“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.” (I John 4:9)
God used specific and particular means to manifest His love to those who He would redeem, justify, reconcile and adopt as His children. The method by which God revealed His love to us was pure, holy and ordained by Him.
The phrase “in this” refers to the means by which God manifested His love. The love of God is His self-sacrificial love of the will which originates and is solely sourced in Him.
The word “manifested” (ἐφανερώθη; ephanerothe) means to make plain, to reveal clearly and in detail. God chose to make plain and to reveal to us His love. He did so in great detail. What is the specific way in which chose to reveal His love?
The text says “that God sent His only Son into the world.” The verb “sent” (ἀπέσταλκεν; apestalken) means to send someone out with a particular message and with a particular purpose. God the Father sent Jesus Christ the Son to come to this world for the expressed purpose of delivering sinners from the penalty, power and presence of sin.
The phrase “only Son (μονογενῆ υἱὸν; monogene huion) means to be unique and the only One in a particular class or classification. Dr. John MacArthur explains that, “John always uses it of Christ to picture his unique relationship to the Father, his pre-existence, and his distinctness from creation. The term emphasizes the uniqueness of Christ, as the only one of his kind. It was he whom the Father sent into the world as the greatest gift ever given (John 17:3; 2 Cor. 8:9) so that we might have life eternal (cf. John 3:14–15; 12:24).”
The word “world” (κόσμον; kosmon) is not just the inhabited earth but also a system of thought and behavior which is in opposition to and rebellious against the One, True God of the Bible. It is into this world, dominated by the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life (I John 2:15-17) that God sent His Son.
The purpose of this mission and sending was so that believing sinners would find life in the Son. To live means to be spiritually alive in Christ and joined to God the Father by the person and work of Christ through the work of the Holy Spirit.
Galatians 4:1-7 says, “I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything, 2 but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. 3 In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. 4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.”
What a blessing to know that God sent Jesus Christ His Son to this world on your behalf. Take time today to thank for this indescribable gift.
May the Lord’s truth and grace be found here.
Soli deo Gloria!