God Is Love

by Ronnie Hewitt

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His One and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. (1John 4:7-11)
John’s emphasis on love among the people of God (shown in passages like 1JN 2:9-11; 1JN 3:10-18 and in the above passage) is powerful. Here he shows why it is so important. If love is of God, then those who claim to be born of God, and claim to know God, must be able to love one another.
John insists that there is something that is given to the believer when they are born of God; a love is imparted to their life that they did not have before. Christians are not “just forgiven”—they are born anew by God’s Spirit.
So, we find here the call to love one another woven together with that love’s foundation in God’s prior action for us in the Son. Confession of faith and love for one’s brothers and sisters in the church are inseparably joined together. Verse 11 should come as no surprise: from the certainty of God’s love for us comes the call to love one another.
The love that John speaks of comes from the Greek “agape.” It is the concept of a self-giving love that gives without demanding or expecting repayment—it is God’s kind of love.
To love one another is the command of God. It is His revealed will, and is well pleasing in His sight. It comes from Him, is a gift of His grace, and a fruit of His Spirit, of which He teaches and expects His people to exercise in their daily lives.