For love comes from God
Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:7-8 CSB
After John’s writing on believers discerning what is true or false, he shifts back towards the topic of love, specifically, love that comes from God. John keeps on coming back to this instruction for believers to “love one another.” John already mentioned how God manifested His love to us in 1 John 3:16, “This is how we have come to know love: He laid down his life for us.” Now, from our text, he emphasizes that the source of love is God: “love is from God.” In order to be more like Christ, believers must love in the same manner as He loves, which is on display through loving “one another.” As another test to determine who is a believer and who is not, John puts forth this proof of love, as “everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.” Now, there are plenty of examples, possibly even in your own life, of individuals who have displayed sacrificial love, and yet, are not believers in Christ. So, in what sense then does it mean that everyone who loves is actually born of God? We can see this point made previously in 1 John 3:23, in which a true believer loves Christ and loves others, “Now this is His command: that we believe in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another as He commanded us.” To know Christ is to know love. If God is love and if love is to be known, then His love should flow thorough the life of the believer. And one way we show the love of God through us is by making His love known to others by telling them the gospel. God made His love known by dying at the cross and that by repenting from our sin and believing Him, we obtain the salvation He wants us to receive. Yes, non-believers can display love, but true love that includes loving God and fully expressing that love for others is on display through the presentation of the gospel, the saving love of Christ being shared, which is only done by believers. And as done numerous times throughout his letter, John gives us the flip side, the withholding of such love; “The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” Anyone who does not display this love does not know God. God’s very nature is love. He did not have to give His Son to die on the cross to save His fallen creation, and yet, He did so because of His love for all of us. Yet, if someone truly received this gift of love and is a believer, how can they not share it to others? “A person saved by love and indwelled with love MUST love” (David Walls). Without knowing God, there will be no knowing of what true love is, and there will be no showing of real love.
Isaac De Guzman