(W Griffith-Thomas), A E Brooke - Love is not merely an attribute of God, it is His very Nature and Being; or rather, the word expresses the highest conception which we can form of that Nature. “What does mother say?” asked the lad. The climatic demonstration of His love came when He sent His own Son to die for us on the cross. - Bible verse 1 John 4:8 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓] 1 John 4:8, NIV: "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." One who had lived under that darkness and felt it, described in vivid and emphatic language the change that came over the spirit of his mind when, as one of the Israel of God, he found himself blessed with light in his dwelling. I judge of strength by my own arm, or by the winds and angry seas; or by the power of human mechanism. This is God; this was the solution of the world’s problem: God had told Himself at last. If a man loves not the children of God, those that are born of him, he does not know, so as to love God, the Father of them; for to pretend love to God, the begetter of them, whom he sees not, and not love those who are begotten by him, and are visible objects of respect, is a contradiction, and cannot be reconciled: see 1 John 4:20. God has poured out the wealth of His redemption. This emphatic description refers to the nature, as well as to the operations of God. (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. The Church is responsible. He thought of Him who went about doing good; of His self-denial and poverty for man’s sake; of His compassion on the multitude; of His sympathy for the bereaved; of His kindness towards the outcast; of His tears at the grave of Lazarus; of His message of forgiveness to the sin-stricken; of His words such as never man’s sake; of His washing His disciples’ feet; of His death in pity for human sin; of His resurrection into immortality and glory, John thought of all this as setting forth the life of God in its fundamental meanings. The Gospel was not only an atonement: it was a revelation. 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. Up and up it mounts, until the highest peak is reached that human life offers footing to. No, it does not. What has Christianity done to make good its claim to the proud title of the Gospel—the one good message of glad tidings to mankind? If He creates, He creates in love; if He rules, He rules in love; if He Judges, He judges in love. The summer makes the flowers, and they declare its glory. But man could not be a free agent without the capability of falling. How then may we make it ours? God loves the good, the true, the pure, but His love rises higher that it may come down lower; and He loves me--me. God is love. One truth is written: all conspire to prove. III. 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. It was a necessity. 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". Then he sought for a name for it, and there was no name good enough. The love of God has no shallows. God is love is not just a "quality" of God, but is the essence of Who God is forever and ever. First, man was made a free agent. Whoever does not love. 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! Because God is righteous those who abide in Him practice righteousness ( 1 John 2:29). The measure of the “love” is the measure of the “God.” (J. Vaughan, M. What is that? You have seen the fountains that in winter, when the springs were active, had an abundant supply of water, but when summer came with its drought, were dry; God’s love, however, is a fountain that never becomes dry. If God were well known, he could not but be best beloved, and all that are his, for his sake. Read Introduction to 1 John “And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. . To preach the gospel of health is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. Christ did not create, He revealed, the love of God. But these were the mere trifles of God’s works. Furthermore, there is no conflict between John and Paul on this point. Stated another way, they don't know Him because they don't "look" like one of His children! III. 21-24) to point out that if we do not recognize these various aspects of God’s love, and we make any one of them absolute, exclusive, or controlling all the others, we will get into difficulty. So John did not see any contradiction between the concept that “God is love” and the concept of His punishment of the wicked in hell. 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. May we not say that God must express Himself for His own sake? For example, everything that God does is governed by His love because that is Who He is even when He is led to dispense judgment or wrath. See on God is light (1 John 1:5), and the truth (1 John 1:6); also God is spirit (John 4:24). Most lively image of Thy Father’s Face. God is light. God is love. They are all determined, limited, described, if God is love, by love. 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. But deeper students of Nature will not let us rest till we discern that storm and sunshine, calm and cloud are all manifestations of solar energy; that if one is good, the other cannot be fully bad. 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. What he knows is in his head, but it has never gotten into his heart.” (Bible Exposition Commentary), Compare 1John 3:17 - "But whoever has the world’s goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? 506 See the discussion of major divisions in 1 John in the previous section “Structure and Purpose of 1 John.”. But two things in the Apostle’s words ought to be noticed, — that the true knowledge of God is that which regenerates and renews us, so that we become new creatures; and that hence it cannot be but that it must conform us to the image of God. Thy name is Love.2 [Note: J. M. Jones, The Cup of Cold Water, 142. Love created the world.—Why did God create the world for which He had no need? All that He does is the expression of His nature, Isaiah -to 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. We must integrate these truths in biblical proportion and balance. ], When Mungo Park was in Africa, he felt at one time very weary and alone, and he thought he should perish. Is it conceivable that through an eternity the Infinite Perfection should have been yearning in unsatisfied longing for something to love? The only specific moral fault the author ever charges his opponents with is failure to show love for fellow believers when they are in need (1John 3:17-note). Terrible disasters require terrible remedies; but he who can use terrible remedies, loves. Why, then, do you say that Christ made, or bought, or in any way procured the love of God, when it was God’s love that sent Him forth on His mission? (2) God’s providential love over al that he has made. "Greater love hath no man than this: that a man lay down his life for his friends," which I have called parental love, or the parental element in love, because, again speaking of the average of cases and the average of men, it is in parents that such love is oftenest and earliest seen. Antinomianism in a religious mind seems to me to be an impossible moral phenomenon. ", For - Always pay attention to this term of explanation and ask at least "What is the author explaining? I. (Bolding Added), Hiebert agrees writing that "The negative with the present-tense participle (ho mē agapōn) pictures one who is unloving in attitude and practice. Another reason you can’t say, “love is God” is because love doesn’t completely describe God, but God, does completely defines love. I. All rights reserved. And Mungo Park saw this beautiful little bit of moss; and it said to him, “God is love”; and he was not afraid, for he saw, even in the little bit of moss, “God is love.”2 [Note: James Vaughan. We are suffered to know something, not of His working only, but of His being. Followers of Christ must love the world too. The man who believes in no prophet but the political economist thinks that Christian philanthropy is sheer infatuation, sheer waste of human energy. The loving heart, not the excited conscience. (a) First, all the suffering, in the main, is man’s own fault. If this suffice thee not, that God is Love? Some mother quails have lost their lives in that way, no doubt, but they have saved the nest. 2. Unfailing is God's matchless love, 233. ], Young Scott, the son of Dr. Scott of Greenock, is with us. But chose a manger and a cross 1 John 4:10, 1 John 4:11.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. Because we have been born into His family, we have received His holy nature (1Pe 1:14-16-note; 2Pe 1:4-note). 7 Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and he who loves is born of God and knows God. 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’s intent is that the people who receive His love will become the conduit of His love to others. To have communion with God we must be like him in love. The physician is God’s servant, as well as the preacher. I see all things depending alike for their source and their sustenance upon others. I. Each attribute—His truth, His power, His wisdom, and the like—must stand on the same footing as His love, and be equally great and glorious. A T Robertson adds that "Present active articular participle of agapaō = “keeps on not loving.” Considering that this agape love is divine love implies that it must have a supernatural source, the indwelling Spirit (Gal 5:22-23-note). God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.” This verse summarizes 3:24-4:16 — intimate fellowship with God is impossible without love for fellow Christians. He would go on holding fellowship with his own soul’s visions in the soul’s private sanctuary; but he would not demean himself by selling his soul to the man who merely could pay the highest price for it. But another objects:—‘See all the suffering and wretchedness there is now in this world. All rights reserved). II. 143.]. II. God must sing the song of His own heart. Wilberforce (B. A.). ‘Was it love,’ a man says, ‘to make man, and then to let him fall into sin and misery?’—The answer is twofold. ), Affections essential to the moral perfection of the Deity. Home. John is the apostle of three foundational statements about the nature of God - God is spirit (Jn 4:24). But think again. p. 961 ff. God is love. Love is the very constitution and law of God’s Being. And so it happened in the case of the poor native dying in the Mengo Medical Mission in Uganda. This is God's Word and He alone is the Judge (Who is also love!). The Love of the Trinity is nameless: human tongue has no words to express it; no creature may inquisitively look into its eternal depths. [Note: Dodd, p110. ], I was standing not long ago by a child’s sick-cot; and if there is any sight which it is hard to look upon, it is that of the little one, to whom it is all such a mystery, racked and tortured with pain. God is love — There is no Greek article to love, but to God; therefore we cannot translate, Love is God. I do. Fleeter than darting fish or startled dove; All, all declare the same, that God is Love! 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? In the redemption of man God has found a work by which He manfully express Himself. Though summer is over and sweetness done. This is one of John's profoundly simple statements; "God is love" matches "God is light" (cf. —This blessed truth truly realized delivers from all atheism, all pessimism, all despondency at the evil in the world. He hates no thing that he has made. — Reprinted by permission. Jesus tells us (John 14:21), “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.”, I might add that, perhaps another aspect of Christ’s love was His special love for the apostle John, who refers to himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved (John 13:23). To love, to be loved, is a restraint, a constraint, a transformation. However, Wilder cautioned that, "God's nature is not exhausted by the quality of love. There are others who vaguely believe that He is good and kind. From the Sender, let us turn our thoughts to Him who was sent. Carter (T. T.), The Spirit of Watchfulness, 206, 218. But this is not all that the sun does. God is often styled holy, righteous, wise; but not holiness, righteousness, or wisdom in the abstract, as he is said to be love; intimating that this is his darling, his reigning attribute, the attribute that sheds an amiable glory on all his other perfections. No, He is not knowable to the intellect, with its prying and searching; provable, perhaps, but not knowable. Jones (J. M.), The Cup of Cold Water, 155. God is only known to the loving. Why comes this fragrance on the summer breeze. Macfarland (C. S.), The Infinite Affection, 23. You are in perfect health, for instance, and you don’t think about health. But I hear it said again: ‘Why has God left such a vast proportion of the inhabitants of this earth ignorant of Christ and of the way of salvation?’, (a) God has not left them ignorant. "Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another." (c) Thirdly, if there are degrees in glory, the degree of the glory must depend on the degree of the grace; and, to a great extent, the degree of the grace is dependent on the degree of the schooling. 7:7-8; Ro 9:13-note). I have seen the miracles that love works. Confucius, passing by, approached the edge of the pit, and said, “Poor fellow, I am sorry for you; why were you such a fool as to get in there? Hocking. He simply disclosed it to the world. 507 Cf. Love implies fellowship.—Love means an outpouring; it cannot exist without an object. 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. He cannot hate, because He is love. Of all this globe;—such thrilling ecstasy, Expands my heart, as I the sight unfold.3 [Note: Dante, Paradiso, xxxiii. It is significant that we have these words not from Jesus but from John. If we have been born of the God who is love, and thus have come to know Him, we will be growing in love. To be sure, Jesus Christ now has a glorified body in heaven, and one day we shall have bodies like His body. 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. 3. I was admiring the figure of Beatrice—the exquisite workmanship, the pose and grace of the figure. Or, rippling, aid the music of the grove? It was an exercise of the divine will in deliberate choice, made without assignable cause save that which lies in the nature of God Himself, cp. That “God is love” is not one side of the truth, but the whole truth, about God. Is insincere and lacks the strength — Reprinted by permission. Study the bible online using commentary on 1 John 4:8 and more! “Why do you do that, my lad?” said the Saint. But some day you go into a hospital—you see long ward after ward filled with sick folk—with pale cheeks, lustreless eyes, sad, anxious faces, young and old, men and women. Yea, since love is his very nature, and that God is love, those that love (upon the account and in the way above expressed) are born of him, partake from him that excellent and most delectable nature, know him by a transformative knowledge: but they that love not, they are mere strangers to him, and never had to do with him. Then, but not till then, will love enter upon its highest stage, and put on the crown of sacrifice; for sacrifice is the language of love, its only adequate expression, the last effort of the spirit whom no union with the object of its love can satisfy short of the self-annihilation that shall make that object all in all. Its universality in space and time means its eternal endurableness, not only for poor and rich, for white and black, but for every sinner as well as for every saint, for the child who is the prodigal in the far country as well as for the brother obedient in the home. If the gift is love what can the giver be? It is equally deep everywhere--Calvary deep Wherever you try it. The love is lost by default that must hire counsel to take up its case and eloquently contend for its existence. 4:9-10-note). Doubtless there are difficulties. Think of your sins, yea even of your virtues, and as you reflect how bad your worst deeds were, and how poor your best, are you not glad for your own sakes that God is love?1 [Note: J. M. Gibbon, The Gospel of Fatherhood, 11.]. Love exists and works in the Eternal Being apart from the creature; and its radiation upon the creature is but a feeble reflection of its being. : hath not once known: has never had in him even the beginnings of knowledge of God: as Lücke, “noch gar nicht kennen gelernt hat.” So that the aorist makes a far stronger contrast than the present οὐ γινώσκει would. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love, Is God knowable? All rights reserved) Thinking It Over But, leaving all these cavils, let us look at this matter very practically. Light is not God. A sermon about the love of God, if it be a sermon only, is a stone that mocks one’s hunger. Love cannot let us die. 1 John 4:8. 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. You will then know the end and will be able to find the reason. For answer to your question you must wait till you see the use made of the productions. For when any one separates faith from love, it is the same as though he attempted to take away heat from the sun. Does not love does - This is an impossibility. I can wrap this love of His about me and claim it all as my own.2 [Note: M. G. Pearse, Short Talks for the Times, 15. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven” (Matt. Does not know God - John uses the negative ou which conveys absolute negation. 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.” The reason for this is implied in what is immediately stated, that “God is love,” and of course if they have no love reigning in their hearts, they cannot pretend to be like him. (4) God’s particular, effective, selecting love toward his elect. 1-john 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. But it is a luxury to her to serve him. The loving heart, not the creative imagination. 1. Amen. He that loveth knoweth God--look at this faculty within us by which we know God. Ver. Our Daily Bread - Deuteronomy 10:12-22 |Loved To Love - “A heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others.” I saw this quotation, attributed to the Wizard of Oz, on a wall plaque in a gift shop. Within us by which I can see true righteousness ; and its pains are the and. I not say that dawn makes the sun aspects of His nature belong together and unite in determining His.! Love.€ he taught by the power of the strength and ardency of the Divine love, which have. It needs no qualification, admits of no complement by those you 've tried to love God. 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