1 John 3 and 4

Six proofs of our love for God are given in chapters 3 and 4. In this article, we will examine proofs 4-6.

IV. WE WILL ESTABLISH A CLEAN HEART, 3:18-24

My little children or, my beloved children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed, and by merciful acts allow the love of Christ and man to be evident in our lives.

When we are filled with and understand the love of God and man, we will do things that are well-pleasing to Him.

And hereby we know that he abideth in us. This is another proof that we are true Christians and really understand the love of God.

V. WE WILL LOVE ONE ANOTHER, 4:7-21

  • This will prove that we are born of and know God. 1 John 4:7.
  • We can see God’s love. 1 John 4:9 -10.    
  • God’s Spirit is within us. I John 4:12 -13.

God is not known by sight, but He is known only by love; and mature love will prove that God is in us.

  • It proves that our testimony and confession are true, verses 14 -16.
  • The great testimony: God sent Christ to be the Saviour.
  • The great promise: The person who confesses Christ dwells in God and God in him.
  • The great confession:  We know and believe God.

Verse 21, “And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.”

John spoke of the antichrist and instructs the Christians to cleave closer to one another and be knit by the bonds of God’s love.

In 1 John 1:5, God is light; in chapter 4:7-16, God is love; and in chapter 5, God is life.

These three words tell more about God than all the books ever written on the subject. They are truly a revelation because we are taught how to think about God; and if we stay on track, we cannot get too far off.

VI. WE WILL MANIFEST GOD’S LOVE IN OUR LIVES, 4:9-10

Through whom?  His only Son.

How? His blood.

Why? For our sins.

What purpose? That we might live through Him.

To really understand the love of God, we must understand three important truths:

  • First, God is Love.
  • Second, God’s love is unique.
  • It’s origin – God’s own agape love.
  • It’s method – sacrifice of His Son.
  • It’s object – sinners.
  • It’s extent – the whole world.
  •  It’s intent – so that we might live to love.
  • Third, God’s love offers fellowship with Him and one another. Verses 12-13.

When we learn to love like God, we know that we dwell in Him, and He in us, because there is a loving and abiding communion between us; as well as in each other. This kind of love is sure evidence of His dwelling in us and we in Him. We know Him through His love, and others will know us through our love for them.

A cold heart can never understand a warm heart. On the other hand, a warm heart can have communion with another. So, we come to know God by learning to love like He loves, and the more complete our devotion to God, the more our devotion to others. The result is that we gain a richer and fuller knowledge of God’s infinite love.

We end the way we started: The heart that does not love, cannot know God and cannot love in a biblical way.

Matthew Henry said, “He that would keep warm, must stay near the fire.”

How is your heart? Is it warm toward God? If so, it will be warm toward others. We need to love one another with God’s love.


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Hans Nikoley, GSBC Professor

Bro. Nikoley emigrated from Germany to the United States with his family at age 13. He served full time in the Nevada Air National Guard for six years. At age 32, He was saved, and in 1977, he graduated from Bible College. He pastored for over 31 years, 27 of them at Pomerado Road Baptist Church in Poway, California. Bro. Nikoley has served at Golden State Baptist College in the Bible Department and also as the Student Employment Director since 2007. He and his wife Mary have two children and have been married for 58 years.