1 John 4:11 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 John 4:11, NIV: Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

1 John 4:11, ESV: Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

1 John 4:11, KJV: Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

1 John 4:11, NASB: Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

1 John 4:11, NLT: Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.

1 John 4:11, CSB: Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we also must love one another.

What does 1 John 4:11 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Starting a new thought, John begins again by referring to his readers as "Beloved." The word "if" here is not used in the sense of asking a question. It's meant to be understood as "since." Since God loved us so much that He sent Jesus to die to cover the cost of our sins, we should offer a similar response by loving others. Just as Jesus offered unconditional love through His sacrifice, believers are to offer similar love based on God's example rather than our feelings or the actions of others.

It should also be noted that unconditional love does not mean accepting unconditional mistreatment. Turning the other cheek in the face of insults shows love (Matthew 5:39), but we are not called to be careless with our lives (Luke 22:36). For example, God does not desire a person to remain in a physically abusive situation in order to show love. God's nature includes protection as well as love (Genesis 15:1; Psalm 18:2). We can love others unconditionally, while also using wisdom in dealing with those who might take advantage of the love of believers (Matthew 10:16).