But, leaving all these cavils, let us look at this matter very practically. God is love; its perfection, Divine beauty, real dimensions, and holiness are not found in men, not even in the best of God’s children, but scintillate only around the Throne of God.1 [Note: A. Kuyper, The Work of the Holy Spirit, 515. I know what water is when I take a drop of it in my tumbler, but do I know the thunder of the ocean from that? And so here. Each attribute—His truth, His power, His wisdom, and the like—must stand on the same footing as His love, and be equally great and glorious. They often become so absorbed in nature that they have no wish to look beyond it. The good of man includes the whole man. It is the great and impenetrable mystery. The aorist tense apparently refers back to the time of his professed conversion. No man invented these words. They are angry, unkind, impatient, abusive in their speech, self-centered in their daily lives, and judgmental of others. ], Young Scott, the son of Dr. Scott of Greenock, is with us. God loves the good, the true, the pure, but His love rises higher that it may come down lower; and He loves me—me. Maclagan (P. But whether He be merciful or beneficent or just or righteous or holy, He is love.1 [Note: Lyman Abbott. Carson argues (p. 17, correctly, I think), “On this axis, God’s love for the world cannot be collapsed into his love for the elect.”. 1 John 4:9.The manifestation of the love of God is the sending of His Son. It is a poor kind of love that depends for its proof upon the skill of the logician. A mature Christian said to a young, enthusiastic believer, “You love to witness to people, don’t you?” “Yes, I do,” was the hasty reply. Absence of love shows that a person does not have intimate fellowship with God. The loving heart, not the creative imagination. When our hearts are right all is right. Antinomianism in a religious mind seems to me to be an impossible moral phenomenon. I know that many reason more refinedly, and that the ancients especially have perverted this passage in order to prove the divinity of the Spirit. While a genuine believer may not always manifest divine love to other believers, to never demonstrate such love John says is to demonstrate that one does not know God. Scripture: 1 John 4:8, Matthew 7:23. So, the seemingly simple statement, “God is love,” is not quite so simple after all! We listen to its music and adore it; but when its glory has passed through the soul the lips are still unable adequately to describe any of its features. The reason for this is implied in what is immediately stated, that “God is love,” and of course if they have no love reigning in their hearts, they cannot pretend to be like him. John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary, Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament, Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament, Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible, Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged, Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers, E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. This individual absolutely does not know God. His righteousness is the eternal conformity of His life to love. The loving heart, not the excited conscience. Though countless be the notes, that God is Love! The love of God has no shallows. 7 Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and he who loves is born of God and knows God. Men say that by the Divinity of Christ, and by His death considered as an atonement for sin, we destroy this aspect of the Divine nature. John 4:24). Because we have been born into His family, we have received His holy nature (1Pe 1:14-16-note; 2Pe 1:4-note). ), The loving heart the faculty for knowing God. The answer is no--and yes. But He fulfilled the whole law, and loved every man, as He loved Himself—ay and more; and as He thus fulfilled the law, He said, “He that hath seen me, hath seen the Father”; that is to say, My love to men is the very image of My Father’s love to them.2 [Note: Letters of Thomas Erskine of Linlathen (1800–1840), i. This subject suggests matter of great consolation to those who are interested in the Divine favour. John went on to point out that if God is love, His children should resemble Him (1Jn 4:11-21-note). ], Love has been active everywhere. Who art thou, O man, with thy limited perception, blind to all the future--who art thou, that thou darest to say what infinite, omniscient, eternal love ought to do? Compare the notes at 2 Corinthians 13:11. Love appears as a mystic angel with hands outstretched and mighty wings lifted upwards, and a waving robe blown across his body by a strong wind, and clouds of glory round about him, mounting into the empyrean.1 [Note: H. Macmillan, G. F. Watts, 258. You cannot reverse "God is love" and say "Love is God," for that would border on pantheism! I became aware of my own ingratitude one Christmas when I received a card that said, “God still loves the world!” That card has adorned my kitchen wall ever since. This is a goal very far from us, the love of saints, the love of the men whom God in His turn reverences; but it has been realised by one and another lonely soul along the ages, living afar upon the mountains in the air we cannot breathe, to remind us that after all sacrifice is an element in love, and an element that will be present in proportion as love is stronger—that if God is love, there must be eternal sacrifice in Him, and that we cannot dwell in love without partaking of that sacrifice. viii., p. 398; J. Baldwin Brown, Ibid., vol. I say, “Father, give me Thine hand.” I can be patient and brave then. And whither was He sent? I know now how to come to Him, and to speak to Him. — Reprinted by permission. When it comes to love, the important thing we need to know is this: All love starts with God (1 John 4:19-note). Logically the statement stands parallel with "God is light" ( 1 John 1:5) and "God is spirit" ( John 4:24) as one of the three great Johannine expression of the nature of God.... "God is spirit" describes his metaphysical nature, while "God is light" and "God is love" deal with his character, especially as he has revealed himself to men." Awhile to listen, but would take its part? Campbell (R. Does not love does - This is an impossibility. But take ὁ θεὸς ἀγάπη ἐστίν of God’s essential being,—as a strict definition of God, and the argumentation will be strict: He that loveth not never knew love: God is love (the terms are co-essential and co-extensive): therefore he who loveth not never knew God). The words “For God so loved the world” are cherished by every believer. This is the first step and beginning of the know ledge of God. Illingworth (J. R.), Sermons Preached in a College Chapel, 130. O Blessed well of love, O flower of Grace. - This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Did you ever start a quail from her nest, and follow her as she flew low and with only one wing, almost within your reach? But tell me that He is love--that what love is, that is God--then I know Him. (J. M. In all these I can see only matter overcoming matter. For God is love - He is not merely benevolent, he is benevolence itself. As they were in the glow of the great, glad sun. John was the writer of the fourth *Gospel, which we know as the *Gospel of John. The proper view of God's love must be big enough to understand that his final judgment and overthrow of wickedness will be, in itself, a mark of eternal love. —John 3:16 If new emotions fill His heart, as one by one His works are done, that is but incidental, and not the object of His toil. 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