Statement of Faith
The Four Most Important Things We Could Ever Tell
Listen to this week's message!
Map to the Church
Enhance your daily reading of God's word. Click here for free, printable Bible Reading and Prayer Journal sheets!
AM Bible Study Archives
"Love is the Required Response"
1 John 4:19-5:1
Wednesday AM Bible Study
January 24, 2006
After He rose from the dead, Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved Him.
This was at a time when Peter had gone back to fishing. This was meant as a
rebuke. If we love Him, we will not be going back to life as usual. We
will love others who love Him.
John stresses the obligation of love in this morning's passage.
I. THE LOVE OF GOD TO WHICH WE RESPOND (4:19).
A. In the shortest verse in his letter, John says, "We love Him because He
first loved us." The word "Him" is not in some of the more reliable Greek
texts, so it can be translated, "We love, because He first loved us".
B. Most people reverse the order of these things, thinking that God loves
us because He first sees that we're so lovable. This makes God the
responder. But the Bible teaches us that unless God had first had mercy on
us, we would never even have been able to know Him (Eph. 2:4-5). Even Jesus
teaches us this (John 15:16). In the great exchange of love, we are the
responders; and all the thanks goes to Him.
II. THE REQUIRED RESPONSE TO THE LOVE OF GOD (4:20a).
A. The love of God which first was shown to us puts us in the place of an
obligation (1 John 4:10-11). If we truly love God, then our love for God is
a response to the love He first showed toward us. And this means that, if
God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
B. John goes so far as to say that if someone claims to love God and yet
hate his brother, he is a liar. Such a person talks in generalities about
"God" and "love"; but wont deal with the specifics of who God is and what He
has done for us, or what love really means. John combines "God" and "love"
and speaks of biblical "specifics". He is saying that if we are not rightly
oriented to the specifics, we are lying. (He points out the "liars" in his
letter five times - 1:10; 2:4; 2:22; 4:20; 5:10).
C. Read through this letter, and it will amaze you how many different times
John stresses the fact that we are kidding ourselves if we say we love God
but hate our brother (2:9; 2:11; 3:10; 3:14; 3:17; 4:8). Clearly, God is
not sentimental about love. He is unspeakably holy; and He will not
tolerate our claiming to love Him while, at the same time, hating those He
III. THE REASONS FOR THIS REQUIRED RESPONSE (4:20b-5:1).
A. THE PRINCIPLE OF OBSERVABILITY: We aren't truly loving the invisible God
if we don't love our visible brother (v. 20; see also 1 John 4:12).
B. THE PRINCIPLE OF OBEDIENCE: We aren't truly loving the Lord if we refuse
to obey His command to love our brother (v. 21; see also Luke 6:46; John
13:34; 15:10; 1 John 2:4; 5:3).
C. THE PRINCIPLE OF ORIGIN: We can't love the Father if we don't also love
those who are born of Him - the only requirement being that they believe on
Jesus Christ (5:1).