1 John 4:7-21 The Outworking Of God’s Love

by | Oct 5, 2023 | 1 John, New Testament

I. The Love Of God-A Family Resemblance

A. Those Who Know God V. 7

1. Guzik- The Greek sentence begins in a striking way…“those who are loved, let us love.”
2. He says that they were born of God; born again; born ones of God.
3. If a person is born again, they know God (ginosko-to know by experience) to some degree
4. They are also indwelt by the Spirit of God; therefore, God’s love is “outworked”.

B. Those Who Don’t Know (Ginosko) God V. 8

1. This is not to say that non Christians do not do kind, generous, sacrificial things.
2. Christians need to be very careful to not say that unbelievers don’t or can’t love sacrificially. Sometimes Christians are out-loved by unbelievers.
3. David Guzik- “…when we really experience God it will show by our love for one another. You can’t truly grow in your experience of God without also growing love for one another. John can boldly say, ‘He who does not love does not know God’. If there isn’t real love for God’s people in your life, then your claim to know God and experience God isn’t true”.
4. May we NOT be Christians that are growing in knowledge, but are stagnant in loving.

II. The Love Of God-What It Looks Like

A. Proactive V. 9a

1. God’s love sees man’s need and is proactive.
2. God’s love ought to be pro-active in us and through us.

B. Life Giving V. 9b

1. God’s love offers that which can bring life with God to its recipient.
2. This is a defining difference between worldly love & God’s love.

a. Both are given to alleviate suffering, & to improve the quality of life.
b. God’s love adds the fact that people need spiritual and eternal life through Him.
c. The motivation of God’s love is practical & spiritual, temporal & eternal.

C. Not Demanding Reciprocity V. 10a

1. God’s love is proactive and isn’t withheld if not reciprocated. (see 1 John 2:2)
2. Matthew 5:46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?

D. Covering Sin V. 10b

1. God’s love provided the solution to man’s sin. We seek to point people to that.
2. Propitiation- “to appease and render favorable.” That was the pagan meaning of the Greek word. The pagan worshipper brought gifts to his god to appease the god’s wrath and make him favorable in his attitude towards him. But the God of Christianity needs no gifts to appease His wrath and make Him favorable towards the human race. Divine love springs spontaneously from His heart. (Kenneth Wuest)
3. God’s love for us was manifested in that he sent Jesus to die for our sins, that we might be rendered favorable to the Father. His love for us motivated Him to make us acceptable.
4. This is a defining aspect of God’s love vs. mere human love. God’s love in us and through us seeks to bring others into a favorable standing with God. Heavenly minded.

III. The Christian Who Loves

A. A Commandment V. 21

1. The fact that it is a command indicates that sometimes we struggle to love others.
2. Matthew 22:36-40 36“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” 37Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38This is the first and great commandment. 39And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

B. A Heartfelt Response Vs. 11, 19

1. We consider what God’s intentions were and are for us; we consider God’s love for us when we were apart from Him; we consider what it cost Jesus to make propitiation for us. That defines God’s love within us towards everyone we meet.
2. This also defines the internal drive we ought to be feeling for others.

C. It Is Who We Are & Are Being Made To Be V. 7

1. “Born of God” speaks of God and His nature being within the Christian.
2. Becoming more like Jesus is God’s intention and His work within the Believer.
3. Romans 8:29 “( we are being)…conformed to the image of His Son”.

D. Not Loving Is Contradictory To His Nature Within Us V. 20

1. A declaration of faith ought to be accompanied by attitudes & actions of faith.
2. God’s love flows forth from relationship with Him.
3. It is completely possible to claim faith in Christ, & not be saved.
4. The love of God within us is a test & a proof of right relationship w/God thru Jesus.

E. Loving With God’s Love Is Assurance For Us Vs. 12-18

1. V. 12- God is not visible, but His love is. Visible on the cross, & thru His people.

a. Perfected- to bring to completion, to accomplish, to finish, mature, complete
b. See- 1 John 2:3, 5; 3:14; 3:19; 3:24; 5:13, 14; 5:20

2. V. 13- God’s Spirit within us brings assurance of relationship w/God.

a. Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love.
b. God’s Spirit produces God’s love within us, which is more than mere human love.
c. That manifested love comes as a result of Him abiding in us.

3. Vs. 14-16a- Another work of God’s Spirit is to testify to who Jesus is.

a. That the Father sent the Son as Savior of the world
b. That Jesus is the Son of God
c. That confession (agreement) is a result of the indwelling Spirit revealing Christ to us.
d. That same Spirit bears witness to the Believer re. God’s love for them.

4. V. 16b- God & His love are inseparable. To abide in God is to abide in His love.
5. Vs. 17, 18- As the love of God is perfectly perfected in the Christian, certain results occur

a. When we stand before God, we have boldness and not fear.
b. As He is, so we have been as regards loving with the love of God.
c. That love has been produced in us and come forth from our lives
d. That love is the fruit of God’s abiding Spirit.
e. We love because we are willing to obey & are grateful for His love
f. We have God’s perspective & intention as we love; not just sentimental.
g. As we love, we have no fear of judgment. As God’s love is born within us, we realize the propitiation made on our behalf for our pardon.
h. God’s love in us is a fruit of His salvation of us. That truth casts out fear of judgment.

Life Group Questions

1. The mechanics of loving someone can be tricky (forgiveness, confrontation, confession), but the desire to love others must be there. How has God increased love in your heart?
2. The Father sent the Son to be the propitiation for our sins; to make us acceptable to God, to bring us to God. How has someone does this for you?
3. Growing in receiving God’s love gives us more love for others. It also gives us increasing confidence in this life and the next to not fear God. How does that work? Why is it true?