Summary: Based on an outline by Dan Borchert, this message provides an introduction to God... who He is... what He’s done... and what he’s doing.
Based on an outline by Dan Borchert
What’s the first thing most of us want to know when we meet someone new? It may seem trivial, but the two things that always seem to come up in the first two minutes of a first-time conversation: Who are you? What do you do?
How many of you know God? I’m sure there are more than a few of you who have not been properly introduced. I’m going to take this opportunity, today, to introduce you to God.
As we walk through our passage today step by step we’re going to get to know God a little better. Through John’s words, we’re going to discover what God is, what God has done, and what God does.
What is God?
1 John 4:7-8 - "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"
1) John starts by saying, “Dear Friends.” Six times in 1 John, John uses the phrase, “Dear Friends.” He uses the phrase, “Dear Children” nine times. The first thing John does in his letter is let it be known that he is writing it in friendship… in love.
2) The next thing he says is, “let us love one another.” By simple sentence exposition we know that “love” is a verb. It’s something we do; it’s an action. Love is not something that can exist without action. It’s just like “run.” Run, is something we do (some of us). And without the action of putting one foot in front of the other by springing steps so that both feet leave the ground for an instant, “run” does not exist.
The next thing John lets us know is where this love begins. “For love comes from God.” God initiates love. All the ideas we are familiar with today began somewhere. Without Mark Twain there is no Huck Finn. Without Isaac Newton there is no law of gravity. Without James Earl Jones, there is no Darth Vader as we know him. Without God, there is no real love.
God initiates loves, showers it upon his people, and expects that we, in turn, express that same love to one another.
3) Now John says something that pretty confusing: “Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
It appears that one of the reasons John says this is to counteract the Gnostic heretics of his day who claimed to have knowledge of God yet felt that love was beneath them.
John says, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” If you claim to know God, yet fail to love, you invalidate your own claim. You cannot know God if you do not love.
4) The last thing John says in this part of the passage is this: God is love! It cannot be mentioned enough. John uses the word love 27 times in today’s 15 verse passage.
That God is love is not an exhaustive description of God. God is much more than love. God is all-knowing, all-powerful, almighty, the everlasting father, Prince of Peace, and Risen Lord. God is indeed love… but he is also much more.
Just as we understand gravity because of Isaac Newton, we understand what love is because of God.
So we know what God is… love! Now how can we apply this?
Everything we have been taught about love needs to reflect God… or chances are it’s not love. Our love needs to flow from God. There will be times in your life when you absolutely can’t stand someone but you’re still called to love them. You can’t claim to know God if you do not love. As we’ll discuss later, love means sacrifice, and it’s not a feeling… it’s an action!
We know, now, what God is… now, what has God done?
1 John 4:9-10 - God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.
1) We’ve all heard the message of James, “Faith without works is dead.” But, you know what? So it is with love. Love – an action – without works… is dead. And if God is love, then he must obviously show his love, just as he requires us to do. And he has… in so many ways… but one stands out among the rest.
2) John wrote in verse 9, “God sent his only Son into the world.” God could have done the exact opposite. He could have given the world to Jesus to do with as he wished. A gift. But he didn’t. He gave his son to the world. Why? “So that we might live through him.” So that we can have eternal life.