationships. How does one express love for God? John tells us that love for God means keeping His commands (5:2; 2 John 6), which involves how we treat one another (1 John 4:20-21). How we treat one another rightly is defined by Jesus’ interpretation of the OT moral law, as giving in Matthew 5 and His self-giving demonstration of love on the cross. Thus, John presupposes that his message will be read, not using the world’s definitions but within the contexts of the greater biblical discussions that define love.

MEMORY WORK – Shorter Catechism Q/A 85
Q. 85. What doth God require of us that we may escape his wrath and curse due to us for sin?
A. To escape the wrath and curse of God due to us for sin, God requireth of us faith in Jesus Christ, repentance unto life, with the diligent use of all the outward means whereby Christ communicateth to us the benefits of redemption.