Love made earth. Or what can prize that Thy most precious blood?1 [Note: Spenser.]. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. The light is dim, and as you pass you see they are carrying one poor patient out of the common ward, and you know they are carrying him where he may die alone, without disturbing the others; and then, when you go out into the open air, and the light and shine of the sun, and feel the spring of health in your limbs, the simple thought that you are well thrills you! Words may do for some things, but to hold love they are too little, too shallow, too coarse, too cold. 1-john 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Love cannot let us die. II. In the fair bow athwart the falling shower. (The Epistles of John- An Expositional Commentary) (See also related journal article - 1 John 4:7-21 - Excellent). That is excluded, and much more); because (reason why he who loveth not can never have known God. viii., p. 398; J. Baldwin Brown, Ibid., vol. Love created the world.—Why did God create the world for which He had no need? He has given the fullest proof of His love to the whole human race by the incarnation of His Son, Who tasted death for every man. This emphatic description refers to the nature, as well as to the operations of God. You cannot reverse "God is love" and say "Love is God," for that would border on pantheism! (2) But with the passing away of childhood a new need dawns upon the spirit of man: the wish to be one in whom others can rest, as he finds rest in them; the need for reciprocity of affection, such as is found in a brother, a friend, a wife. Biblical Commentary (Bible study) 1 John 1:1 - 2:2 EXEGESIS: THE CONTEXT: For the context, see INTRODUCTION TO 1 JOHN 1 JOHN 1:1-4. refers also to Nitzsch, über die wesentliche Dreieinigkeit Gottes, in the Studien u. Kritiken for 1841, 2, p. 337: and Liebner, Christologie, p. 135. God’s love to Jesus was more seen in giving Him that cup to drink, that so He might be the Saviour of men, than it would have been in snatching Him from the brink of death into heaven, His work all unfinished. A T Robertson adds that this is "Timeless aorist active indicative of ginōskō = has no acquaintance with God, never did get acquainted with Him. This Epistle was an Epistle General, that is, it was not directed to any local Church. It has been well observed that, although God is holy, just, righteous, etc., he is never called holiness, justice, etc., in the abstract, as he is here called Love. If they did, they would act in love, because all God’s activity is loving activity. In the Bible, light is a symbol of holiness and darkness is a symbol of sin (Jn 3:18-21; 1Jn 1:5-10-note). Pascoe.). Others say the lack of love is because the person does not have intimate fellowship with God, and so they are not "connecting with the nature of God's love." In the sight of God man is a being of unspeakable worth. He leaned on Jesus’ bosom and learned His spirit, and in after years he thought of that spirit as a manifestation of the very life of God. Not knowing this distinctive love reveals that he is still a stranger to God. IV. What is that? God’s love is the key to the mystery of pain and sorrow.—This epigrammatic sentence fits all graves, it fits all cemeteries; it is the word that is written on the portals of the churchyard, “God is love.” I have seen a strong man reel over his son’s grave as if he would plunge himself into it, for there was nothing worth living for after that one boy had gone. No one in the whole world ever knew that God is love until it was revealed from heaven and written in the New Testament. Thy God, in human form! It is no answer to say that the capacity to love was in God before by creation He found an object for His love. (c) The Holy Spirit sheds abroad the love of God in the heart (Romans 5:5). The absence of love in the life of any individual proves that he “knoweth not God” (ouk egnō ton theon); he has never come to know God personally. Examiner, Aug. 20, 1903, p. 180 (Jowett). But that is not the noblest genius. Love is not to a crowd; compassion, pity there may be for a multitude, but love is separate; it is personal; it is distinct and peculiar. 143.]. See on love of God (1 John 2:5). Love built heaven. He that loveth knoweth God--look at this faculty within us by which we know God. And God uses your whole soul, your whole nature, to supply fuel for that fire. (Bp. Stockdale (F. But it may surely be replied that to deny the Divinity of Christ, and to deny that the sacrifice of the Cross was God’s own act as man and for man, is also to deny that God is love; because thereby love of the highest kind is excluded from the Divine nature and the Divine manifestation.’. God is essentially LOVE: not merely loving; for then John's argument would fall: for the conclusion from the premises then would be, This man is not loving; God is; therefore he knoweth not God IN SO FAR AS GOD IS LOVING: still he might know Him in His other attributes. So every soul that is saved is saved by love. God cannot love one and withhold His love from another, for God is love, and He cannot help loving. It is equally deep everywhere--Calvary deep Wherever you try it. The sole hope of retaining God is in the absoluteness and the universality of the Divine love. 58 (trans. In Genesis God works for His innocent child; in Christ He suffers for a guilty one. (The Letters of John Tyndale New Testament Commentary), Hiebert explains that "Although John has just said that “love is of God” (1Jn 4:7-note), one cannot say that “love is God,” just as one cannot say that “light is God.” Without the article, “love” is qualitative, depicting the nature of His being. A sermon about the love of God, if it be a sermon only, is a stone that mocks one’s hunger. 5. To never demonstrate love indicates that one is not a possessor but a pretender. Bible. This is the first step and beginning of the know ledge of God. ", John Stott adds "Yet, if his judging is in love, his loving is also in justice. iii., p. 109; Homilist, 1st series, vol. God is love.”, After a while he turned about and retraced his steps, entered the church again, and took a seat behind the stove over in the corner. But being by nature spirit, God is not limited by time and space the way His creatures are. That all my lilies are safe, in the dust. His character and His service, these were left to Him, and in His calling to these He recognized that God loved Him. And we believe that the heathen who have not known God will not be judged as we shall be. He willed and provided that ‘all should know Him.’ He commanded His people from the very first to ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.’. He shuddered at the thought. Dodd on God is love - "All His activity is loving activity. John gives a clear marker by which we can all test our profession of faith in Christ. Benevolent affections form the moral beauty of the Divine character. If God is an eternal being, and if God is love, then the love of God is nothing less than an eternal thing. The loving heart, not the excited conscience. My own experience; I have dug a grave as deep as you, and I thought just as you are thinking now; I said there are a thousand happy families, and one of the children might have been taken, but I had only one. This text, if we believe it, will assuage our sorrow, lighten our hearts, and brighten our lives. By Henry G. Bosch (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Pardon, hope, life, for all the world; the break of the eternal day. Study the bible online using commentary on 1 John 4:8 and more! Before serving his sentence, he was allowed to see his sister, who came to visit him in gaol. He who knows not God does not love. Who says so? And that fountain is this, says St. John: "God is love." To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use the convenient, Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology, Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament, Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary, International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. You might ask the same question as the builder cuts down the tree, the sculptor carves the marble, or the painter daubs the canvas. Beyond these there is something still sacreder and more precious--the spirit. Because God is light those who abide in Him walk in His light ( 1 John 1:5; 1 John 1:7). The following is commentary by Matthew Henry on 1 John, Chapter 4: Verses 7-13: As the Spirit of truth is known by doctrine (thus spirits are to be tried), it is known by love likewise; and so here follows a strong fervent exhortation to holy Christian love: Beloved, let us love one another. His heart is in all His works. God is love — This little sentence brought St. John more sweetness, even in the time he was writing it, than the whole world can bring. Who renders the more willing service—a son or a slave? If all that we talk about is God’s love for the whole world, we end up with a God so weak that He can’t intervene to save us according to His sovereign purpose. "[28] God is light (1 John 1:5), and spirit (John 4:24), and (considering the oneness of the Father with the Son) he is life, and truth (John 14:6). Let us try to think how otherwise we can know God. Gibbon (J. M.), The Gospel of Fatherhood, 1, 33. It is significant that we have these words not from Jesus but from John. His independence, almighty power, and unerring wisdom are mere natural perfections; but His benevolent feelings are moral beauties. This is one of John's profoundly simple statements; "God is love" matches "God is light" (cf. Ability to fly? There lies the difference between Divine love and human love. 1707. 233. I was admiring the figure of Beatrice—the exquisite workmanship, the pose and grace of the figure. So Nature gives eloquent witness to the power of the law of love.1 [Note: W. E. His holiness is the wholeness of His love. It does not necessarily show that he was never born of God. How can a decree of absolute, unconditional reprobation, of the greater part or any part of the human race, stand in the presence of such a text as this? 1 John 4:8-12.—H. Even His judgments are measured out in love and mercy (Lam 3:22-23). Where the hot sun has left a faded wreath. His justice is love looking out on the great mass of His creatures. Do not believe every spirit: John warned against believing every spirit; that is, we are never to assume every spiritual experience or every demonstration of spiritual power is from God. Spirit and light are expressions of God's essential nature. “Mother washes her hands of you,” was the reply. 1. 2. 1 John 4:8. Or, rippling, aid the music of the grove? This is man’s highest good as God reads it; this God feeds, for “God is love.”, III. In the original structure of things before sin entered, when all was pronounced “good;” in the things designed to promote happiness, where the only thing contemplated is happiness, and where it would have been as easy to have caused pain; in the preservation of a guilty race, and in granting that race the opportunity of another trial; in the ceaseless provision which God is making in his providence for the wants of unnumbered millions of his creatures; in the arrangements made to alleviate sorrow, and to put an end to it; in the gift of a Saviour more than all, and in the offer of eternal life on terms simple and easy to be complied with - in all these things, which are the mere expressions of love, not one of which would have been found under the government of a malignant being, we see illustrations of the sublime and glorious sentiment before us, that “God is love.” Even in this world of confusion, disorder, and darkness, we have evidence sufficient to prove that he is benevolent, but the full glory and meaning of that truth will be seen only in heaven. You have seen the sun pour a flood of golden beams upon the earth through the live long day, and set in darkness as night approached; but God’s love is a sun that never sets. First, man was made a free agent. Some mother quails have lost their lives in that way, no doubt, but they have saved the nest. Divine in Him, for “God is love.”. Well, take the words and brood over them until the very Spirit of God speaks them to the heart. Barton. ], The old Greeks, whose civilization developed along the line of architecture, and painting, and the decorative arts, said, “God is beauty.” The Romans, led by the Cæsars on a hundred battlefields to victory, until they boasted that the Roman eagles never turned backward, said, “God is strength.” The Jew, inheriting from Moses, the great law-giver, said, “God is law.” It was not until John had laid his head upon the Saviour’s bosom and communed with Jesus Christ that any man was able to say with confident heart, “God is love.”2 [Note: L. A. Spurgeon - Never let it be thought that any sinner is beyond the reach of divine mercy so long as he is in the land of the living. | Home ... 4:8 "The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love" Lifestyle love is "the" true test of knowing God. Scripture: 1 John 4:8, Matthew 7:23. He was sent into a world which was altogether “lying in wickedness.” How unbounded, in this respect again, how great, how disinterested appears the love of God! Not so God. They often become so absorbed in nature that they have no wish to look beyond it. God is perfect love, all His affections are pure and clear as the crystal stream. His nature is loving, and love can never be absent from His being or any of His actions. This subject suggests matter of great consolation to those who are interested in the Divine favour. Torrey.]. Man is so small, mean, ignoble, unworthy, until you read his story with the eyes of love; until you remember this--“God is love.” But every mother will waste the wealth of her brave heart upon the boy in whom no one but herself can see one sign of grace or virtue. John was an *apostle. 1 John 4:8 esv - Anyone who does not love does not know - Bible Gateway. One effect is joy. God’s love is redemptive and persists in spite of our unworthiness.—A man had fallen into a deep dark pit, and lay at its miry bottom, groaning and utterly unable to move. It is not the place here to enter on the theological import of this weighty and wonderful sentence. The leaf, we are told, is the stem expanded--the stem is the leaf closed. Because this is so, because all God’s activity is loving activity and involves the expression of love, the author can rightly conclude that the person who does not love must not know God. The Son, by whom He spoke to men in the last days, was the "brightness of His glory and the express image of His person.". Forgive the illustration. God’s love is like His sunlight, diffused throughout the heaven, catching the heights of the hills and crowning them with ruddy gold and clothing them in purple. seems to make it: “non novit, saltem practice non ostendit se nosse et agnoscere, Deum esse … caritatem:” in that case it would be either οὐκ ἔγνω, ὅτι ὁ θεός … or οὐκ ἔγνω τὸν θεόν, ὅτι ἀγ. p. 961 ff. ‘The Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ is contained in the truth that God is love. - Bible verse Power, wisdom, and all the natural perfections of the Deity are above imitation. As John MacArthur says "Those whose lives are not characterized by love for others are not Christians, no matter what they claim. If we have been born of the God who is love, and thus have come to know Him, we will be growing in love. 1. xxxvi., p. 182. It includes the sunniest as well as the gloomiest sides of human life. Did you ever examine a little bit of moss? I feel inclined to deny it. And heart so moved with beauty, perfume, song. God intended us to die as the ripe fruit falls from the tree. John went on to point out that if God is love, His children should resemble Him (1Jn 4:11-21-note). 1 John 4:8. οὐκ ἔγνω, knoweth not) Is not born of God, and knoweth not God.— ὁ θεὸς ἀγάπη ἐστὶν, God is love) ἀγάπη, without the article, as in 1 John 4:16. And those who draw upon that love (J. M. I. I. But that is not the noblest genius. But when we take love as God's essence, the argument holds: This man doth not love; therefore knows not love: God is essentially love; therefore he knows not God. He had addressed her in verse, but what verse could express the love that was his? How can I know what that means? Each of these attributes of God interacts with the other. Every thought, every word, every act of God is an expression of love. The Word of God feeds you, the common hymn and the common prayer thrill you; it is all fuel for the fire. You go through the drill of your daily work, you wrestle with temptations; it is fuel for the fire. It cannot be wholly bad, and it cannot be mixed; it is then good, though sometimes our faith must stand on tiptoe to reach the truth—the world is good, and life is good, and “God is love.”, Is there not such a thing as the struggle for the existence of others? Next the Saviour came by, and, hearing his cries, went to the brink of the pit, reached down and laid hold of the man, brought him up and said, “Go and sin no more.” That is Christianity. Once more, as so often in 1 John, conduct is the clue to paternity. Nothing but love has ever reigned on the throne of creation; nothing but love ever will reign. 9 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. This clause is left out in the Ethiopic version, and is transposed in the Syriac version, which reads the text thus, "for God, is love, and whoever loveth not, knoweth not God". To be sure, Jesus Christ now has a glorified body in heaven, and one day we shall have bodies like His body. But He fulfilled the whole law, and loved every man, as He loved Himself—ay and more; and as He thus fulfilled the law, He said, “He that hath seen me, hath seen the Father”; that is to say, My love to men is the very image of My Father’s love to them.2 [Note: Letters of Thomas Erskine of Linlathen (1800–1840), i. He will not miss His aim; for “God is love.” (J. Morlais Jones. But this is not all that the sun does. God said something quite different. See on God is light (1 John 1:5), and the truth (1 John 1:6); also God is spirit (John 4:24). ], Young Scott, the son of Dr. Scott of Greenock, is with us. More than that God is love, O flower of grace much the same as the hart the... 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