What does 1 John 4:7 mean?
ESV: Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
NIV: Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
NASB: Beloved, let’s love one another; for love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
CSB: Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
NLT: Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God.
KJV: Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
NKJV: Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
Verse Commentary:
This verse begins the second major section of this chapter, returning to the theme of love. John begins by once again addressing his readers as "beloved." He then mentions both love and God three times each. First, believers are to "love one another." This reflects both the commandments of Jesus (John 13:34–35), and John's prior teaching on recognizing a life influenced by Christ (1 John 2:7–11).

Second, the reason believers are to love one another is because "love is from God." The ability to act lovingly towards others is one of the benefits of a close relationship with Jesus Christ.

Third, the person who truly loves God has "been born of God and knows God." This last statement includes two separate ideas. The person who is "born of God" is a saved Christian believer (John 3). The natural, expected result of this is for that person to have a close relationship with Him. This results in that person "knowing" God. A person cannot love God adequately without being born again. Nor can a person truly love others apart from God's love. Those who demonstrate godly love prove that they are saved.

Verse Context:
First John 4:7–10 returns to the theme of love. Here, John explains how true, godly love in a person's life is a sign of being born again. Those who truly love God will act on that love, towards other people. Those who don’t demonstrate love have no fellowship with God, at minimum. Love is something God showed us first, by sending Christ. Our love for Him is ultimately rooted in His original love for us. We are again reminded that true love involves acting, not just feeling.
Chapter Summary:
Chapter 4 warns Christians not to accept every claim they hear. Instead, believers are to compare what they hear to the basic truths of the gospel. John then returns to the theme of love, explaining how believers ought to live out the presence of God's love in their lives. In addition, living according to God's love takes away our fear of judgment. In no uncertain terms, those who claim to love God, but hate others, are liars.
Chapter Context:
First John chapter 4 emphasizes the way God's love removes the natural human fear of rejection. Fear is a punishment of its own, and those who do not believe have reason to fear judgment. Believers, on the other hand, have confidence. Not only has Christ forgiven our sins, but He gives us God's love. Following in this love leads to acceptance, which leads to confidence, driving out fear. This passage is the key section of John's letter, explaining how confidence in the life of a believer ought to be accomplished.
Book Summary:
First John seems to assume that the reader is familiar with the gospel. Rather than re-state these facts, John is concerned with building confidence in Christian believers. At the same time, his words encourage believers to examine their own lives for signs of their relationship with Christ. This letter also challenges false teachers and their incorrect claims about Jesus. Many themes are shared with the Gospel of John.
Accessed 7/17/2024 12:52:59 PM
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