The importance of Love - by Jeff Byerley

The Importance of Sharing God’s Love.

1 John 4:7-21

The importance of love is shown in this passage in that 'love' is mentioned 28 times.
It is a message that draws upon the love within the Trinity.
We agreed that the key verse is verse 8b “God is love”, (repeated in verse 16).
Everything else in the passage expands on this.
It shows the necessity of living out God's love.

The key message we felt was summed up by verses 10-11.

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.

It reminded us of the importance of showing our love of God in the way we love others.
This is evidenced by the “Greatest Commandment” Matt. 22:37-40.
God took the initiative to mend our broken relationship with him.
This is a lesson for our own broken relationships with others.

A summary of the passage:

4:7-12 What is love?
We only know love because God showed us love.
He sent Jesus as an atoning sacrifice to save us.
If we do not exhibit this love, we do not have life in Christ.

4:13-16a Assurance of God's love.

We have assurances of God's love by
(1) the Holy spirit living within us (v.13);
(2) the Apostolic witness (v.14) and
(3) our own spirit acknowledging this reality (v.15-16a).

4:16b-18 How is love made complete in us?

By living out Christ's love in our lives with perfect love casting out all fear.

4:19-21 The test of loving God.

A person who truly loves God, will:
(1) find an irresistible compulsion to share God's love with others and
(2) is indeed commanded to do so.

Christian writer Ron Blankley titles this passage “Fear's Remedy”

Ron Blankley writes:

“In the sequel to Pilgrim's Progress,
Mr. Great-heart and Father Honest engage in a conversation.
it is about an old friend, Mr. Fearing.
At one point in the dialogue he is portrayed in the following way:
He was a man that had the root of the matter in him,
but he was one of the most troublesome Pilgrims
that I ever met with in all my days.”
That is Bunyan's way of describing many
who are on the road to heaven; thoroughly sincere, …
yet so overloaded with doubts and fears that
their pilgrimage is indeed “troublesome”.”