Love toward One Another Motivated by God’s Love

1 John 4:7-10


This is the third and final time John appeals to the subject of brotherly love.  He first mentioned it in 2:7–11, where it is given as an indicator of one who is walking in the light. The second occurrence comes in 3:11–18 (or even 3:10–24) and is mentioned as evidence that one is a child of God.


  1. The Command to Love (v. 7a)

“Beloved” a new term John calls the believers. Here they are beloved by God, has a new stand before God.

“Let us love one another” – occurs three times in this passage. Here in v. 7 it is an exhortation; in v. 11 it is a statement of duty, and in v. 12 it is a hypothesis.

John 15:12, 17  “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you…“This I command you, that you love one another.”

1 Peter 1:11 “Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart.”

1 Peter 2:17 “Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.”


  1. The Source of Love (vv. 7b-8)

v. 7b “for love is from God” The basis for this love is God and his love; in fact, it is because (hoti) love is from God. Love flows from or out of (ek) God and has God as its spring or source.

“and everyone who loves is born of  God and knows God.” Not only is this true of God, but all who love have been born (gegennētai) of God.

Rom 5:5 “and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

– John now turns from the positive expression of truth to its negative expression. He adds emphasis to the point in v. 7 by now stating the converse.

v. 8 “The One who does not love does not know God” Negatively the one who does not love is not born of God and has no relationship with him.

“for God is love” – The nature of God is love. Akin is his commentary says, “Because his very nature is love, mercy and goodness flow from God like a beautiful river, as sunlight radiates from the sun. Love, real love (cf. 1 Cor 13), has its ultimate source and origin in God. It is not an abstract concept but concrete action, as John will now explain.”


  1. III.                The Nature of Love (vv. 9-10)


  1. A.      The Love of God is Tangible (v. 9) something we can touch, benefit from

v. 9 “By this the love of God was manifested in us,” – manifested is in the aorist tense which is a past tense. God manifested his love in us in a certain point in history.

“that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world” –  The perfect tense, has sent, points to the abiding results of the sending.

“has sent” apostéllō is to send forth on a certain mission such as to preach (Mark 3:14; Luke 9:2); speak (Luke 1:19); bless (Acts 3:26); rule, redeem, propitiate (Acts 7:35; 1 John 4:10); save (1 John 4:14). The expression that Jesus was sent by God (John 3:34) denotes the mission which He had to fulfill and the authority which backed Him. The importance of this mission is denoted by the fact that God sent His own Son.

“so that we might live through Him” – to have eternal life with Christ and through Christ.

1 Thess 5:10 “who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him.”

2 Cor 13:4 “For indeed He was crucified because of weakness, yet He lives because of the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, yet we will live with Him because of the power of God directed toward you.”

Gal 4:4-5 “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.”

John 3:16 ““For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”


  1. B.      The Love of God is sacrificial (v. 10)

v. 10 “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us” – God is always taking the initiative to love first not us. This verse implies that man has not love of and in himself of God. God has to initiate this love.

“and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” – In this verse the purpose in sending the Son is not the incarnation but the atonement—God sent his Son to die. Our act was to sin. God’s was to love and send.

Rom 5:8 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

1 John 3:16 “We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”