God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. – 1 John 4:16–21
Colin Kruse writes:
The connection between love for God and love for Christian brothers and sisters which was explained in 4:20 in terms of the nature of the experience of the unseen God is now shown to be the subject of the command of God as well: And He has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brothers. Here the author picks up a major theme from the Last Supper discourse in the Fourth Gospel, where Jesus stresses that His disciples’ love for Him must express itself in obedience to His command, and that His command is that they should love one another. The author’s purpose in picking up this theme here is to reassure his readers who did love their fellow believers that they really knew God, and to show them that the claims of the secessionists to know him were false.
MEMORY WORK – Shorter Catechism Q/A 107
Q. 107. What doth the conclusion of the Lord’s prayer teach us?
A. The conclusion of the Lord’s prayer, which is, For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever, Amen, teacheth us to take our encouragement in prayer from God only, and in our prayers to praise him, ascribing kingdom, power and glory to him. And in testimony of our desire, and assurance to be heard, we say, Amen.