The Message of Love

Passages for Further Study

  1. Deut. 7:7–8
  2. Prov. 3:3
  3. Rom. 12:10
    1 Cor. 13
  4. Heb. 13:1



Coram Deo

God calls us to love every Christian. He does not call us to love only our polite brothers or only our Reformed brothers or only our wise brothers. No, if we are to reflect God’s character, then we must love all of our brothers just as God loved all of His people. God forgives sinners and continues to love them despite their struggle with sin; so too must we. If you and another believer are currently at odds with each other, do what you can to bring healing to the relationship.

being a child of God:

As we continue our study of 1 John and the three tests the apostle gives us in order to determine false teaching and gain assurance, let us note that so far John has focused his attention on personal holiness and righteousness. John has also spoken of love (2:7–17) and of belief in the incarnation (vv. 18–27), but has thus far spent more time speaking of the need to live a holy life (1:5–2:6; 2:28–3:10).

Last Friday, we learned that the practice of righteousness will be evident in those who are the sons of God. Those who do not seek after holiness are not of God but instead are of the Devil. But not only is holiness a mark of all Christians, so too is love for the brethren. If we do not love other believers, we are not God’s children (v. 10).

In today’s passage, John introduces a lengthy section on love as the mark of the believer. Specifically, John is speaking of the need to love others in the covenant community (v. 11). This is the message we have heard from the beginning, for loving one another has always been an essential mark of God’s people (Lev. 19:18; John 13:34). Believers will not wander after new ideas but remain in what is taught by Jesus and His apostles and prophets. This involves loving other Christians.

Though John seems to separate love and holiness in 1 John 3:10, he does this only for matters of emphasis and not because the two are opposed. Indeed, they cannot be, for God Himself is holy (Isa. 6:3) just as He is love (1 John 4:8). To practice righteousness is to obey the commands of God (Ps. 1), and God commands us to love our brothers (1 Peter 1:22). To be holy is to love our fellow Christians, and to love our fellow Christians is to be holy.

Furthermore, we have seen that there is always a familial resemblance between God and His children. Therefore, if we are to resemble our heavenly Father, we must love His people. God Himself, out of love for His people, sent His Son to die for their sins (Rom. 5:8). While we, of course, cannot atone for the sins of others, being a child of God means that we must love God’s people and be willing to give up our lives for them if necessary (1 John 3:16).




Perfect Love

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love” (1 John 4:18).

1 John 4:17–18


Yesterday we saw that as we abide in love, we can be sure we abide in God (1 John 4:16). As we receive God’s love, as we love Him in return, and as we love one another we gain assurance of our faith in His promises. In today’s passage, John reminds us of one very important experiential reality that flows from abiding in love.


Verse 17 begins, “by this is love perfected with us.” This refers to verse 16 and simply reminds us that God’s love reaches its full effect in us as we dwell in His love by loving Him, enjoying His love for us, and loving others. This happens in our sanctification as we submit to the Spirit’s daily guidance and renewal (Gal. 5:16).


As a result of this love perfected in us over time, we gain “confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world” (1 John 4:17). As God’s love reaches its full effect in our lives we become increasingly like Christ, and like He was, we are in, but not of, the world. Though we will not be perfectly like Him before we die, our union with Jesus means His love will indeed be perfected in us over time (Rom. 8:29–30). As we see ourselves become more like Christ we will gain confidence that we will be vindicated on the day of judgment — just as He was in His resurrection.


First John 4:18 tells us we can be confident because perfect love casts out the fear of punishment. Apart from Christ, we have reason to fear the judgment seat of God, but when we are in Him, we have nothing to fear, for He has borne our punishment, and in turn we are seen by God as clothed with His righteousness (2 Cor.5:21).


The love that casts out such fear is perfect love. In asserting this, John is not teaching we will have such perfect love before death, for sin will be present with us throughout our lives (1:8–9). We will not abide in love perfectly until our glorification. Nevertheless, the end of the ages has already come upon us (1 Cor. 10:11); therefore, we already have a taste of this love and are empowered to strive toward it by the work of the Spirit. As we submit to Him, we are gradually perfected in love and grow more confident that in Christ we need not fear judgment.


Coram Deo

In commenting on this verse, John Calvin writes, “though fear is not wholly shaken off, yet when we flee to God as to a quiet harbor, safe and free from all danger of shipwreck and of tempests, fear is really expelled for it gives way to faith.” If you are a believer yet fear punishment, you must not flee from the Lord but run to Him in repentance. Endeavor to perfect your love by turning from sin and turning toward Him so that you might be cleansed.


Passages for Further Study

1 Chron. 28:20
Pss. 23; 27
2 Tim. 1:6–7
Heb. 10:19–39




We Recommend


The Priority of LOVE

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal” (1 Cor. 13:1).

1 Corinthians 13:1–3


In his three epistles, the apostle John is especially concerned with emphasizing the Christian virtue of love. This is particularly true of 1 John where the apostle tells us again and again to love the brethren. As we have seen over the past few months, we must love because God is love, and all those who are born of Him will love His children (1 John 4:7–8).


Even though as Christians we are well aware of the need to love, sometimes it can be difficult to understand what exactly loving one another in a biblical manner may involve. In order that we may better understand the wider scriptural teaching on love we will spend the next few days basing our studies on Love, a teaching series by Dr. R.C. Sproul.


The passage in which we will spend most of our time over the next week is at the same time one of the most beloved and one of the most convicting passages in the Bible. First Corinthians 13 is a favorite text for many people. Yet we often fail to realize that if we were truly to measure our love by this passage, we would see ourselves falling far short of the ideal contained therein. This is because the love described in this chapter is based on God’s own love, which is perfect in every way. God’s love is perfectly patient, kind, and truthful, and it manifests every other quality described by Paul without defect. Our love, on the other hand, always falls short.


One reason our love falls short of this ideal is that we seldom make love the priority in our lives. We know love is important, but we do not often behave as if love for others is to be the foremost characteristic of the Christian. The Corinthian church had this problem, seeking the power of God but pridefully using it in a destructive manner when exercising their gifts (see chapters 12 and 14).


In today’s passage, Paul reminds the church that if we exercise the gifts and understand a great many things without love, we have gained nothing. If we use the gifts God has given to us but do not love other people, we have forgotten the Giver of these gifts who is Himself love (1 John 4:8), and thus have replaced Him with an idol.


Coram Deo

Though we believe speaking in tongues and the gift of prophecy ceased with the end of the apostolic age, the many spiritual gifts and offices God still gives His people today can still be used in an unloving manner. One of these is teaching (Eph. 4:11). If we present our doctrine in an unloving manner, we have not made love the priority. As you discuss things like the doctrines of grace with other Christians, be careful to do so lovingly and respectfully.







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English: Czech Airlines Airbus A310 being fueled in Prague. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
“I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:9-10 ESV Continue reading FUELED OR FILLED

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Welcome to! This is my very first blog ,living and being concerned about the welfare of others, i noticed the what many are lacking. i found love to be the deficiency in our daily life.

  • Mark 12:31

    The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
  • Luke 6:31

    Do to others as you would have them do to you.
  • Luke 6:35

    But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.
  • John 8:13

    The Pharisees challenged him, “Here you are, appearing as your own witness; your testimony is not valid.”
  • John 8:34

    Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.
  • Romans 12:9

    Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
  • Romans 13:10

    Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
  • 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

    Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
  • 1 Corinthians 13:13

    And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
  • Ephesians 4:2

    Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
  • 1 Peter 4:8

    Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
  • 1 John 4:7

    Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
  • 1 John 4:18-19

    There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.  We love because he first loved us.
  • John 15:13

    Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
  • Ephesians 5:25

    Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her
  • Ephesians 5:33

    However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
  • Colossians 3:14

    And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
  • Proverbs 10:12

    Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs.
  • Proverbs 17:17

    A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
  • 1 John 3:16-18

    This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.  If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?  Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
  • 1 John 4:8

    Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
  • John 3:16

    “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
  • Psalm 18:1

    I love you, O LORD, my strength.
  • Matthew 22:27-29

    Finally, the woman died.  Now then, at the resurrection, whose wife will she be of the seven, since all of them were married to her?”  Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.
  • Deuteronomy 10:12-19

    And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul,  and to observe the LORD’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?  To the LORD your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it.  Yet the LORD set his affection on your forefathers and loved them, and he chose you, their descendants, above all the nations, as it is today.  Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer.  For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes.  He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing.  And you are to love those who are aliens, for you yourselves were aliens in Egypt.
  • Deuteronomy 11:13-22

    So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today–to love the LORD your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul–  then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and oil.  I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied.  Be careful, or you will be enticed to turn away and worship other gods and bow down to them.  Then the LORD’s anger will burn against you, and he will shut the heavens so that it will not rain and the ground will yield no produce, and you will soon perish from the good land the LORD is giving you.  Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates,  so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land that the LORD swore to give your forefathers, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.  If you carefully observe all these commands I am giving you to follow–to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways and to hold fast to him–
  • Song of Solomon 8:4-8

    Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.  Who is this coming up from the desert leaning on her lover? Under the apple tree I roused you; there your mother conceived you, there she who was in labor gave you birth.  Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame.  Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away. If one were to give all the wealth of his house for love, it would be utterly scorned.  We have a young sister, and her breasts are not yet grown. What shall we do for our sister for the day she is spoken for?
  • Matthew 6:24

    “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.
  • Matthew 22:37-39

    Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
  • Matthew 23:6-8

    they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues;  they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them ‘Rabbi.’  “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one Master and you are all brothers.