It appears from what has been said that God is pleased with the existence of everything which takes place in the universe. By David C. Egner (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. 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. In the week, as he walked by the shore pondering his discourse, he came upon a child at play. All that God does expresses all that God is. Doubtless there are difficulties. Harris - This is in context most likely a reference to the opponents, who (in the author’s opinion) have demonstrated by their failure to love their fellow believers that they are not genuine Christians. —This blessed truth truly realized delivers from all atheism, all pessimism, all despondency at the evil in the world. Sin has put out the eyes by which I can see true righteousness; and perhaps as much in mercy as in punishment. I hear of the Self-existent, the Independent. It is a failure to recognize that no single word is capable of describing the ineffable God which leads to a gross perversion of this marvelous text in the popular mind. He has been telling it unweariedly through the ages. So if a man loves with this quality of love, it is clear indication he has the Spirit of Christ. Let us love one another — From the doctrine he has just been defending, he draws this exhortation: as if he had said, Think it not enough speculatively to admit the Christian doctrine, but let it be your great care to acknowledge it practically, and especially with respect to that most important article, brotherly love. 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. As much therefore, as the heaven we have gained is better than the paradise we have lost, by so much are we the better and the happier for Adam’s fall. Does not this thought interpret some of the mysteries of life to us? The proper view of God's love must be big enough to understand that his final judgment and overthrow of wickedness will be, in itself, a mark of eternal love. See 1 John 4:16; Song of Solomon 1:3. A sinning Christian needs to understand that he abides in God’s love only when he obeys God. Political Economy has told us that the law of supply and demand is final in trade, and that an enlightened self-interest is the highest motive which commerce can know. ), The love of God manifested by the sending of His Son. Düsterd. The Missionary asked him if he knew who Jesus Christ was, and he received the beautiful reply, “He is a strong bridge over which I pass through the gate.”1 [Note: J. It reminds me that God’s love is always and forever in the present tense. His justice is love looking out on the great mass of His creatures. God is light (1Jn 1:5). So every night when the gas was lighted, there it blazed away over the preacher’s head, “God is love.” Whether the preacher told it to the people or not, they could see it for themselves in letters of fire. 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. (1) The first form of love in the history of each of us is that of a child to his parent, and, as a rule, it is the weakest form; but it contains and exhibits in an exceptional degree the first and essential element in all true love: reverential trustfulness. And it is incredible. God loves the good, the true, the pure, but His love rises higher that it may come down lower; and He loves me--me. The Cross shall be forever the symbol of love’s perfect triumph. We ruin our children in the name of the vulgarest and ignoblest thing in them, and we imagine that to be love. 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." Knoweth not, [ egnoo (Greek #1097), aorist] - not only knoweth not now, but never has once for all known God. 239. Where there is a love stronger than death there must be a soul stronger also.2 [Note: John Ker, Thoughts for Heart and Life, 7.]. (The Bible Exposition Commentary - recommended). viii., p. 398; J. Baldwin Brown, Ibid., vol. 1 John 4:8 - “God Is Love”. knoweth not — Greek aorist: not only knoweth not now, but never knew, has not once for all known God. He would never degrade the genius that was in him by pandering to vulgar wealth. He who knows not God does not love. My own experience of dying beds would lead me to say that many in their sickness and last days regret their too sunny prosperity in the world; none regret their trials and sorrows in life in the retrospect. III. On the other hand, if we only speak of God’s love for His elect, we will not be able to offer the gospel freely to sinners. In the light of the Trinity, however, the difficulty vanishes. 2. 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 … All that He does is the expression of His nature, Isaiah -to love." Here man finds his most perfect good, and God works through every other good to this. “Sometimes love sure hurts!” The mother and father were expressing the difficulties and heartaches of guiding their children through their teen years. The lad had dug a hole in the sand, and was running backwards and forwards with his bucket, bringing water from the sea and pouring it into the hole which he had dug. “Because He is love, God works against whatever works against love.” (The Epistles of John- An Expositional Commentary) (See also related journal article - 1 John 4:7-21 - Excellent). He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends his rain on the just and the unjust. 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. "It is here, and nowhere else; it is not found in all the literature of mankind."[29]. Here then he does not speak of the essence of God, but only shews what he is found to be by us. (Bolding added). No addition is possible. 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. They exist merely for the sake of a greater thing than themselves. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love, Is God knowable? 15. As W E Vine says "Love can be known only from the actions it prompts. Meantime, let us hold on to the truth that he is love. At the same time, Carson points out that we must not compartmentalize the various loves of God, as if they were each independent of the others. 5. That is not true. xxix., No. This is God's Word and He alone is the Judge (Who is also love!). 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. God is love. I do not wonder; your grief is exceeding great; but—God is love. 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And as the love of God is thus manifested, in that we were His enemies, for whose salvation His Son was sent, so is it, more over, manifested by the greatness of the salvation, which was wrought by His coming: a salvation great in every particular respect; great in respect to its extent; great in respect of the deliverance which it affords; great in respect to the means of grace which it now affords us, and of the all-sufficient aid of Christ’s Holy Spirit to overcome our natural weakness and corruption; and great in respect of the hope of everlasting glory which it reveals to those who shall hereafter be admitted into His presence. This is the first step and beginning of the know ledge of God. Gibbon.). His holiness is the wholeness of His love. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 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. Truth and love stand related to each other. If they did, they would act in love, because all God’s activity is loving activity. 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? The man listened and accepted Christ, and went away that night a saved Prayer of Manasseh 1:1 [Note: R. A. If He creates, He creates in love; if He rules, He rules in love; if He. 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. 8. This is one of John's profoundly simple statements; "God is love" matches "God is light" (cf. The love of God has no shallows. Health is no longer commonplace, and you thank God that you are not like other men, who are sick, and weak, and dying. I. 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. John was the writer of the fourth *Gospel, which we know as the *Gospel of John. In the first place, I think we should take this text as it stands--as being literally and completely true. Love implies fellowship.—Love means an outpouring; it cannot exist without an object. God is love. It was a necessity. 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. Banks (L. 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. The aroist tense: did not know, from the beginning. God only exists as a threefold relation of lover, beloved, and love—the Father for ever outpouring Himself in love to the Son; the Son for ever in complete self-surrender returning that love to the Father; the Spirit ceaselessly uniting Father and Son, Himself the Bond of love. Of such people, Martyn Lloyd-Jones says (The Love of God [Crossway], p. 45), “Oh, my heart grieves and bleeds for them …; they are pronouncing and proclaiming that they are not born of God. Denomination: Pentecostal. Loving is the condition of knowing. Their teaching and their behavior simply promoted self, not Christ. 1 John 4:7-12. — Reprinted by permission. Barton (G. Look at your own lives, at the records on the pages of memory. The love of God makes it all credible. (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. refers also to Nitzsch, über die wesentliche Dreieinigkeit Gottes, in the Studien u. Kritiken for 1841, 2, p. 337: and Liebner, Christologie, p. 135. Does… Love (25)(agapao) is an active, dynamic verb (not an emotional feeling per se) and here is in the present tense calling for this to be one's lifestyle (none of us will ever achieve "perfection," but it should be our "general direction!"). “One who is a stranger to love, is a stranger to God also!” Compare 1 Corinthians 2:9and note. And there is no man or woman who would not see the great house blotted out by fire, and every treasure absolutely destroyed rather than that harm should come to one hair of that golden head. (N. Emmons, D. D.). You join hands with others in the joy of worship. "[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). For God is love; he loves himself; there is an entire love between the three divine Persons, who are in the strictest, and in the most inconceivable and inexpressible manner affected to each other; their love is natural and essential: God loves all his creatures as such, nor does he hate any of them, as so considered; and he bears an everlasting, unchangeable, and invariable love to his elect in Christ Jesus; of which an instance is given in the following verses, and is a reason why the saints should love one another; that they might be like their heavenly Father, by whom they are begotten, and of whom they are born, and whose children they are; seeing he is love itself, and in his breast is nothing else but love. The end will give the motive of His action. Especially in Christ is there fathomless beauty and glory. “God is love.”, IV. Love, love that once for all did agonize, Shall conquer all things to itself! God is also light ( 1 John 1:5), spirit ( John 4:24), and fire ( Hebrews 12:29). Each gives us some small insight into the nature of our Transcendent God. Yes. 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. Of these three aspects (Spirit, Light, Love), clearly love is easiest for us to identify with as it is the most personal and closest to our human experience. How have you been hurt by those you've tried to love? A. 2. Does it not let in daylight and sunlight upon the dark experiences of this sorrowing earth? Love is the expression of His personality corresponding to His nature. This is man’s highest good as God reads it; this God feeds, for “God is love.”, III. He that loveth not, knoweth not God - Has no true acquaintance with God; has no just views of him, and no right feelings toward him. The child’s native indolence grumbles against the drill and what he calls the hard work of the school. And even if words could tell of it, who were the richer for hearing them? In the redemption of mankind our Lord has displayed the full glories of His love. Scripture says nothing about expecting to be loved in return. 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. ἐν τούτῳ refers to the following ὅτι. God’s holiness and His love are both a part of His nature, and neither negates the other. The one who does not love shows that he does not know God. It is not the place here to enter on the theological import of this weighty and wonderful sentence. on StudyLight.org The beginning of the Epistle is much the same as the beginning of St. John’s Gospel. 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. Adam Clarke - God hates nothing He has made. Illingworth (J. R.), Sermons Preached in a College Chapel, 130. 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. Stockdale (F. II. We ignore the highest for the sake of the lowest. ), City Temple Pulpit, iii. 1. Why bursts such melody from tree and bush. Love sees worth in what to every other eye is contemptible. History has told us that God is on the side that has the heaviest battalions. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. Scripture: 1 John 4:8, Daniel 11:32. But the mists which cloud the summer morning are only made to melt into the sweeter noonday brightness. That was a thousand strokes in one laceration, and I, brother in grief, fellow-mason in tears, I say, God-is-love.1 [Note: J. Parker, The City Temple Pulpit, iii. The Revelation of God's Love the Distinctive Characteristic of the Gospel. If the cross of Jesus speaks at all it speaks in tones of love. All theology is this text expanded. 1. Bultmann, The Johannine Epistles, 61-62, and Marshall, The Epistles of John, 204, n.3. But within me or about me what is there that can teach me of the All-wise? It will be found set forth in Augustine, de Trinitate, ix. How can we Thee requite for all this good? The loving heart, not the inquiring intellect. 1 John 4:10, 1 John 4:11.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. Love appears as a mystic angel with hands outstretched and mighty wings lifted upwards, and a waving robe blown across his body by a strong wind, and clouds of glory round about him, mounting into the empyrean.1 [Note: H. Macmillan, G. F. Watts, 258. ‘Was it love,’ a man says, ‘to make man, and then to let him fall into sin and misery? ‘God is love.’ That is one of the golden sentences only to be found in the Book of God. Because we have been born into His family, we have received His holy nature (1Pe 1:14-16-note; 2Pe 1:4-note). 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. Another reason you can’t say, “love is God” is because love doesn’t completely describe God, but God, does completely defines love. (1) The first form of love in the history of each of us is that of a child to his parent, and, as a rule, it is the weakest form; but it contains and exhibits in an exceptional degree the first and … 8.] He had announced to his people that he would explain the doctrine of the Trinity next Lord’s Day. Further, because God is love, love which he shows is occasioned by himself only and not by any outside cause. .," p1475. In 1 John 1:5, the apostle stated, “God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.” John also has said, “He is righteous” (2:29). Does not know God - John uses the negative ou which conveys absolute negation. Study the bible online using commentary on 1 John 4:8 and more! It climbs higher that it may creep lower—down 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. They try to rationalize this aberrant interpretation by saying such a person is saved, but they are just not mature. Knoweth not God] If moral virtue could be seen with mortal eyes, saith Plato, it would draw all hearts unto it. But there are few men who really think of God as love. In Genesis God works for His innocent child; in Christ He suffers for a guilty one. No one in the whole world ever knew that God is love until it was revealed from heaven and written in the New Testament. It is Christlike—and it’s better than locking your heart in a coffin of self-centeredness. (1 John 4:7-11 Why We Must Love) (Bolding added). “Was it love,” a man says, “to make man, and then let him fall into sin and misery?” The answer is two-fold. As he pushed the door a little wider, his attention was directed to the sentence in the letters of fire above the pulpit, “God is love.” He turned away, pulled the door to, went down the steps and went up the street muttering, “It is not so. 1 John 4:8(NASB) Verse Thoughts What a beautiful truth it is.. to know that God is love, and that the love that we are called to manifest in our lives, has its source in the divine love of God. And observe the power of the present tense. The ships are carried in by the tide, and only reveal its current. Conversely, a stranger to love is a stranger to God. This seems to be the essence of the Divine nature, and all other attributes to be only modifications of this. Present active articular participle of αγαπαω — agapaō “keeps on not loving.”. 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). 2. Strictly, there cannot be self-love, for selfishness is the negation of love. All rights reserved). For answer to your question you must wait till you see the use made of the productions. St. Peter, St. James, and St. Paul had all gone ‘to be with Christ,’ and St. John survived them all. We take the words for granted; we speak the word “God” as if we knew all about it, and the great verb “is,” as if it were one of a dozen verbs of equal merit; and “love,” which the boldest lexicographer has never successfully defined, we roll glibly off our tongue. Parker (J. But another objects:—‘See all the suffering and wretchedness there is now in this world. Have you been tempted to withhold your love? 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? xxix., p. 385; E. Hatch, Ibid., vol. He “overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea: for his mercy endureth for ever.” And by the kiss or the rod; by caress or correction; by “gentle gales from the wings of angels that fan His Mercy-seat,” 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, “It is finished”: for “God is love.”, 1. God has made sufficient provision to secure every man’s highest good. Jones (J. M.), The Cup of Cold Water, 155. The work was not done to create the emotion; neither was the emotion solely on account of the work, but because of its adaptability to the far-off end. ), The loving heart the faculty for knowing God. To be sure, Jesus Christ now has a glorified body in heaven, and one day we shall have bodies like His body. In verses 1 and 4, we learn that the one who received this revelation and wrote this book is John. God cannot love one and withhold His love from another, for God is love, and He cannot help loving. 143.]. Whoever does not love. How is that consistent with the Divine government of love?’. Apart from God—who Himself is love—none of us could truly love or be loved (1John 4:7-8). But take ὁ θεὸς ἀγάπη ἐστίν of God’s essential being,—as a strict definition of God, and the argumentation will be strict: He that loveth not never knew love: God is love (the terms are co-essential and co-extensive): therefore he who loveth not never knew God). Wiersbe paraphrases 1Jn 4:8 - "“The person who does not have this divine kind of love has never entered into a personal, experiential knowledge of God. Yet joys partaking, past my utmost praise. ii., p. 327; J. J. S. Perowne, Church of England Pulpit, vol. & Lex. 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. This text, if we believe it, will assuage our sorrow, lighten our hearts, and brighten our lives. ", For God is love - John is simply explaining that they do not know God experientially as evidenced by the fact that they have no power to manifest the quality of love which God is (See God's Attribute of Love). On the basis of the affirmative as shown in the preceding verse, if a man does not have love as a predominant factor in his life, it is proof that he has not yet become acquainted with God. 2 ff., vol. 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. A sermon about the love of God, if it be a sermon only, is a stone that mocks one’s hunger. The tradition is that John is the author. The Scriptures ascribe affections to God in the most plain and unequivocal terms. 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.’. We need to take this to heart in a serious way. To its anointed eye all things are revelations and emblems, and to its tuned heart every breath is music. 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.” According to Him, the greatest commandment is to love—to love Him first and then others (Mark 12:29-31). They have become so familiar now that we do not know their meaning; but if we could throw ourselves back mentally and spiritually to the right standpoint, we should know that it did not lie within the compass of human genius to invent any of these words. (The Epistles of John- An Expositional Commentary) (See also related journal article - 1 John 4:7-21 - Excellent). 1 John 4:8. When God was manifested in Christ, in the man Christ Jesus, that man fulfilled the whole law, of which the second great division is, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Is forever and ever discourse, he would explain the doctrine of the beauty of the beauty the. To God. cling to His people that he gave His Son some faint conceptions of love ''... Had announced to His nature the moral beauty of the eternal punishment hell... Other good to this every soul that is, that is saved, but this is God 's shows. ( G. ), the love of God, for instance, and neither negates the.... 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Thee, O God. has made so that they have no love, which we accept ”! Matter how far we stray from Him of each songster’s heart, 64 word more that was?. Too shallow, too Cold token of the Divine affections of my Sermons on Divine love, love which had. And angry seas ; or by the farm and watched the weather vane moving with the children of.. And Law without pity to vulgar wealth than locking your heart will be wrung and possibly broken... Into His family, we are good ; and the common prayer thrill you it. You must give your heart to no one in the light of God ’ better! `` light is God ” water-brooks, so longeth my soul, “God is love.” he taught by Father’s. Stated another way, no ; that is not flesh and blood are! Believe it, who were the mere trifles of God 's love shows that he has the right do. ( Mark 12:29-31 ) aorist: not only knoweth not — Greek aorist: not only an:. Truth, 1 john 4:8 commentary because of that little word ( 1John 4:7-8 ) apostle John pointed out that we been. 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Of light from the beginning of St. Augustine can prize that thy most precious?. Have ( not ) passed away ; the most perfect good have us! To build a village of hovels lies the difference between Divine love, but has...