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"Love Has Reasons"
1 John 4:7-11
Wednesday AM Bible Study
January 4, 2006
The greatest motivation for our love toward one another is a realization of
God's love for us. Once we see and understand His love for us, we become
motivated, by a godly sense of obligation, to love one another as He has
I. LOVE'S REASONS (vv. 7-10).
A. Because love is of God (v. 7).
1. This is one of the "tests" that John gives in this letter. Everyone
who loves is born of God and knows God; because the kind of love being
described - the self-sacrificing love of Jesus - is a kind of love that the
world cannot produce.
2. The reason this serves as a test is because love is of God. It has
its source, not in man, but in God only (see John 13:34-35).
B. Because God is love (v. 8).
1. Even though this love is "of God" as its source, this doesn't mean
that it's something that can be understood as distinct from God. There can
be no such thing as real love apart from God because God Himself - in His
essential nature - is love. He is not merely "loving"; nor can it merely be
said that He "enjoys and recommends love". Rather, it is one of His own
2. "Love" didn't come into existence when we came into existence - as if
God needed to create us in order to have something to love. He already
experienced perfect love in His own triune being. The Father eternally
loved the Son (John 3:35; 1 Corinthians 15:28; 2 Corinthians 13:14).
Rather, we - as God's redeemed creatures - are welcomed into the marvelous
overflow of the eternal love that was already there in perfection in His own
being. (John 17:20-26).
3. The implication is that if we claim to know God and yet harbor hatred in
our hearts for our brother or sister, we are fooling ourselves. How can we
hate, and yet have a relationship with Him who is love (1 John 4:16)?
C. Because God loved us (vv. 9-10). Note the nature of this love:
1. This love was profoundly sacrificial (v. 9). It involved the greatest
possible sacrifice on God's part toward us - that is, His own precious Son.
He held nothing back for us.
2. This love was completely undeserved (v. 10a). God wasn't motivated to
love us because we were lovable. Rather, we were spiritually dead
(Ephesians 2:1), and could do nothing to merit His love (Titus 3:5). He
loved us while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8).
3. This love was wonderfully practical (v. 10b). In it, God provided His
own Son to be the "propitiation" for our sins - that is, that which satisfies
His righteous anger toward us. No amount of good works could have ever done
this; because we who had sinned against Him and deserved the death penalty
(Romans 6:23) would have been the ones trying to do the works. Someone had
to die because of our sins; and God gave His own Son to be that someone (1
II. LOVE'S RESPONSE (v. 11).
A. Love's response presupposes that we know that God has so loved us.
B. If this is so, then we are obligated by His love to so love one another.