“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.” (I John 4:7)
I really love this next section from I John. I John 4:7-11 is a paragraph of Scripture that I’ve committed to memory and quote frequently when I preach and teach on the love of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In fact, this section contains my favorite word in the Bible: propitiation.
I John 4; 7 sets the scene and tone for what is to follow. It contains propositional truth along with personal promises from God.
The verse begins with the Apostle John’s frequent term of endearment to those to whom he is writing: “Beloved.” How fitting to write about the love of God to those who have received and who God has graced with His love.
Immediately following this term of endearment, John says, “let us love one another.” This is a present active plea from an apostle to a congregation of believers. It is not a command but rather a fervent request that from their hearts they would display a self-sacrificial love of the will towards fellow believers in Christ.
Why are believers to love in such a fashion? John gives us the reason when he writes, “for love is from God.” The reason John gives us for loving in such a way is because self-sacrificial love of the will originates from and is sourced solely in the Lord.
John then gives us two promises based upon the preceding premise of loving fellow believers with God’s love: “and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.” Whoever loves in a self-sacrificial way gives testimony and evidence that God has regenerated their souls through the preaching of the Gospel and by the work of the Holy Spirit. Additionally, they give evidence that they personally know God.
Dr. Don Carson writes that, “John reinforces let us love one another with the reminder that love comes from God. Love, as Christians understand it, is not a human achievement; it is divine in origin, a gift from God. If anyone loves in this sense it shows that that person has been born of God and knows God.”
Do you love others in the way described in I John 4:7? If so, this is an evidence that you are a believer in Jesus Christ. If not, then examine whether you truly know the Lord Jesus as your Savior.
May the Lord’s truth and grace be found here.
Soli deo Gloria!