GOD IS LOVE
1 John 4:7 ¶ Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. 12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. 13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.
1 John 4:14 ¶ And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. 15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
The four living creatures stand in the presence of The Eternal Glory and never cease to proclaim, “Holy, holy, holy.” Revelation 4:8 And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. And so he is! For that degree of glory demands constant proclamation of praise.
But when he would have “the disciple whom Jesus loved,” (John 13:22), present him to all believers, he proclaims him in his highest glory! For he does not relate to us, “God is holiness!” But that, “God is love!” For he would not have us think him to be able to be approached in the self-justification of religious morality, but in the Christ-provided righteousness of grace! Philippians 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
For love “seeketh not her own,” but seeks for the good of its object. And as the angels proclaimed, God’s highest glory is, “Peace on earth and good will to men!” Therefore he sets himself forth as love that the avenue of approach to him is by imputed righteousness, and not by the filthy-rag righteousness of religious works! Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
For the Son of God must be involved for us in order that the very “righteousness of God” may be appropriated unto us. 2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
And as the righteousness of God is appropriated to us, therein is also given to us God’s love in order that we may love as he loves! For every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God, for he that loveth not knoweth not God. Our Lord Jesus said in John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
And he made the way wherein the Father of Love might appropriate Himself, as love, to his elect people. John 17:23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. 24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. 26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.
Even the believer’s faith, which is the essential and unique gift given unto them, is exclusively appropriated unto them by His love. Galatians 5:6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
It is a very telling matter that this disciple whom Jesus loved was the only one selected from the number of the disciples to take the place as Mary’s son, once the Lord Jesus departed. For this “highly favored” woman, with the unique relationship of being the mother of Jesus, (she was never ‘the mother of God,’ as God has no parents), should deserve none other than this disciple of love to finish out her life and motherhood. And none other that this uniquely positioned woman should be in the position of motherhood to John, the disciple of love! John 19:26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! 27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.
And that is also how the Gospel of John was so uniquely shaped and given such a difference from the other three synoptic gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. They are respectively referred to in Revelation 4:7 as the lion (Matthew, for the kingdom of Christ), the calf (Mark as the suffering servant), and a man (Luke the physician). Yet John is referred to as “a flying eagle.” For his spiritual personality, coupled with the influence of becoming a son to the mother of Jesus, not only set him apart from the other three, but show him as, not just an eagle, but “a flying eagle.”
Revelation 4:7 And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. 8 And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.
John’s gospel contains matters which are not found in the other three, as Mary conveyed to him matters only known to her, by her unique relationship to God’s son! Luke 2:18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
And if you are a true believer, living in the wilderness of this sin-filled world, you must “mount up with wings as eagles” (Isaiah 40:31) in order to “sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus!” (Ephesians 2:6) Revelation 12:14 And to the woman (the true church) were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her (prepared – See John 14:2) place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, (the entire gospel age) from the face of the serpent.
And we learn from verse ten of our text that the origination of this love was God, and not us. Organized religion has started us out believing that we “found the Lord.” But God was not lost! Jesus came to dead Lazarus, and not the reverse! The lost sheep must be sought out by the shepherd, and not the reverse! Prior to the foundation of the world it was God who sought us in sovereign election. And that predestination was said to be “in love.” Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
And we are also informed in that portion of our Lord’s High Priestly prayer, recorded in John seventeen, in verses twenty-three and twenty-four listed above, that the Father has loved us as he has loved the Son. And he loved the Son before the foundation of the world. So again, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us!
For John clearly informs us that it was not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Our Lord clearly sets this forth as recorded in the fourth chapter of John’s gospel! For only those who properly worship in spirit and in truth were sought out by the Father! John 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
They are sought out and drawn to the Son by the Father. John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.
Dear Reader, the unshakable foundation of your assurance of salvation is not based on the flimsy precept of your love to God, but of God’s eternal, everlasting, and personal characteristic of love, both to and in you! For “God is love!” And God, being love within us will manifest his characteristics in, and through us. 1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
And THAT is the solid rock upon which love has built our faith, which will withstand the rains, and floods and winds of life, causing our house to stand! Matthew 7:25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. Ephesians 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
“O Love that will not let me go; I rest my weary soul in Thee; That in thine ocean depths its flow; May richer, fuller be.”