1 John 4: 7-21
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and loves God. Whoever does not love, does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that God loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for all our sins.
Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
We know that we live in him and he is in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. And we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgement, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.
John writes to the believers in Christ as his dear friends in order to assure that God’s Spirit of love should be demonstrated by a life of love for Him and also others. God first showed his love for us by sending his one and only Son as a blood sacrifice to pay the penalty for our sins. We know that we belong to Him because we live in Him and He lives in us by his Spirit. God’s love is made complete in us when we love one another. We can fully rely on God on the day of judgement by living like Him in his love. We do not have to fear punishment because perfect love found in God has a made us perfect with no reason to fear. John also gives us a warning: If we do not love our brother, then we do not love God. Let us all love God and love one another so we will live like Christ.
Father thank you for your love given freely to your children. Teach us by your Spirit to live by your Word with love for one another as we grow to become like Christ. We ask in Jesus’ name, amen.