- Shawn Gerbers
1 John 4:7-12 - What's Love Got To Do With It?
Love is much more than a second hand emotion... God is love!
Read / Listen
Read 1 John 4:7-12
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 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. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
Listen to passage & devotional:
Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 37
Q. What do you understand
by the word “suffered”?
A. That during his whole life on earth,
but especially at the end,
in body and soul
the anger of God against
the sin of the whole human race.
This he did in order that,
by his suffering as the only atoning sacrifice,
he might set us free, body and soul,
from eternal condemnation,
and gain for us God’s
and eternal life.
A of the primary themes in the book of 1 John is love. John talks about God’s love for us, and how amazing it is.
Love is one of God's essential attributes, meaning that when we say that God is love, we don't just mean that God is loving, we mean that He defines what love is. Since love comes from God (v7), then it makes sense that one of the key identifiers of those who know God will be in how they reflect God's love to those around them.
But what exactly is love? Sometimes it can be really hard to define a word we use often without using the word in the definition, and such is the case with the word love. The Bible isn't a dictionary per se, but it does provide a tremendous definition of love in v10:
This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
Reading that reminds me of Romans 5:10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!
Because of our sin, we were God’s enemies. Yet, God loved us so much that he sent his Son to die on the cross for our sins, so that we might live through Him (v9).
It is unlikely that we can overstate the breadth of God’s love for his people. The Heidelberg Catechism tells us that Jesus suffered God’s wrath, “in order that…he might deliver us, body and soul, from eternal condemnation.”
We are the ones who have sinned, and through our sin, we separated ourselves from God. God’s love for his people is so immense that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to earth to die on the cross so that we could be reconciled to God.
We were God’s enemies, but his love conquered our sin and guilt. We despised the Lord, but his love is so vast that it has overcome our unrighteousness. Jesus’ suffering and death is the perfect act of love.
God’s love for us is astonishing. It truly cannot be compared to anything else in this world. Think about how conditional our love is. How quickly we can turn our backs on people that we once loved. God did not do that. Even though he had every right to leave us in the misery of our sin. God’s love has overcome our unrighteousness, giving us grace and the promise of eternal life.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: God is love.
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Since God loved us, pray for the strength to love one another.
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:
Read the New Testament in a year, a chapter a day - Matthew 4