The Book of 1st John
Additional Study
4:7-5:4 "The Love of God"


J. Deering,



"The Love of God."
1 John 4:7-5:4


Part 1 – God and Sacrificial Love

1 John 4:7-11


7  Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8  The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9  By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10  In this is love, not that we 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.


Six Greek words generally translated into English as "love"


So the New Testament really only speaks of two kinds of love, Agape and Philia. And then Philia is used is to designate a distinction to point out that someone likes verses loves.

So what's the point here? What's the big deal about love if love just means love.

It's not about us, it's about HIM (God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit)

Paul is pointing out the biblical truth that true love comes about as part of the process of loving God. God's love spreads back through each believer to the members of the body of Christ – but only when empowered by God.

God's love is of a certain type. It is recognized as that kind of love whereby God would love us in such a way as to give His only unique son as a sacrifice on our behalf.

That then is the way we are to reflect His love towards other members of the body of Christ – through sacrificial love – for each other.

Verse 8 says that if you don't sacrificially love each other, you don't know God.

In verse 9 tells us that sacrificially loving each other is the way we demonstrate that we have life in God. If we do not sacrificially love each other then His love is not in us…

Verse 10
His love is again defined as what He as done. On behalf of mankind, God the Father sent God the Son to pay the price for the agrivated offenses of man against God, to dying in every man's place as payment for man's sin. Since man's offenses are eternal in nature, eternal God must pay the price for forgiveness. Because of what Jesus Christ did on the cross God is said to be "Propitious." God stands ready to receive human beings into His family as adopted sons, with SIN OFF THE TABLE, IF man would choose to believe and give God the Glory which is rightfully His. We can say that God is Mercyful, Graceful, or Satisfied (Propitiation) by what Christ has done.

Verse 11 is the crux of John's dialog – Because God has done this, Because Jesus has done this, should not we act accordingly. The Son of God died personally an eternal death for Jim Deering – should not you love Jim Deering? Or Walter, or Nova, etc…. And not with just any love, but with sacrificial love = equal in quality to how God has loved you.


Part 2 – John the Evangelist

1 John 4:12-16


12  No one has beheld God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. 13  By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 14  And we have beheld and bear witness that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. 15  Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16  And we have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.


Verse 12
John shocks us – No one has seen God apart from Jesus Christ – but HE IS LIVING IN YOU – HE IS PERFECTING HIS LOVE IN YOU – IF WE LOVE ONE ANOTHER. If you are not loving each other – with His kind of love, then perhaps He does not live in you, and you ought to fix that!

Verse 13
Again John shocks us – IS HIS SPIRIT WORKING ON YOUR SPIRIT EVERY DAY? If His Spirit is not working on your spirit every day, if you have no testimony that He is in your life THEN PERHAPS HE IS NOT THERE, and you ought to fix that!

Verse 14
Do you believe that God the Father sent Jesus the Son of God to become the savior of the world. God is propitious – He has done everything He can do for the whole world through Jesus Christ. Each individual only needs to turn to Him and give himself over to Him by believing.


Part 3 – Hard Words for Hard Hearts

1 John 4:17-21


17  By this, love is perfected with us, that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. 18  There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. 19  We love, because He first loved us. 20  If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21  And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.


The Body of Christ is not just your immediate Christian friends
The Body of Christ is not just your Sunday School class
The Body of Christ is not just your Church
The Body of Christ is not just believers in your town or city
The Body of Christ is not just Baptists
The Body of Christ is not just Treasure Coast, or Southern Baptist Convention, or Americans – Do you SACRIFICIALLY Love Them?



1.     Do you KNOW Sacrificial Love for the members of the Body of Christ?
2.     Do you KNOW God is living within because of the testimony of the Holy Spirit that your kind of love is a Sacrificial Love for the members of the Body of Christ?


Then "by this" Love is perfected IN US, and we can have confidence in the day of judgment – The Great White Throne Judgment – Not for Believers? That's John's Point. If you are not loving after the manner in which He loved you – then perhaps you will be present at the Great White Throne Judgment.


Because, if we are in Him, "as He is, so also are we" in this world.


Verse 18
Again he hits us. There is not fear in love, but the one who fears … is not perfected.


Verse 19-21

You can't hate your brother in Christ and love God. (Hate, not sacrificing your life on behalf of your brothers and sisters in Christ)


The one who loves God is loving his brother and sister in Christ.


Part 4 – John's Call of Committment

1 John 5:1-4


5:1  Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God; and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him. 2  By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments. 3  For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome. 4  For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world-- our faith.


Verse 1-2


        Then we KNOW that we love the Children of God

        Then we love the child born of God
        Then we KNOW that we believe that Jesus is the Christ


Verse 3


That we KEEP His commandments

        Love the Lord God with All your Heart

        Love your Fellow Member of the Body of Christ as you love yourself.

His commandments are not burdensome – Matthew 11:28-30  Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.


Verse 4

4  For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world-- our faith.