Summary: Lesson 9 in a series of expository lessons from 1 John
God is Love
A. What is love?
1. An unknown author answered the question in this way.
a) Love is silence when your words would hurt.
b) Love is patient when your neighbor is hurtful.
c) Love is deafness when gossip flows.
d) Love is thoughtfulness when others are woeful.
e) Love is promptness when duty calls.
f) Love is courage when misfortune abounds.
2. The word love in the New Testament
a) Eros – The romantic love of men and women.
b) Storge – The love for family and relatives
c) Phileo – Brotherly kindness and affection
d) Agape – The love that seeks the best for others – 1 Corinthians 13
B. God the Essence of Love
1. 1 John 4:8 – God is love
2. In 1 John 4:7-21 – A description of God’s love
a) In the passages we find five key characteristics of God’s love.
b) In doing so, we find the same characteristics of God.
II. God is Love
A. Love is Personal (7-8)
1. “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love, does not know God, for God is love.”
2. God certainly loves the world (all mankind).
a) He sent Jesus to save the world – John 3:16
b) He desires all men to be saved – 1 Timothy 2:3-4
c) Jesus died for all – Hebrews 10:10
3. God loves individuals.
a) God is deeply concerned with more than the masses.
b) He is interested in all aspects of our lives – Luke 12:6-8
c) God knows His own – John 10:14-15
d) God is a personal shepherd – Psalm 23:1
e) We can know that God loves us – 2 Timothy 1:12
4. Our love should match God’s love.
a) We are to love the masses – 1 Peter 2:17
b) But we are to demonstrate and communicate our love to individuals – Matthew 17:5
c) The Good Samaritan – Luke 10:25ff
B. Love is Proven (9)
1. “In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.”
2. God’s Demonstration
a) In both word and deed – 1 John 3:18
b) He told us that He loves us through His word.
c) He demonstrated His love for us – Romans 5:6-8
d) Jesus’ love is a love that requires actions – The story of the Pit
a. Sensitive – “I feel for you.”
b. Reflective – “Your actions are illogical.”
c. Judgmental – “Only bad people fall into a pit.”
d. Curious – “Tell me how you fell.”
e. Self-pity – “’You should have seen my pit.”
f. Meditation – “Relax and don’t think about the pit.”
g. Pessimist – “Be ready things will get worse.”
h. The optimist – Don’t worry things will get better.”
i. Loving – “Grab my hand and let me pull you out.”
C. Love is Pure (10-11,19) – Without Motive or Sincere
1. “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins…We love Him because He first loved us.”
2. God’s love is unconditional.
a) He looks at us sees what can be in Christ.
b) He loves us in spite of our weaknesses – 2 Samuel 12
c) Jesus continued to love Peter even when Peter was denying Him.
d) God’s lover seeks nothing in return
3. When we love as God loves…
a) We will love the Lord by keeping His commands – John 14:15
b) We will love one another without ulterior motive – 1 Corinthians 13:5
D. Love is Perfecting (12, 17-18)
1. “No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us…”
2. God’s Love Completes Us
a) It fosters growth within us – Philippians 1:9-11
b) It helps us overcome our fears and gives us confidence – 1 John 4:17-18
c) It compels us to be close to God – 2 Corinthians 5:14-15
d) It guides us through our trials – James 1:2-5
e) It teaches us priorities – Matthew 23:23
f) It helps us understand truly good things – Romans 8:28
E. Love is Preserving (13-16)
1. “By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as the Savior of the world.”
2. God sent His Son to Save
a) John 3:17 – Not condemnation but salvation.
b) Through His Son we are linked to Him.