1 john 4:8 commentary
He was detected in the act, sent to prison, and brought a stain upon the family name. God may loose the tongue so that it may shout and sing to the praise of eternal Love, but the intellect remains powerless. And that fountain is this, says St. John: "God is love." Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. This brief sentence imparted to John, even during the mere time which he took in writing it, more delight than the whole world can impart. Love is the expression of His personality corresponding to His nature. If I did know all this about God, I should not know Him. , “did not get to know,” i.e., at the initial crisis of conversion. Compare the notes at 2 Corinthians 13:11. However that is NOT what the Bible teaches. 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.” Had we done our duty, all would have been right, and this whole world have been evangelised. How has someone shown patient love to you? The builder sees the mast of a ship in the growing tree, the painter a landscape on the canvas; in the marble cold the sculptor sees an angelâs form. This was a first principle in the creation of this world. ‘God is love.’ Doubtless there are difficulties. Then, with a smirk on his face, he asked, “Do you mean to say that your God is as changeable as the wind?”, The farmer shook his head and replied, “No. It is the office of love to seek the final good of its object; to bless the object rather than pamper it; to raise and ennoble and glorify it rather than minister to its passing whims and caprices. God intended us to die as the ripe fruit falls from the tree. 1 John 4:8. It was love, it was love that did it. iii., p. 109; Homilist, 1st series, vol. Some go so far as to say that because God is love, He could never condemn anyone to the eternal punishment of hell. Adam Clarke - God hates nothing He has made. —Sper “God is His own interpreter”--and only love can tell of love. 3. It includes the mind. Your intellectual life; you read, you think; but you read and think that you may have fuel for the fire. In fact, Jesus stated the opposite in His most famous sermon: “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Love made earth. They try to rationalize this aberrant interpretation by saying such a person is saved, but they are just not mature. Wheeler (W. C.), Sermons and Addresses, 125. — Reprinted by permission. Present active articular participle of αγαπαω agapaō “keeps on not loving.”. “God is love!” Where? It climbs higher that it may creep lowerâdown the hill-sides further and further, until it lifts the mists of the valley and covers the meadows with its glory, and kisses the daisy and fills its cup with gold and puts energy and strength into its very heart. A. Clapperton, Culture of the Christian Heart, 64. God is love. On what authority? 1 John 4:7-12. Love made hell; and its pains are the measure of God’s love for goodness--its flames are love on fire. Denomination: Pentecostal. Godâs love is the key to the mystery of pain and sorrow.âThis epigrammatic sentence fits all graves, it fits all cemeteries; it is the word that is written on the portals of the churchyard, âGod is love.â I have seen a strong man reel over his sonâs grave as if he would plunge himself into it, for there was nothing worth living for after that one boy had gone. Bengel says: âThis brief sentence gave John, even during the mere time he took to write it, more delight than the whole world can impart.â And, indeed, one can well believe it; for, you must remember, John really and deeply cared about God; and if we really care about God and men, this text, if we believe it, will assuage our sorrow, lighten our hearts, and brighten our lives. Other People's Commentary (NT) entries containing 1 John 4:8: 1 Corinthians 13:13 1 Thessalonians 5:21 1 John 4:8 1 John 4:7 : 1 John 4:9 >> DISCLAIMER: Church of the Great God (CGG) provides these resources to aid the individual in studying the Bible. This knowledge of Christâs character is the primary source of Johnâs knowledge of God. To never demonstrate love indicates that one is not a possessor but a pretender. We have all things in three syllables. He cannot hate, because He is love. But the brave little heroine whispered, âFather, give me your handâ; and holding her fatherâs hand, though riddled with pain, she never moaned. It would be impossible to believe it did we not know that “God is love.” Everyone believes the Bible to be a marvellous book. He has made no human being for perdition, nor ever rendered it impossible, by any necessitating decree, for a fallen soul to find mercy (cp 2Pe 3:9-note, 1Ti 2:4). In Genesis God works for His innocent child; in Christ He suffers for a guilty one. He was not in a mood to hear any preaching, he was not in a condition to hear even the gentlest tone; he must be watched, we must wait for him; he must feel it like a man before he answers it like a man. ], O plenteous grace that nerved my soul to raise, Within its depth I saw that by the chains, Whateâer the universal world contains;â. ‘God is love.’ That is one of the golden sentences only to be found in the Book of God. The love of God finds its free expression in Christ.ââThis is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.â His love had been given to men since the creation, but men shut their hearts and contracted their lives, and the love of God had no free course. For when any one separates faith from love, it is the same as though he attempted to take away heat from the sun. by Wright).]. He, this God, loved the world, so loved it that He gave His only-begotten Son for the sinner's life. For God is love] Not formally, but causally, say schoolmen; he is the fountain of love, and draws all hearts that have any knowledge of him. If the cross of Jesus speaks at all it speaks in tones of love. ], "The absence of the article (God is the love) indicates that love is not simply a quality which God possesses, but love is that which he is by his very nature. that in as far as God is loving, he never knew Him: but he may have known Him in as far as He is just, or powerful. Did you ever see a little mother hen spread her feathers and give defensive battle to a hawk? He âoverthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea: for his mercy endureth for ever.â And by the kiss or the rod; by caress or correction; by âgentle gales from the wings of angels that fan His Mercy-seat,â or by hot blasts from the burning marl of hell; by the blood of Christ, and pleading love, or by fire and brimstone of punitive love, God seeks to overthrow all evil in all men and beings, and will not rest until the Holy Spirit shall say of the New Creation, âIt is finishedâ: for âGod is love.â, 1. The Missionary asked him if he knew who Jesus Christ was, and he received the beautiful reply, âHe is a strong bridge over which I pass through the gate.â1 [Note: J. Loving is the condition of knowing. Mr. Moodyâs quick eye caught sight of him, and at the close of the service he hurried to him and sat down beside him. Love exists, not for the sake of the world, but for Godâs sake; and when the world came into existence, Love remained unchanged; and if every creature were to disappear, it would remain just as rich and glorious as ever. 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 truthâthe world is good, and life is good, and âGod is love.â, Is there not such a thing as the struggle for the existence of others? It is by these qualities that I know my God; but I know Him only by specimens--by small samples. “Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and ye perish from the way/’ If you wish a picture of God in your mind, study the “father” in the parable of the prodigal. It will be no use speaking to him to-day; he sups sorrow; no, he does not sup it, he gulps it, he drains the cup of grief at one great gulp. 1. 1 John 4:7-8. xiii., p. 69. Their teaching and their behavior simply promoted self, not Christ. He would go on holding fellowship with his own soulâs visions in the soulâs private sanctuary; but he would not demean himself by selling his soul to the man who merely could pay the highest price for it. In perfect love there are three elements, which may best be seen by examining the three states of life in which they are respectively most prominent: the filial; the fraternal; the parental. He also sets in opposition to this, according to his usual manner, the contrary clause, that there is no knowledge of God where there is no love. God had never been able to tell Himself in these. Such, then, are the three elements which go to make up love, reverence, desire, sacrifice, inextricably intertwined into a new something which is none of them, and yet all of them together—the whiteness of the prism, the trinity in unity of love. Yet of this much we are assured, that His power is such, as to be incapable of being controlled, and that His happiness is such, that nothing can enhance or augment it. A mature Christian said to a young, enthusiastic believer, “You love to witness to people, don’t you?” “Yes, I do,” was the hasty reply. Had man not fallen, Christ would not have come to this world. But through all and in all His love abides unchanged, and is at the root of our sorrows as well as our joys, often hidden, but never absent, the same yesterday and to-day and forever. Divine in Him, for “God is love.”. 1. 10:15), and because of that they were to love others, even strangers (1Jn 4:19). For God is love - He is not merely benevolent, he is benevolence itself. We must see it as a world of individuals who are lost and need to hear the gospel. And I have seen young people take the studies in which they had been long immersed, and with them light the fires of sordid pleasures and the many foolishnesses of fashionable life. In the redemption of mankind our Lord has displayed the full glories of His love. (2Cor 5:17-note) The only way to love with agape love is enabled by the Spirit (Ro 5:5-note, Gal 5:22-23-note) This person has no inherent power to manifest this supernatural God-like love. This is the first step and beginning of the know ledge of God. See on God is light (1 John 1:5), and the truth (1 John 1:6); also God is spirit (John 4:24). (N. Emmons, D. D.). And the sleepers, sleeping in deathâs dark night, In Wattsâ picture entitled âLove Triumphant,â Time and Death have companioned together throughout the ages; and they are at length overthrown and lie prostrate at the feet of Love. He loves some with the love of pity, and others with the love of pride; He loves some with the love of compassion, and others with the love of complacency. Wuest - The one who is not habitually loving has not come to know God, because God as to His nature is love. 1. 1Ti 6:20; 2Ti 3:7-note). Many passages in both the Old and New Testaments affirm this aspect of His love (Deut. John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary, Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament, Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament, Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible, Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged, Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers, E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. (Brian Bell), Stott adds "Not only is God the Source of all true love; He is love in His inmost being… It is the most comprehensive and sublime of all biblical affirmations about God’s being, and is repeated here twice (1Jn 4:8, 16)." Who renders the more willing service—a son or a slave? In this case the knowledge has to do with the the fact that there is absolutely no evidence that this person has experienced the enabling power of God's Spirit. Wrap it carefully around with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness… The only place outside heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers … of love is hell.” Man’s presumptuous criticism. Do not mistake what the world calls love as God's love! Macleod (D.), The Sunday Home Service, 9. 2. God is love; its perfection, Divine beauty, real dimensions, and holiness are not found in men, not even in the best of Godâs children, but scintillate only around the Throne of God.1 [Note: A. Kuyper, The Work of the Holy Spirit, 515. When it comes to love, the important thing we need to know is this: All love starts with God (1 John 4:19-note). 8.Loveth not, knoweth not God—It is the true heart that truly knoweth God. Many who read these precious words of John do not seem to be aware of the holy and self-sacrificing love about which John wrote. There is an off-Broadway musical that has a song entitled "Our Love Is God." And thus it may be that the more suffering for a little while the more happiness for ever and ever. Most lively image of Thy Fatherâs Face. Yes. I became aware of my own ingratitude one Christmas when I received a card that said, “God still loves the world!” That card has adorned my kitchen wall ever since. No man invented these words. I know now how He feels and thinks and acts. ", . But there are few men who really think of God as love. 1 John 4:5 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓] 1 John 4:5, NIV: "They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them." The poorest, most sin-sodden is to God a mirror in which He sees Himself. Yes. Because we have been born into His family, we have received His holy nature (1Pe 1:14-16-note; 2Pe 1:4-note). First, man was made a free agent. We do not find it in the Old Testament; nor till the whole scheme of our salvation was finished and revealed; and then, on the entire temple of truth, this was placed as the top-stone—“God is love.” And it was only right his hand should set it up who had been admitted into the closest intimacy with that dear Saviour Who had brought that “love” to us, and Whose whole life was only its embodiment; and therefore it was reserved for St. John to lay the pinnacle, “God is love.”’. âMother washes her hands of you,â was the reply. A poor drunkard coming up the street saw the door a little ajar and saw the light, and then stumbled up the steps hoping to find warmth and cheer within. There lies the difference between Divine love and human love. 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. His heart is in all His works. (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. “Maybe if we didn’t love them quite so much it wouldn’t be so hard,” the husband added. This refers to His holy nature. Maclagan (P. “Of course!” you say. And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. St. Paulâs heart was overwhelmed with loving enthusiasm as he thought of his privilege of preaching âThe Unsearchable Riches of Christ.â The more we ponder these riches, the richer will our own love be. 2. Love Hurts! 1 John 4:8. Stated another way, they don't know Him because they don't "look" like one of His children! Sermon Bible Commentary. 1 John 5 Chapter 4 In this chapter the apostle exhorts to try spirits ( v. 1 ), gives a note to try by ( v. 2 , v. 3 ), shows who are of the world and who of God ( v. 4-6 ), urges Christian love by divers considerations ( v. 7-16 ), describes our love to God, and the effect of it ( v. 17-21 ). It may be a token of the greatest love that you know nothing of it. Love needs an object, and since there was a time before anything was created, there was a time when the only love in the universe was between the … O glorious Morning-starre, O lampe of light. Who says so? (1 John 4:7-11 Why We Must Love), God Is Love - A farmer placed a weather vane inscribed with the words “God is love” on top of his barn. His righteousness is the eternal conformity of His life to love. God is perfect love, all His affections are pure and clear as the crystal stream. All aspects of His nature belong together and unite in determining His action and response. Christian love has God for its primary object, and expresses itself first of all in implicit obedience to His commandments, John 14:15, 21, 23; 15:10; 1Jn 2:5-note; 1Jn 5:3-note; 2Jn 1:6. Love created the world.âWhy did God create the world for which He had no need? It is not true.â But all the time, the words were burning down into his soul, âGod is love. Strictly, there cannot be self-love, for selfishness is the negation of love. They are outside the life of God; … there is no hope for such people unless they repent and turn to Him.” John’s first point is, because God is love, if we are His true children, then we must love one another. “Our Father”--what does it mean but that He is bending over us to pity us and to help us; to teach us and to make us good; glad indeed when we do well? This text, if we believe it, will assuage our sorrow, lighten our hearts, and brighten our lives. The one who does not love shows that he does not know God. Now do I know Himself when I know that He is love. References: 1 John 4:8.—Spurgeon, Evening by Evening, p. 157; E. Blencowe, Plain Sermons to a Country Congregation, vol. It is equally deep everywhereâCalvary deep wherever you try it. God is fundamentally and essentially LOVE: not merely is loving, for then John‘s argument would not stand; for the conclusion from the premises then would be this, This man is not loving: God is loving; therefore he knoweth not God IN SO FAR AS GOD IS LOVING; still he might know Him in His other attributes. I. Self-will, that is, self-pleasing, is the negation of love to God.". This is God. Such is the fountain, worthy of its stream. He leaned on Jesusâ bosom and learned His spirit, and in after years he thought of that spirit as a manifestation of the very life of God. I often saw in Upper Egypt an ancient temple pulled to pieces to build a village of hovels. How can one say he loves, when there is nothing to love, there must be an object of your love… You are the object of His love!!! Consequently, if there is no warm glow in our hearts for our brother, if we do not thrill to the lovely name of Jesus, we may well question the reality of our conversion experience. 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