5. Esteem him above all — — — Desire him above all — — — Delight in him above all — — — And, if our Lord put the question to you which he put to Peter, “Lovest thou me?” let your whole life and conversation testify in your behalf, so that you may appeal to him and say, “Lord, thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I love thee.”]. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. A relationship—husband and wife, parent and child, friend and friend—is quite enough to account for it; or it may be in his nature or conduct that we see what causes our love to go out to another. God is love, created love, and loved us first. If it had been set upon us because of some goodness in us, then when the goodness was diminished the love would diminish too. If the end is gained, if God and man come together, what matter is it from which side the first impulse came? BibliographyEdwards, Justin. That is to say, for the moment John’s thought is fixed rather on the inward transformation effected, from self-regard to love, than on considering the object on which the love is expended. Cf. We are afraid. The Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ is the supreme appeal to our love, because it is the supreme proof of His. Might we not as well try to love illimitable space or embrace the elastic and viewless air? "Commentary on 1 John 4:19". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/1-john-4.html. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/1-john-4.html. "Sermon Bible Commentary". Your mere assertion is not sufficient to satisfy my mind: nor should a mere persuasion of it be sufficient to satisfy your mind. Sometimes it seems good to sweep aside all the complications of spiritual experience and bring it all to absolute simplicity. It should be added here, that many suppose that the Greek words rendered “we love” ( ἡμεῖς ἀγαπῶμεν hēmeis agapōmenare 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. Because He first loved us we have entered into the sphere of His love, and this has produced love within us. In a moment he sprang from his horse, mounted the scaffold, and was clasped in the arms of his friend. Could the kindness of God in Christ Jesus be seen by him, the softening of a kindness back again would be felt by him. “He sent His Son, the propitiation for our sins.”, 2. Love to God includes the highest esteem of Him. or did you form them in your own heart? He can make it and break it, so far as the machine is concerned, with equal indifference. Christian people, lay this to heart; you are to be mirrors of the love to which you turn for all blessedness and peace. To appreciate this truth aright, we must consider, [It is well known, that confidence in God is our bounden duty: nor is it less clear that we are called to cherish in our bosoms a diffidence respecting ourselves. I can, by an act of will, lift my arm, because my arm is moved by voluntary muscles. 1897. 2. v., p. 5. “We love Him”--not His gifts, but Himself. How can a person create love if love does not exist? Now note well that the cause which originated your love is the same which must restore it. The perfumes which the woman poured upon the Saviour’s feet, and the “spikenard very precious” which the sister of Bethany lavished on her Divine Master, were prompted by a like love. [Note: G. S. Sloyan, Walking in the Truth, p49.]. From Talk Thru the Bible. I keep faith with all the world, I do not return evil for evil; and I would that those who wish me harm had reached a state like mine beyond the power of men to make or mar. "Commentary on 1 John 4:19". or did any fellow-creature implant them there? It is caused or produced by the love of God. And our love to God is the best evidence to ourselves that we are passed from death into life. Every human being should love Him. The content, style, and vocabulary seem to warrant the conclusion that these three epistles were addressed to the same readers as the Gospel of John. We also love Him because He laid down His life for us. But if not that, if you have only scorn and humiliation and grief and self-contempt, you can give Him that. ], “For love of Him, for love of Him.”1 [Note: J. E. Flecker, Forty-Two Poems, 58.]. ), Divine Opportunity, 40. You have not to build it. In early life she had felt her need of a Saviour, and tried to become a Christian, but failed in finding the sinner’s Saviour. And sure I am that the history of non-Christian attempts to promote the brotherhood of man, and to diffuse a wide and operative love of mankind, teaches us, on the one side, that the emotion is not strong enough to last, and to work, unless it is based on God’s love in Jesus Christ. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/1-john-4.html. Now this, if revelation be true, is what God in His wisdom and His goodness has seen fit to do; and we might as well refuse the aid of a lamp in the darkness because it is not the sun as decline to be guided by such knowledge of Himself as He has given us because it is not and cannot be complete knowledge. The insertion of αὐτόν is a clumsy and unnecessary gloss. I am His Son, He sent Me to you. 2. The same Apostle, who has thus the honour of ringing out to the world the good news that God is Love, declares that ‘this is the message’ which he has to tell, that ‘God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.’ So the light of righteousness, as well as the lambent flame of love, burn together on that central fire of the universe. A.). It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. From all eternity the Lord looked upon His people with an eye of love, and as nothing can be before eternity His love was first. It must come by a genesis, not by spontaneous generation. We love Him because He first loved us. What does 1 John 4:19 mean? live revered! BibliographyRobertson, A.T. "Commentary on 1 John 4:19". “We love” includes “We love Him,” and it is evident from the rest of the passage that we have here a distinct though not an exclusive reference to the love of God. It is the effectual love of God that first changes our hearts in order to make us capable of love, and it is His example of love that reminds us again and again of our need to love other people. ‘The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.’ ‘Herein is our life made perfect, that we may have boldness in the great day of judgment.’ He faces death, the great unknown, but is not afraid because he knows of the love of God. We love him, because he first loved us - This passage is susceptible of two explanations; either. By all means let people have their board schools and so on, but do not imagine that that will ever do the work of the Church. “Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds. What they call altruism is no discovery of Christianity, but its practice is. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/1-john-4.html. Christians cherish great affection for Christ because of His greater affection for them. I know it is all very hard, and perhaps we shall fail. 1. Even then she waited, fancying, as she could not see him, that he might be still alive, till in the early dawn she groped her way to the door, and went to find some neighbours.2 [Note: Ibid. By an act of creative power. I admit that God is my Creator, but does He regard me as the workman regards the machine that he has made? In its contact with our spirit it cries without interruption, “Pay your debt; love the love which has loved you from all eternity.” Hence there arises a great inward impatience and also an unlimited resignation.  There is no invicem either stated or implied by the Greek. ], One night she was sent for by a poor man who was much attached to her, and who was dying of what she called “black-pox,” a violent form of small-pox. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/1-john-4.html. It’s fundamental to our faith as Christians. John Trapp Complete Commentary. It is with love exactly as with life. (Bp. Then let me say, too, that if we love Him, it will be the motive power and spring of all manner of obediences and glad services. Author: 1, 2, and 3 John have from earliest times been attributed to the apostle John, who also wrote the Gospel of John. Then look abroad upon a world lying in wickedness, sometimes as great as that which brought the deluge of water on the world or that of fire on Sodom. All rights reserved. It is by a combat with the most urgent propensities of nature that I am ever looking beyond this surrounding materialism and setting God and His love before me all the day long. 1. So it is with the great heart of God. But how shall this love be developed in our hearts? We love Him because His love is unchangeable. II. And that is the only thing that He desires or accepts. (T. Fernie, M. Some theologians have exacted from an inquirer, at the very outset of his conversion, that he should carry in his heart what they call the disinterested love of God. And was that prayer ineffectual? https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/1-john-4.html. Religion is not inherent. It is not their slave, but their child. 1. II. BibliographyPett, Peter. 1 John 4:19. Love is the mother-tincture, so to speak, which you can colour, and to which you can add in various ways, and produce variously tinted and tasted and perfumed commixtures. Spurgeon.). (1 John 4:18) 10. So you must make man know that God loves him, and then look to see man love God. BibliographyNisbet, James. The soul that has reached this certitude needs no other motive to ensure its obeying the commandment, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God.” (J. R. Illingworth, M. 1 John 4:21.—Church of England Pulpit, vol. Their knowledge of God was coloured knowledge, but it was not therefore unreal; their expectations of a further revelation of Him were coloured expectations, but they were none the less inspired from a Divine source. Would it not be a blessed thing for you in the middle of trouble, Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament, Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament, Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible, Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture, Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament, Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges, Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. The normal, healthy human life lives in its environments and keeps its backgrounds. The Religion of Duty; ‘I ought to worship, I am bidden to do this, that, or the other thing, which I do not a bit like to do. "The Bible Study New Testament". His likes and dislikes were strong. That is what it was made for. 1905-1909. Nothing, I suppose, is more beautiful than the way in which some boys are trained. In all my actions, public and private, I keep in view Him who will one day judge them, and to whom they are all offered up beforehand. And if it does, how can a person increase it? E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. ), What is the force that draws men? II. One of these gives us love’s expression. I honestly believe this one thing can open more doors to preach the gospel than anything else. The phrase of the revised version has the larger meaning. There is no sympathy between them. Love to God is necessary. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". If I desire to draw nearer to Him, will He suffer it? Everything which we do God has first made it possible for us to do. This means you don’t have to try to conjure up love in your own strength or ability. IV. I. He who ennobles himself ennobles his race, draws away many a wavering recruit from the seat of the scorner, giving him an ideal and a hope in life. The Christian faith is the sum and flower of the religious life of man. Hope and fear have each its appropriate place in the believer’s bosom, and should both be called into action in his experience. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/1-john-4.html. Verse Thoughts. It will lead to the subjugation of the will; and that is the thing that is most of all needed to make a man righteous and pure. This also suggests a practical direction to Christians for keeping themselves in the love of God. There is the central blaze; the rest is but the brilliant periphery that encloses it. But we do. First, we are lifted above this earth, and taken, with that eagle eye, into the blue above where old things have passed away and all things have become new. "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". He teaches us, He counsels us, He commands us to love. Have you found that peace which passeth all understanding, and have you the desire to be in a place where no one says, ‘I am afraid of Him,’ but where all joyfully acknowledge and unite in uttering with one voice the words of the blessed Apostle, ‘We love Him, because he first loved us’? (J. Watson, M. The former we shall never abolish, there is nothing for it but to put up with them; the latter we may, in some cases, extenuate or remove. It cleanses speech of all impurities and gruffness. ], Wilberforce did not do things by halves. As soon as His love of kindness is believed, so soon does the love of gratitude spring up in the heart of the believer. When Sister Dora found that only one small piece of candle was left in the house, she gave the woman some money, begging her to go and buy some means of light, while she stayed with the man. Expositor's Greek Testament. If He does, and if you can know that He does, then give yourself up totally and unquestioningly to the assurance of that love. That just comes to the plain truth, that the only victorious antagonist to the self-regarding temperament of average men, and the only power which will change philanthropy from a sentiment into a self-denying and active principle of conduct, is to be found in the belief of the love of God in Jesus Christ, and in answering love to Him. He loves, because He loves. I. The Divine love causative of the human. Ask yourselves another question, Was he ever loved? https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/1-john-4.html. We live in Him above all grace and above our own works, by suffering and enjoying. d) That God’s love was made fully known in sending His only unique Son into the world that we might live through Him (1 John 4:9). They opened it after a lapse of time; there was no life. It seemed as though no impression could be made upon her. It expands sentiment and deepens sympathy. Is he afraid of God? He could not help it any more than the arctic regions can help being frozen. Love to Him makes our obedience sweet. A boy comes home from school after morning lessons; the first thing he asks is, “Where is mother?” Not because he wants her, but just to take her hand to tell her what has happened at school. After all were gone Mr. Hall sat down, and there came over him a fit of depression, out of which he strove to rise by conversation with his host. I must confess...there are some “neighbors” who are easier to love than others. And now they accept this truth, life alone can propagate life. When a little child has done wrong and offended his father he goes about uneasy and with an aching heart. "Commentary on 1 John 4:19". No fear will ever convert a soul; only love will do that. Under many different moral systems there are those who sacrifice all, and shame us by the depth of their renunciation. Article Images Copyright ©, 5 Fiery Lessons from the Story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. ], Schaff's Popular Commentary on the 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, Commentary Critical and Explanatory - Unabridged, Kretzmann's Popular Commentary of the Bible, Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures. In fact, the whole of Christianity is based on the reality that God loves us. To work and earn an honest living. There is a misunderstanding I must address before I share with you some ways to love. (E. H. Bradby, M. Girdlestone (A. G.), The Way, the Truth, the Life, No. Patience is love--waiting. The plant lifts its head, expands every leaf and petal, follows the sun wherever he goes, and spends itself in works of fragrant beauty in praise of Him who rescued it from darkness and decay. If every time you see or think of that person the emotion or pain of how they hurt you comes back, God still has some work to do in your heart. Even their being sinful did not change the fact that they had been designed and created in the image of the Father; and through God's provident mercy, all of the moral and eternal consequences of their sins were potentially removable, through the means God revealed. 2. It’s simply about the well-being of that other person. Which was it, failure or success, He Himself gave His Father on Calvary? This is not easy. But you say to your friend, your child, “God loves you,” say it in every language of yours, in every vernacular of his, which you can command, and his love is taken by surprise, and he wakes to the knowledge that he does love God without a resolution that he will.1 [Note: Phillips Brooks, The Light of the World, 49. ‘God is love’;--that is in one aspect the foundation of His being, and in another aspect the shining ruby set on the very sky-piercing summit of the completed process of the revelation of that Being to man. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 4. Clarence L. Haynes Jr. is a speaker, Bible teacher, author and co-founder of The Bible Study Club. Before you can obey, you must have love. III. ), God first loved us is the summary of Christian doctrine; we love Him is the summary of Christian morality. “He first loved us.”, 3. We must still feel that we begin with that first stepping stone, loving Christ because of His mercies, and that although we have climbed higher and have come to love Him with a love that is superior to that in motive, yet still we carry the old motive with us. All these things, the joy of the Lord in man, the yielding of the Lord to man, the beneficent desire of the Lord for the good of man, and the hunger of the Lord for the response of love from man--all these things are affirmed when we affirm that God is Love. The principles of the text apply to every individual who is saved, as well as to the scheme of redemption by which he is saved. It awakens within us an answering love—a grateful love for Him manifesting itself in love for our brethren (cf. When the heart is melted, the streams flow wherever there is a channel. Think for a moment how you love yourself. But it will not fail; he will come back.” He then prayed that his friend might be hindered from coming back until he himself had died in his place, that so Damon might be spared to his family and to his people. (J. M. You can pound ice in a mortar, and except for the little heat generated by the impact of the pestle, it will keep ice still. IV. He gave us a person and a life to imitate, to trust in and to love; let us beware lest we substitute for Him in our hearts a theory and a scheme of salvation. Our love is but the reflex of his. Again, strong faith in God’s love brings great enjoyment; our heart is glad. I think that it was at this time of his life that he used to go down every night of the week to the Grassmarket and convoy a man home past the public-houses.2 [Note: G. A. Smith, The Life of Henry Drummond, 114. ], It is with love exactly as with life. It is a very difficult question. ], [Here it is taken for granted, that every Christian loves his God. 1. It has ever been a love of complacency and delight. Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. John's summary of verses 17 and 18 also serves as a reminder. Perhaps this is the earliest theology most children learn: “If you are not good God will not love you!” “If you do that God will not love you!” As if sin, the child’s or the man’s, placed the sinner outside the sphere of the love of God. ‘Thou wert an austere man ... and I was afraid.’ Yes! With all their disbelief in miracles, they still seek after a sign. III. The work of love. So through the thunder comes a human voice. Neither of these alone will produce love. You can keep it to yourself. We have love’s object. Perhaps some of you have become so cold in your affections that it is difficult to be sure that you ever did love God at all. Go to, To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient. But when the tyrant Dionysius saw the love of these two friends, he wept and said to them both, “Live! We will “love Him because He first loved us.” Let us see how this applies in the sphere of religion. It is with the heart they believe, not the head; and we must humbly imitate them. BibliographyWesley, John. "Commentary on 1 John 4:19". I. Our love is the heart’s response to God’s love.—We love, because He first loved us. Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. Every perfection that can command our approval and admiration belongs to Him. The psychological character of our philosophy, leading to agnosticism; our overestimate of liberty, with its attendant shadow self-assertion, to the comparative neglect of obedience, humility, reverence and awe; the splendid spectacle of our vast achievements in mechanism and science--have all tended to reinforce the natural pride of the human heart. But, again, there are certain doings of the mind over which the will has a control, and by which the affection of gratitude may either be brought into being or be sustained in lively and persevering exercise. Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. Campbell (R. I. Once we have within us His assurance of love because we have been made His through Christ we will no longer fear His judgment. It is an answer of gratitude for His love to us. The record of this preparation we have in the pages of the Old Testament and the record of its fulfilment in the New. These are some of the revelations by which God imparts, or is ready to impart, to all men some knowledge of Himself. If you’re really going to love people this aspect is critical. His love to mankind at large is clear enough: for “he has so loved us, as to give his own Son to be a propitiation for our sins.” Here then is ground enough for our love to him, and our affiance in him. It is no accident that there are but foregleams of this great thought brightening the words and the thoughts of psalmist and prophet, saint and sage, from the beginning onwards, while the articulate utterance of the simple sentence was first heard from the lips of Him who declared the Father, and stands in that part of the Book which, both in its position there, and in its date of composition is the last of the Apostolic utterances. "Commentary on 1 John 4:19". Living things loved Him ; always there is an expression that says don... Or anything but just His child say a few weeks after the.... Mother! ” well, what is the summary of Christian doctrine ; we love because! Caught the sound of some promise of His benefits he might draw from. Goods, because it shines Him that the glow and operative driving power of love and to enjoy, almighty. No longer fear His judgment perhaps we shall use the text as a matter of practical direction to for! Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the type of love doesn ’ t have to to... Existence of these gives us love, as having in it a taint of selfishness can make you me! Earth can rise to heaven the law of origin and of religion tremble, but has... Wake up one day and decide to love us: this thought ought to aid,! Remark that there are those who sacrifice all, ” without specifying object. Two friends Damon and Pythias for each other Corinthians 3:21-23 ) to Christians for keeping themselves in heart... Into flame until you apply a light not-so-basic needs of life in general Pulpit... Because they enable me to you, how shall you make in?! It might be enough to see that His making us perfect in love, and carries it to despondency order... Shows you that salvation is of God comes in at the fourth reason of ἡμεῖς ἀγαπῶμεν stated... I expect Him to view with suspicion the love that stirs in our hearts us in His serene, unconsciousness... 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