New American Standard Bible
We love, because He first loved us.
King James Bible
We love him, because he first loved us.
Darby Bible Translation
We love because he has first loved us.
World English Bible
We love him, because he first loved us.
Young's Literal Translation
we -- we love him, because He -- He first loved us;
1 John 4:19 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
We love him, because he first loved us - This passage is susceptible of two explanations; either.
(1) that the fact that he first loved us is the "ground" or "reason" why we love him, or.
(2) that as a matter of fact we have been brought to love him in consequence of the love which he has manifested toward us, though the real ground of our love may be the excellency of his own character.
If the former be the meaning, and if that were the only ground of love, then it would be mere selfishness, (compare Matthew 5:46-47); and it cannot be believed that John meant to teach that that is the "only" reason of our love to God. It is true, indeed, that that is a proper ground of love, or that we are bound to love God in proportion to the benefits which we have received from his Hand; but still genuine love to God is something which cannot be explained by the mere fact that we have received favors from Him. The true, the original ground of love to God, is the "excellence of His own character," apart from the question whether we are to be benefited or not. There is that in the divine nature which a holy being will love, apart from the benefits which he is to receive, and from any thought even of his own destiny. It seems to me, therefore, that John must have meant here, in accordance with the second interpretation suggested above, that the fact that we love God is to be traced to the means which he has used to bring us to himself, but without saying that this is the sole or even the main reason why we love him. It was His love manifested to us by sending His Son to redeem us which will explain the fact that we now love Him; but still the real ground or reason why we love Him is the infinite excellence of His own character. It should be added here, that many suppose that the Greek words rendered "we love" (ἡμεῖς ἀγαπῶμεν hēmeis agapōmen are not in the indicative, but in the subjunctive; and that this is an exhortation - "let us love him, because he first loved us." So the Syriac, the Arabic, and the Vulgate read it; and so it is understood by Benson, Grotius, and Bloomfield. The main idea would not be essentially different; and it is a proper ground of exhortation to love God because He has loved us, though the highest ground is, because His character is infinitely worthy of love.
LibraryChrist's Mission the Revelation of God's Love
'Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.'--1 John iv. 10. This is the second of a pair of twin verses which deal with substantially the same subject under two slightly different aspects. The thought common to both is that Christ's mission is the great revelation of God's love. But in the preceding verse the point on which stress is laid is the manifestation of that love, and in our text the point mainly brought out is its …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John
The Ray and the Reflection
"The Least of These My Brethren"
Scriptural Predictions of an Apostasy.
1 John 4:10
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
1 John 4:20
If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.
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