Thursday

“Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another.” (v. 11)

1 John 4:11-16 Thursday 19 January 2017

Psalm: Psalm 89:1-18


Background

Our passage follows on directly from yesterday, which ended with anaffirmation of the love of God, as demonstrated in the gift ofJesus as an "atoning sacrifice for our sins" (1 John4:10). The corollary is that we should love one another.

Reading between the lines of today's passage and the rest of 1John it becomes clear that it was written to a group of Christiansdeeply (and perhaps acrimoniously) divided. Some apparently do notregard Jesus as the Son of God. To do so however, as today'spassage implies, casts doubt on the love of God (or at least on thelengths God's love will go for us). Two tests are therefore putforward for those who claim to be in union with, or "abide in" (vv.13, 15, 16), God. One is to recognise Jesus as the Son of God. Theother is to exhibit such love towards others.

But such love for one another, the writer argues, is not just amatter of copying God's love. In our loving others God lovesthrough us (verse 16). There is thus a very clear test of any claimto be at one with God: do we love one another?


To Ponder

  • How would you explain to someone what is meant by calling JesusGod's Son?
  • What is the difference, if any, between 'loving one another'and loving everyone?
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