God’s Love and Ours
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 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. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
John has spent 3 chapters trying to make the believers aware of the false teachers, and why what they were teaching was so dangerous. Today he moves more to what the right teaching is, and maybe more importantly what it looks like in their lives. John distinguishes God's love from worldly love in a couple of ways including:
1. God is love, and love comes from God. We might say its source is in Him. Therefore, if we are born of God, we can't help but exhibit His love which flows from Him through us.
2. God's clearest expression of His love is when He sent His Son Jesus to the earth. Jesus showed us what a loving God looks like. Everything Jesus did reflected God's love. Colossians 1:15 states, "The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation."
3. God loved us first, before we even knew how to love. We cannot truly love until we have received his love. We cannot transmit what we don't have.
4. The purest form of God's love is Jesus' atoning sacrifice for our sins. Romans 5:8 says, "But God proved his love in this, while we were yet sinners, Christ does for us." If we need proof that God is a loving God, we need only look at the cross.
John is saying to us, this is the new community of love that Jesus established and you will continue if you remain in Him. This is the distinctive of the Christian community, what the bible calls "agape" love. Not that we loved God, but He loved us first. A God's love is unconditional. He loves us just because He loves us.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, a day we give thanks for the many blessings in our lives like family, food, friends and freedom. But may we not forget to thank God for demonstrating what true love is like when He sent us His Son. Through Jesus' love for us, we are transformed into people who show the world what the invisible God looks like. It shows that we teach is not false but true.