1 John 4:7
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.

New Living Translation
Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God.

English Standard Version
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.

Berean Study Bible
Beloved, let us love one another, because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.

Berean Literal Bible
Beloved, we should love one another, because love is from God; and everyone loving has been born from God and knows God.

New American Standard Bible
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.

King James Bible
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.

International Standard Version
Dear friends, let us continuously love one another, because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born from God and knows God.

NET Bible
Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been fathered by God and knows God.

New Heart English Bible
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God, and knows God.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Dear friends, we must love each other because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born from God and knows God.

New American Standard 1977
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Beloved, let us love one another, for charity is of God. Anyone that loves is born of God and knows God.

King James 2000 Bible
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and everyone that loves is born of God, and knows God.

American King James Version
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loves is born of God, and knows God.

American Standard Version
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is begotten of God, and knoweth God.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Dearly beloved, let us love one another, for charity is of God. And every one that loveth, is born of God, and knoweth God.

Darby Bible Translation
Beloved, let us love one another; because love is of God, and every one that loves has been begotten of God, and knows God.

English Revised Version
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is begotten of God, and knoweth God.

Webster's Bible Translation
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is from God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.

Weymouth New Testament
Dear friends, let us love one another; for love has its origin in God, and every one who loves has become a child of God and is beginning to know God.

World English Bible
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God, and knows God.

Young's Literal Translation
Beloved, may we love one another, because the love is of God, and every one who is loving, of God he hath been begotten, and doth know God;
Study Bible
Love Comes from God
6We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. That is how we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of deception. 7Beloved, let us love one another, because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.…
Cross References
John 13:34
A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so also you must love one another.

1 Corinthians 8:3
But the one who loves God is known by God.

1 John 2:3
By this we can be sure that we have come to know Him: if we keep His commandments.

1 John 2:4
If anyone says, "I know Him," but does not keep His commandments, he is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

1 John 2:7
Beloved, I am not writing you a new commandment, but an old one, which you have had from the beginning. This commandment is the message you have heard.

1 John 2:29
If you know that He is righteous, you also know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.

1 John 3:9
Anyone born of God refuses to practice sin, because God's seed abides in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God.

1 John 3:11
This is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another.

1 John 4:8
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

1 John 4:11
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
Treasury of Scripture

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loves is born of God, and knows God.

let.

1 John 4:20,21 If a man say, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar: for …

See on ch.

1 John 2:10 He that loves his brother stays in the light, and there is none occasion …

1 John 3:10-23 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the …

1 John 5:1 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every …

love is.

1 John 4:8 He that loves not knows not God; for God is love.

Deuteronomy 30:6 And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart, and the heart of …

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, …

1 Thessalonians 4:9,10 But as touching brotherly love you need not that I write to you: …

2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of …

1 Peter 1:22 Seeing you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through …

every.

1 John 4:12 No man has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwells …

See on ch.

1 John 2:29 If you know that he is righteous, you know that every one that does …

1 John 3:14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the …

1 John 5:1 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every …

and knoweth.

John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know you the only true …

2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined …

Galatians 4:9 But now, after that you have known God, or rather are known of God, …

(7) THE PERFECT LOVE THE SUREST TEST (1John 4:7-21).

(a)Fraternal love the necessary product of the true knowledge of God, because God is love (1John 4:7-8).

(b)The grand recent historical exhibition of God's love (1John 4:9-10).

(c)Our consequent duty (1John 4:11).

(d)God's abode in us, the perfecting of His love in us, and the proof of His presence through the Spirit, are the equivalent for seeing Him (1John 4:12-13).

(e)All this is grounded on the strong, undeniable truth of the Apostolic witness to Christ (1John 4:14-16).

(f)The fearlessness which is the result of perfect love (1John 4:17-18).

(g)The cause of our love to God, and the necessary connection of that love with love to our fellows (1John 4:19-21).

This may be considered the central portion of the second half of the Epistle. Nothing could be more significant of St. John's teaching. Here many trains of thought which have occurred before are gathered together in one grand treatise on love, divine and human--the complement of the thirteenth chapter of the First Epistle to the Corinthians. The thought of (a) was suggested, though not in so complete and concise a form, in 1John 3:10-11; 1John 3:23; 1John 2:4; 1John 3:6; that of (b) in 1John 3:16; 1John 2:2; that of (c) also in 1John 3:16; that of (d) in 1John 2:5; 1John 3:24; that of (e) in 1John 1:1-2; that of (f) in 1John 2:28; that of (g) in 1John 2:4; 1John 3:17. The connection with the paragraph on the trial of the spirits is very obvious: "every one that loveth is born of God;" so that the quality and quantity of our affection will be the best gauge whether we have the spirit of truth or of error. The absence of love is ignorance of God, for real knowledge of Him imparts His nature. And if any ask how we know of His love, the answer is that it was seen in His Son. In sending Him, He loved us without any love on our part. Our relation to God reminds us that we must have the same love to each other. The fact that God cannot be seen is an additional reason for mutual affection among us; for brotherly love is the demonstrable proof of His presence, and of the growing completeness of the work wrought by His love in us. The Spirit Himself, through whom our love would come, confirms the reality of God's indwelling. And these spiritual emotions and developments are not illusory, for they are guaranteed by the ocular and oral evidence of the Apostles to the historical Person of Christ. So the result of all this will be perfect and fearless confidence. To sum up (1John 4:19): our love to God springs from His to us; hatred of our brother (or the absence of love for him) is the denial of all love for God; and for this duty we rest not on our own deductions only, however true, but on His plain command.

(7 a.) (7) One another.--As God loved the world, so we are to love mankind, not merely Christians. (Comp. 1John 3:13.)

For love is of God.--He who is truly alive shares the life of God, which is love. All true love is part of His being.

(8) Knoweth not.--Rather, never knew. Real knowledge of God has a convincing practical effect; without such an effect it is not knowledge, but a mere mental deception.

God is love.--In the early part of the Epistle St. John had defined God as light, and the thoughts had been grouped round and in relation to that central idea. It would of course be impossible ever to exhaust all the definitions of God; but just as our nature may be roughly classified as intellectual and moral, mind and heart, thought and emotion, so, when we have thought of God as Light (embracing all such attributes as truth, knowledge, purity, health, power, and justice), we shall not have traversed in outline all that we can know of His nature, or all that concerns us to know, until we have also thought of Him as Love, the author and source of all true affection, kindness, pity, friendliness, rejoicing in the creation of infinite life for the sake of its infinite happiness, and offering eternal bliss to all His human family, that He may be for ever surrounded by inexhaustible illustrations of the joy and glory of perfection.

(7 b.) (9) In this was manifested.--St. John echoes his beloved Lord (from John 3:16).

In us.--(Comp. John 9:3.) "In our case."

Only begotten.--In contrast to us, His adopted sons.

That we might live.--Human life is regarded as no true living, but a mere existence, until "Christ be formed in the heart" and we become "partakers of the divine nature."

(10) Herein is love.--What love is this, that, distasteful, uncongenial, unloving, unlovely as we must have been in His sight, He did this great thing for us! (Comp. John 15:16; Romans 5:8; Romans 5:10; Titus 3:4.) On Propitiation, see 1John 2:2; 1John 3:16.

(7 c,) (11) Beloved.--An impulse moves St. John's mind corresponding to that in 1John 4:7.

We ought.--As God has bestowed his affection so gratuitously on us, and we benefit by it in such an inconceivable degree, and can make Him no return, we can only pay the debt by bestowing our poor equivalent on our fellow men. Although our happiness depends strictly on God, still He has allowed us to be stewards for Him in some small degree for the happiness of those about us.

(7 d.) (12) No man . . .--St. John quotes his Gospel (John 1:18). This is simply the general proposition, "God is invisible," and has no reference to spiritual sight. (Comp. Exodus 33:20; John 6:46; 1Timothy 6:16.) The appearances of God to Abraham or Moses would be like the Shechinah in the Temple, but no material glimpse of Him who is a Spirit. St. John mentions the fact as an admission of the limits of human nature and the condition of faith, but only in order to state the richness of the substitute, which is the presence of God within the soul, verified and substantiated by the historical Person of Christ.

His love is perfected in us.--Its operation in us has full scope and sway.

(13) Hereby know we.--Comp. 1John 3:24.

(7 e.) A second antithesis to the opening words of 1John 4:12. The Apostolic witness to the person of Christ is again and again insisted on as the foundation of Christian theology. (Comp. 1John 1:1-3; John 1:14; Acts 4:20; Acts 22:15; Acts 26:16.)

(14) Saviour of the world.--Comp. 1John 2:2.

(15) Whosoever shall confess--i.e., receives the Apostolic witness as beyond dispute. (Comp. 1John 2:23, and 1John 4:6; Romans 10:9.) The noble width of this declaration is most remarkable, in opposition to human inventions of narrow and sectarian communions.

Son of God, in the sense of "only begotten," as in 1John 4:9.

(16) And we have known and believed.--This has the effect of a reflective repetition of 1John 4:14, "Yes. we have known and believed." This time, however, the "we" includes those who have heard and accepted the testimony of the eye-witnesses.

God is love.--In this meditative recapitulation St. John cannot help summing up everything again in the boundless formula of 1John 4:8. Knowledge is here the process that leads to conviction; belief, the result of conviction.

He that dwelleth in love.--St. John's whole purpose is none other than to raise man to his highest possible development by demonstrating the reality and nature of fellowship with the Divine. Here he arrives at the very central position of all: that as God is Love itself, so he that allows nothing to trouble that atmosphere of pure love (here neither specially towards God or man) which God would enable him to breathe, if his own wilfulness did not turn him away from it, will be bathed in the light of God, animated with His life, and one with Him. It is a combination of 1John 4:8; 1John 4:15.

Us has the same width as 1John 4:15.

(7 f.) (17) Herein is our love made perfect.--Rather, In this love is perfected with us. "Love," as in 1John 4:16, is the disposition to be attracted towards what is worthy of sympathy, whether it be God or man.

That we may have boldness.--The day of judgment, whether near or remote, is regarded as so certain that it is a present fact influencing our conduct. Love will be more or less perfect in us in proportion as it gives us more or less just and reasonable grounds for confidence were we suddenly placed before the great white throne. (Comp. 1John 2:28.)

Because as he is, so are we in this world.--If we live in this serene atmosphere of pure sympathy with God and man, Christ is in us and we in Him, because God is Love itself. Sharing His nature, therefore, we must be like Him, and the more completely we allow this Divine love towards our Father and our brothers to transform our whole being, the more we shall be like our Judge, and the less cause we shall have for dread.

In this world merely indicates our present place of habitation.

(18) There is no fear.--The more perfect this disposition of serene sympathy becomes, the less share can any form of anxiety have in it. Even if regarded as directed to an earthly object, if it be pure and divine in its character, not even want of reciprocity can disturb its equanimity. Where it is a well-grounded sympathy with a perfect being, its serenity is all the more complete in proportion to its sincerity. When love is perfect, fear dwindles to nothing, is absolutely expelled. Love, seeking to be perfect, and finding fear alongside of it, will diligently seek out the cause of the fear, perfect itself by getting rid of the cause, and so get rid of the fear. Fear in such a connection implies some ground for alarm, and suffers punishment (not "torment") by anticipation. The presence of such a ground for alarm would imply a proportionate imperfection of love. (Comp. 1John 3:19-21.)

(7 g.) The cause of our love to God, and the necessary connection of that love with love to our fellows (1John 4:19-21).

(19) We love him, because he first loved us.--God's loving us made it possible for us to love Him: otherwise we should not have known Him, or had the faculty of loving Him even had we known Him. To suppose that St. John is putting a mere case of gratitude is to rob him of the dignity and depth of his meaning.

(20) These last three verses are a recapitulation in a vivid form, of the truth and the duty contained in 1John 4:10-11. God made it possible for us to love Him, and the very first result of our feeling this power within us, and allowing it to put itself into force will be seen in pure and devout sympathy for all whom we can help. As usual, hating, and not loving, are put as interchangeable members of the class of malevolence. St. John argues on the ground that it is much easier for human nature to be interested by what comes before its eyes than by that about which it has to think. Gregory the Great says, "In love the eyes are guides;" and cumenius, "Sight leads on to love." (Comp. 1John 2:4

Verses 7-21. - God is Love, and love is the surest test of birth from God. From 1 John 3:11, 12 St. John renews his exhortations to love, this time at greater length and in closer connexion with the other great subject of this second half of the Epistle, the birth from God. Verse 7. - Beloved (see on verse 1) The address is specially suitable where the subject is love. As before, we must not look for the chief purport of the section in the exhortation with which it opens. Just as "prove the spirits" is subordinate to "every spirit which confesseth," etc., so "let us love one another" is subordinate to "God is Love." (For the history and meaning of the specially Christian term ἀγάπη, see Trench's 'Synonyms of New Testament.') Beloved, let its love one another,.... The apostle having finished what he proposed to say concerning the trying of spirits, returns to his former exhortation to brotherly love, and which comes with fresh force and strength; for since worldly men follow, hear, embrace, and cleave to the false teachers; such as are of God, and on the side of truth, should love one another, and their faithful ministers, and stand fast in one spirit by the truths of the Gospel, in opposition to every error:

for love is of God: to love one another is the command of God, it is his revealed will, and is well pleasing in his sight; it comes from him, is a gift of his grace, and a fruit of his Spirit, and which he teaches regenerate ones to exercise:

and everyone that loveth God, as the Alexandrian copy reads, or Christ, and the saints, who seem to be particularly meant:

is born of God; for love to the brethren is an evidence of regeneration; See Gill on 1 John 3:14;

and knoweth God; he knows God in Christ, and therefore loves those who have the grace of God in them, and the image of Christ upon them; he knows the mind and will of God, being taught of God to love the brethren; and he knows the love of God, and has had an experience of the grace of God, which influences him to love the saints. 7. Resumption of the main theme (1Jo 2:29). Love, the sum of righteousness, is the test of our being born of God. Love flows from a sense of God's love to us: compare 1Jo 4:9 with 1Jo 3:16, which 1Jo 4:9 resumes; and 1Jo 4:13 with 1Jo 3:24, which similarly 1Jo 4:13 resumes. At the same time, 1Jo 4:7-21 is connected with the immediately preceding context, 1Jo 4:2 setting forth Christ's incarnation, the great proof of God's love (1Jo 4:10).

Beloved—an address appropriate to his subject, "love."

love—All love is from God as its fountain: especially that embodiment of love, God manifest in the flesh. The Father also is love (1Jo 4:8). The Holy Ghost sheds love as its first fruit abroad in the heart.

knoweth God—spiritually, experimentally, and habitually.4:7-13 The Spirit of God is the Spirit of love. He that does not love the image of God in his people, has no saving knowledge of God. For it is God's nature to be kind, and to give happiness. The law of God is love; and all would have been perfectly happy, had all obeyed it. The provision of the gospel, for the forgiveness of sin, and the salvation of sinners, consistently with God's glory and justice, shows that God is love. Mystery and darkness rest upon many things yet. God has so shown himself to be love, that we cannot come short of eternal happiness, unless through unbelief and impenitence, although strict justice would condemn us to hopeless misery, because we break our Creator's laws. None of our words or thoughts can do justice to the free, astonishing love of a holy God towards sinners, who could not profit or harm him, whom he might justly crush in a moment, and whose deserving of his vengeance was shown in the method by which they were saved, though he could by his almighty Word have created other worlds, with more perfect beings, if he had seen fit. Search we the whole universe for love in its most glorious displays? It is to be found in the person and the cross of Christ. Does love exist between God and sinners? Here was the origin, not that we loved God, but that he freely loved us. His love could not be designed to be fruitless upon us, and when its proper end and issue are gained and produced, it may be said to be perfected. So faith is perfected by its works. Thus it will appear that God dwells in us by his new-creating Spirit. A loving Christian is a perfect Christian; set him to any good duty, and he is perfect to it, he is expert at it. Love oils the wheels of his affections, and sets him on that which is helpful to his brethren. A man that goes about a business with ill will, always does it badly. That God dwells in us and we in him, were words too high for mortals to use, had not God put them before us. But how may it be known whether the testimony to this does proceed from the Holy Ghost? Those who are truly persuaded that they are the sons of God, cannot but call him Abba, Father. From love to him, they hate sin, and whatever disagrees with his will, and they have a sound and hearty desire to do his will. Such testimony is the testimony of the Holy Ghost.
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