This is Love-1 John 4:7-11

1 John 4: 7-11I really enjoy the writing of the apostle John. He truly embraced the command to love one another and he taught us to do the same.

And this is not just a world teaching. John always ties the command to love one another back to the life modeled by Jesus Christ.

1 John 4:7-11, “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows 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 he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”

The verse that says “Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.” is a tough one to understand. Does that mean an atheist who shows love is still born of God and knows God?

We might have to draw a distinction here between conscious knowing, unconscious knowing, and accepting. An atheist may not accept it, or possibly may not know God consciously, but they are still born of God if they show love to one another.

Or is it that John is writing to Christians and so in that context, he is really talking about Christians who love one another?

Which is the proper interpretation? I’m interested to know what you think.

But beyond this question, it’s clear from the verses that because God so loved us, we are to go out and love one another.

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  1. Pavel says

    Most of the New Testament, and all of the letters, is written to believers that they may know Christ and follow Him more closely, becoming like Him. The love we have to others is to be the very love of God Himself, shed in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. His love includes not just love to those whom we like, but loving your neighbors as you love yourself, as well as true love of enemies, which may be a call found only in Christianity. In a conversation with an atheist once, when asked about loving enemies he thought it neither good or desirable that we love our enemies. This deep and wide love of God is a capacity given us only in Christ. Having said that, atheists like all non-believers can show love, much as they do kindness and compassion and honesty and morality. There is a human capacity for these things . . . but that is miles removed from that which is possible in Christ.

    • Wade says

      ! agree with the above and here is more:——————————-Love one another as in 1st Cor chapter 13——————— Love is not just a feeling or thought Action is required.———–1Jn 3:18 My Little children, let us not love in word, neither with the tongue; but in deed and truth. ——————————————————————————————————— First the golden Rule. ———————————————————– Mat 7:12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.————————————— Then the Good Samaritan : Luke 10:25-37 —————————————————————- LOVE: Rom 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. —————————————————– Gal 6:2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.————————————————————————-Heb 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:—————————— —————————————————1Jn 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1Jn 4:12 No man hath beheld God at any time: if we love one another, God abideth in us, and his love is perfected in us: ————————————————————— by the way : 1st John is a good Chapter to Know and Do LOVE —— like Chapter 13 of 1St Cor If you want to LOVE. ———————–MAY GOD BLESS YOU———–

  2. Starr says

    Good question. Each use of the word “love” in 1 John 4:7-11 is actually “agape.” There’s no question that atheists are capable of love in the sense of affection, physical attraction, and deep emotional attachment, but are they capable of “agape” love, the unconditional, self-sacrificing love that is being spoken of here? Some would say no, that no one can love unconditionally without having the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, because it is actually God loving through us that makes this kind of love possible in a person. We are just vessels through which His love is flowing. But what exactly is agape? Real world experience certainly has shown that non-Christians can be charitable, giving of themselves, even self-sacrificing, giving their life to save another individual, or for their country. Is that self-sacrifice and willingness to die for others agape? Is it unconditional, ego-less love that puts others before oneself, or something else, such as a sense of duty? I can’t see into another’s heart to understand their motivations, so I can only speculate. But I don’t buy the doctrine of “total depravity.” We may all be sinners, but people are capable of good as well. Observation shows that. And the Bible clearly states that everyone has knowledge of God through his creation (Rom. 1:20). Everyone has a conscience (Rom 2:15). So is that knowledge of God equivalent to the “knows God” that John is talking about here? My feeling is that it isn’t, as in the difference between knowing of something, being aware of it, and intimately knowing something or someone in a relational way. The Greek language doesn’t make a distinction between the two the way Hebrew does. So in regard to your question, I think John is speaking to fellow Christians here, those who are indwelled by the Holy Spirit, to love others (not just other Christians) as God loves, essentially to let God’s love flow through them, to manifest God to the world, but this passage also applies to all, since that is God’s ideal of how ALL mankind should live, if only man’s sin nature didn’t get in the way, with the goal being to restore the world to this ideal, by showing the world what it needs. As a P.S., this passage makes me wonder about those who claim to be Christians but are anything but loving towards those who most need God’s love.

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