1 John 4:11-16 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is made complete in us. We know that we live in him, and he in us because he gave us His Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent His Son to be the Saviour of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the son of God, God lives in him and him in God. And so, we know and rely on the love God has for us.
When love is real, you will be able to see it and its work. Love is an action word, not an abstract idea. Love moves, and it does things. It also asks some penetrating questions that speak to everyday life.
The Bible teaches us there is great power in love. Love for one another conforms us to the example of Jesus and makes us look more and more like our perfect heavenly Father. John is convinced that loving God and loving others cannot be separated as he penned in our text.
Jesus said, in Matthew 22:37-39, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Why is love, God’s kind of love, so powerful? John gives us three reasons in verses 11-16.
We have an obligation to love. 4:11-12
- John tells us, “If,” God so loved us we ought to love one another. “Ought” involves an inner compulsion and a moral obligation. We are to say to ourselves, “Look at how He has loved me; how can I do any less?”
- The act and example of God’s love in sending and sacrificing His Son require and inspire us to love others. God’s love for us is the motivation to love others.
- John points us to the fact that no one can see God. But we can see God through the lives of those who demonstrate His love to others. Someone once said mutual Christian love is the evidence that “the unseen God, who was once revealed in His Son, is now revealed in His people…when they love one another”. When we love one another, it proves that God abides continually in us and His love is perfected and brought to complete maturity.
God’s love is spiritual John 4:13-14
- God sent His Son to die for us. God sent His Spirit to live in us. We know we abide in Him (in God) and He in us.
Romans 5:5, Now hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Romans 8:16, The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God. At conversion, God gave us His Spirit as a permanent, abiding gift of love. His presence in our lives is proof we belong to God and proof that God’s love is spiritual.
God’s love is secure. John 4:15-16
- Love and truth are mutually inclusive; they go together. If you love God, you will confess His Son (as your Savior). If you love others, you will confess His Son (as their Savior).
In conclusion, there is power in love.
Power for God to send His Son.
Power for God to give us His Spirit.
Power for us to love others, even when it is difficult.
If God can so love us, can we not also love one another? There is indeed great power in love.