In the Book of 1 John, LOVE is one of the main topics frequently discussed. John the Apostle repeatedly teaches the importance of love because “this commandment we have from [God]: whoever loves God must also love his brother” [1 John 4:21]. It is important to note that John is not teaching new doctrine, but is reinforcing the teaching of Jesus. In Matthew 22:36-40 Jesus defines the two greatest commandments as “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” and “love your neighbor as yourself.” If the two greatest commandments involve the act of love, shouldn’t we seek to understand what love is, how we love, and who we love? In various sections of 1 John, the answer to these questions is provided.
Read 1 John 4:7-21.
- Is learning about God’s love a one-time event, or a process throughout our lives?
- What kind of fear does God’s love cast out? Fear of what?
- What is the logical argument John uses 1 John 4:20-21 to show that loving God and loving people go hand in hand?
Now read Matthew 5:43-48.
- What is the difference between our definition of love and God’s definition of love?