1 John 4:10
And love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as the atoning sacrifice for our sins.
Christ the Great PropitiationSamuel Wilson.1 John 4:10
Christ's Mission the Revelation of God's LoveAlexander Maclaren1 John 4:10
God Seeks Our Love1 John 4:10
Herein is LoveC. H. Spurgeon.1 John 4:10
Love DescendsF. W. Robertson.1 John 4:10
The Atonement for Sin, by the Death of ChristT. Raffles, LL. D.1 John 4:10
The Great Benefit Received by the IncarnationBp. Brownrigg.1 John 4:10
The Love of GodW. Jay, M. A.1 John 4:10
The Love of God, and the Response Due to ItA. Forman.1 John 4:10
The Perfect LoveC. Kingsley, M. A.1 John 4:10
The PropitiationSketches of Sermons1 John 4:10
A Triune PhilosophyB. J. Snell, M. A.1 John 4:7-10
Brotherly LoveD. Rhys Jenkins.1 John 4:7-10
Christian LoveH. W. Beecher.1 John 4:7-10
Christian LoveJ. C. French.1 John 4:7-10
God's Existence and LoveBp. Harvey Goodwin.1 John 4:7-10
Knowing God by LoveJ. E. Rankin, D. D.1 John 4:7-10
Love and KnowledgeJ. M. Gibbon.1 John 4:7-10
Love and ReligionJ. M. Gibbon.1 John 4:7-10
Love is of GodBp. Stevens.1 John 4:7-10
Love is of God -- God is LoveR. S. Candlish, D. D.1 John 4:7-10
Love of Relations and FriendsJ. H. Newman, D. D.1 John 4:7-10
Love the Organ of the Highest KnowledgeChristian Weekly1 John 4:7-10
Only Love Can Know LoveGeo. Thompson.1 John 4:7-10
The Lessons of LoveH. M. Butler, D. D.1 John 4:7-10
The Love of GodJ. Morgan, D. D.1 John 4:7-10
The Voice of God Through Human LoveC. Voysey.1 John 4:7-10
Threefold Recommendation of the Duty of Loving One AnotherR. Finlayson 1 John 4:7-21
Christ the Manifestation of Divine LoveS. Martin.1 John 4:9-10
Divine Love in its Highest ManifestationC. M. Merry.1 John 4:9-10
God's Love Manifested in ChristiansJ. M. Gibbon.1 John 4:9-10
God's Love Manifested in RedemptionR. Walker.1 John 4:9-10
God's Love ProvedA. Maclaren, D. D.1 John 4:9-10
The Love of GodH. W. Beecher.1 John 4:9-10
The Love of GodT. B. Baker, M. A.1 John 4:9-10
The Love of GodM. Rainsford, M. A.1 John 4:9-10
The Love of God Manifested in the SonH. Raikes, M. A.1 John 4:9-10
The Love of God to Men in the Incarnation of ChristAbp. Tillotson.1 John 4:9-10
The Manifestation of Divine Love in the GospelE. D. Griffin, D. D.1 John 4:9-10
The Supreme Manifestation of God's LoveA. Stackhouse, M. A.1 John 4:9-10
The Supreme Manifestation of LoveW. Jones 1 John 4:9-11

In this was manifested the love of God toward us, etc. Our text does not speak of the only manifestation of the Divine love. In many things is the love of God manifested to us - in the beauty, the utility, and the fertility of our world; in the exquisite structure of our souls and bodies; in the apt relations of the outer world to our nature. Nor does our text mention the manifestation to angelic beings of the love of God. But St. John sets forth the richest and most glorious exhibition in regard to us of the love of God. We see here several aspects of the Divine love.

I. IN ITS GREAT ORIGIN. "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us"

1. God's love to man originated entirely with himself. This love in its beginning was all on God's part, and none on ours. We did not love him. There was nothing in us to awaken his love to us. We were not beautiful, or amiable, or meritorious, or good. "But God commendeth his own love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." It was our sin and suffering and deep need that called forth his compassion toward us; and ere he could love us with the love of complacency, he loved us with the love of tender and Divine pity.

2. God is the Fountain of all love. Love flows from the essential nature of the Divine Being. "Love is of God... God is Love" (verses 7, 8). As light and heat from the sun, so all true love everywhere flows from him, or took its rise from him. And seeing that he is love, that love is of his essence, the flowing forth of his love to us is the giving of himself to us. But the love of God was manifested in our case -

II. IN THE GREAT MESSENGER WHICH HE SENT UNTO US. "Herein was the love of God manifested in us [or, 'in our case'], that God hath sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him." Notice:

1. The pre-existence of Jesus Christ. This is clearly implied in the expression, "God hath sent his Son into the world" (cf. John 17:4, 5; John 3:17, 34).

2. The endearing relation of Jesus Christ to God the Father. He is "his only begotten Son." The word" Son" alone would suggest that their relation is one of deep affection; but other terms are added, which intensify and strengthen this idea. The Father speaks of him as "my- beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17). St. Paul writes of him as "God's own Son" (Romans 8:3). And St. John styles him "the Only Begotten of the Father.... the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father" (John 1:14, 18); "The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand" (John 3:35). And our Saviour said, "Father, thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world" (John 17:24). It is impossible for us to comprehend this ineffable and infinite love subsisting between the Father and his only Son, or the deep and unutterable joy of their communion. In sending such a Messenger to our world, what a revelation we have of the love of God!

3. The subordination of Jesus Christ to God the Father in the work of redemption. "God sent his only begotten Son into the world." "As thou didst send me into the world, even so sent I them into the world" (John 17:18). The Divine Son cheerfully became a servant that his Father's authority might be vindicated, and his Father's glory be promoted in the redemption of the human race (cf. Philippians 2:6-8).

III. IN THE BLESSING WHICH HE DESIGNS FOR US. "That we might live through him." Notice:

1. The condition in which the love of God finds man. "Dead by reason of trespasses and sins." There is a resemblance between a dead body and the state into which the soul is brought by sin. In both there is the absence of vision, of hearing, of sensibility, and of activity.

2. The condition into which the love of God aims to bring man. "That we might live through him." His design is to quicken men into spiritual life - the life of true thought, pure affection, righteous and unselfish activity, and reverent worship. This life is eternal in its nature. It is not perishable or decaying, but enduring and progressive. And it is blessed. Life in the text comprises salvation in all its glorious fullness. How clear is the manifestation to us of the Divine love in this!

IV. IN THE MEANS BY WHICH THIS BLESSING IS OBTAINED FOR US. "He sent his Son to be the Propitiation for our sins." The best commentary on Christ the Propitiation that we know, is that found in the words of St. Paul, in Romans 3:24-26. Two remarks only do we offer concerning the propitiation.

1. It was not anything offered to God to render him willing to bless and save us.

2. It was designed to remove obstructions to the free, flowing forth of the mercy of God to man. How splendid the expression of the love of God in sending his Son, only and well-beloved, to be the Propitiation for our sins!

V. IN THE EXAMPLE WHICH IT PRESENTS TO US. "Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another." The obligation to copy the Divine example in this respect is grounded upon our relation to him as his children. Because we are "begotten of God" (verse 7) we should seek to resemble him. The argument of the Apostle Paul is similar: "Be ye therefore imitators of God, as beloved children, and walk in love," etc. (Ephesians 5:1, 2). If we are "partakers of the Divine nature," we should imitate the Divine example.

1. In relation to mankind in general. "I say unto you, Love your enemies, and pray for them that persecute you; that ye may be sons of your Father which is in heaven," etc. (Matthew 5:44, 45). He loved us with the love of compassion before he could love us with the love of complacency. Let us imitate him in this respect in our relation to those who are yet in their sins.

2. In relation to the Christian brotherhood in particular. (Cf. chapter 1 John 3:10-18.) Let us evince our relation to the Father, who is infinite Love, by our unfeigned love to our Christian brethren. Let the supreme manifestation in regard to us of his love thus produce its appropriate effect in us. - W.J.

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins
I. THE INFINITE SPRING OF LOVE. Our text has two words upon which I would place an emphasis "not" and "but." The first is "not." "Herein is love, not" — "not that we loved God." Very naturally many conclude that this means "not that we loved God first." That is not exactly the truth taught here, but still it is a weighty truth, and is mentioned in ver. 19 in express words — "We love Him because He first loved us." We inscribe a negative in black capital letters upon the idea that man's love can ever be prior to the love of God. That is quite out of the question. "Not that we loved God." Take a second sense — that is, not that any man did love God at all by nature, whether first or second. The unregenerate heart is, as to love, a broken cistern which can hold no water. We come nearer to John's meaning when we look at this negative as applying to those who do love God. "Not that we loved God" that is, that our love to God, even when it does exist, and even when it influences our lives, is not worthy to be mentioned as a fountain of supply for love. What poor love ours is at its very best when compared with the love wherewith God loves us! Let me use another figure. If we had to enlighten the world, a child might point us to a bright mirror reflecting the sun, and he might cry, "Herein is light!" You and I would say, "Poor child, that is but borrowed brightness; the light is not there, but yonder, in the sun: the love of saints is nothing more than the reflection of the love of God." We have love, but God is love. Let us contrast our love to God with His love to us. We do love God, and we may well do so, since He is infinitely lovable. When the mind is once enlightened it sees everything that is lovable about God. He is so good, so gracious, so perfect that He commands our admiring affection. In us there is by nature nothing to attract the affection of a holy God, but quite the reverse; and yet He loved us. Herein, indeed, is love! When we love God it is an honour to us; it exalts a man to be allowed to love a Being so glorious. He that loves God does in the most effectual manner love himself. We are filled with riches when we abound in love to God; it is our wealth, our health, our might, and our delight. It is our duty to love God; we are bound to do it. As His creatures we ought to love our Creator; as preserved by His care we are under obligation to love Him for His goodness: we owe Him so much that our utmost love is a mere acknowledgment of our debt. But God loved us to whom He owed nothing at all; for whatever might have been the claims of a creature upon his Creator, we had forfeited them all by our rebellion. Let us turn to the "but." "But that He loved us." I should like you to meditate on each one of these words — "He loved us." Three words, but what weight of meaning! "He," who is infinitely holy and cannot endure iniquity — "He loved us"; "He," whose glory is the astonishment of the greatest of intelligent beings — "He loved us." Now ring that second silver bell: "He loved us." He saw our race ruined in the fall, and He could not bear that man should be destroyed. He saw that sin had brought men into wretchedness and misery, and would destroy them forever; and He would not have it so. He loved them with the love of pity, with the love of sweet and strong benevolence. Would a man want any other heaven than to know for certain that he enjoyed the love of God? Note the third word. "He loved us — us" — the most insignificant of beings. Observe that the previous verse speaks of us as being dead in sin. He was wroth with us as a Judge, but yet He loved us: He was determined to punish, and yet resolved to save.

II. THE MARVELLOUS OUTFLOW OF THAT LOVE. Consider every word: "He sent His Son." God "sent." Love caused that mission. Oh, the wonder of this, that God should not wait till rebellious men had sent to His throne for terms of reconciliation, but should commence negotiations himself! Moreover, God sent such a One: He "sent His Son." Yes, "He spared not His own Son, but freely delivered Him up for us all." He knew what would come of that sending of Him, and yet He sent Him. Note further, not only the grandeur of the Ambassador, but the tenderness of the relationship existing between Him and the offended God. "He sent His Son"' The previous verse says, "His only-begotten Son." Christ's death was in fact God in human form suffering for human sin; God incarnate bleeding because of our transgressions. Are we not now carried away with the streams of love? Go a step further. "God sent His Son to be a propitiation," that is, to be not only a reconciler, but the reconciliation. His sacrifice of Himself was the atonement through which mercy is rendered possible in consistency with justice.

III. THE CONSEQUENT OUTFLOW OF LOVE FROM US. "Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another." Our love then to one another is simply God's love to us, flowing into us, and flowing out again. If you and I desire to love our fellow Christians and to love the fallen race of man, we must be joined on to the aqueduct which conducts love from this eternal source, or else we shall soon fail in love. Observe, then, that as the love of God is the source of all true love in us, so a sense of that love stimulates us. Whenever you feel that you love God you overflow with love to all God's people; I am sure you do. Your love will respect the same persons as God's love does, and for the same reasons. God loves men; so will you; God loves them when there is no good in them, and you will love them in the same way. Our love ought to follow the love of God in one point, namely, in always seeking to produce reconciliation. It was to this end that God sent His Son.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

God is love. But if we say that, do we not say that God is good with a fresh form of goodness, which is not justice, nor truthfulness, nor purity, bounty, nor mercy, though without them it cannot exist? And is not that fresh goodness, which we have not defined yet, the very kind of goodness which we prize most in human beings? And what is that? What — save self-sacrifice? For what is the love worth which does not show itself in action; and more, which does not show itself in passion, in the true sense of that word, namely, in suffering? On the Cross of Calvary, God the Father showed His own character and the character of His co equal and co-eternal Son, and of the Spirit which proceeds from both. For there He spared not His only-begotten Son, but freely gave Him for us. The comfortable prosperous man shrinks from the thought of Christ on His Cross. It tells him that better men than he have had to suffer; that the Son of God Himself had to suffer. And he does not like suffering; he prefers comfort. The lazy, selfish man shrinks from the sight of Christ on His Cross; for it rebukes his laziness and selfishness. Christ's Cross says to him — Thou art ignoble and base, as long as thou art lazy and selfish. Rise up, do something, dare something, suffer something, if need be, for the sake of thy fellow creatures. He turns from it and says in his heart — Oh! Christ's Cross is a painful subject, and Passion week and Good Friday a painful time. I will think of something more peaceful, more agreeable than sorrow, and shame, and agony, and death. Yes, so a man says too often, as long as the fine weather lasts, and all is smooth and bright. But when the tempest comes; when poverty comes, affliction, shame, sickness, bereavement, and still more, when persecution comes on a man; then, then indeed Passion week begins to mean something to a man; and just because it is the saddest of all times, it looks to him the brightest of all times. For in his misery and confusion he looks up to heaven and asks, Is there anyone in heaven who understands all this? Then does the Cross of Christ bring a message to that man such as no other thing or being on earth can bring. For it says to him — God does understand thee utterly. For Christ understands thee. Christ feels for thee. Christ feels with thee. Christ has suffered for thee, and suffered with thee. Thou canst go through nothing which Christ has not gone through. Passion week tells us, I believe, what is the law according to which the whole world of man and of things, yea, the whole universe, sun, moon, and stars, is made: and theft is, the law of self-sacrifice; that nothing lives merely for itself; that each thing is ordained by God to help the things around it, even at its own expense. On this day Christ said — ay, and His Cross says still, and will say to all eternity — Wouldest thou be good? Wouldest thou be like God? Then work, and dare, and, if need be, suffer, for thy fellow men.

(C. Kingsley, M. A.)

I. JOHN WOULD HAVE US MAGNIFY THE LOVE OF GOD BY THE DEMERIT OF ITS OBJECTS. God had thoughts of love towards us before man had existence. "We rejoice in hope of eternal life, which God that cannot lie hath given us before the world began." Then view man as created. "God made man upright, but he sought out many inventions." Sin soon entered our "world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." The apostle, speaking of the heathen nations, says, "When they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful," etc. So when God looked down upon the children of men, to see if there were any that sought after God, He says, "They are all gone out of the way, there is none that doeth good, no, not one." Do you ask, "Were not the Jews an exception here? for to them were committed the oracles of God." God planted them in His vineyard, and fenced it in, and gave it every kind of culture, so that He said, "What more could have been done than I have done to My vineyard?" Yet what was His testimony? "When I looked that it should bring forth grapes, wherefore brought it forth wild grapes?" We pass from the prediction, and read the history of the transgression. "He was in the world, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own, and His own received Him not." What must have been the condition of man, not to love the perfection of holiness, the source of excellence, the fountain of life, the supreme good? What must have been the perversity of his mind which should induce Him to regard God as an invader, and to say, "Depart from us, we desire not the knowledge of Thy ways"? Now the carnal mind is enmity against God; there is no neutrality here. "He that is not with Me," says the Saviour, "is against Me; and he that gathereth not with Me, scattereth abroad." We are alienated in our minds by wicked works.


(W. Jay, M. A.)


1. There is the fact that the free, unbought love of God, is the source of human redemption.

2. The matchlessness of the Divine love, as demonstrated in the mode of its expression.

3. The signal issues of the Divine love, as it achieved a propitiation for sin.

4. A propitiation has been made.


1. It is by faith that we embrace the propitiation of the gospel.

2. The costly character of the propitiation of God bespeaks a corresponding dedication to its benefits.

3. Infinite love bespeaks fervent response from us.

(A. Forman.)


1. The instance: "Herein is love." A speech it is of great emphasis, spoken by the apostle with great strength of affection; and it carrieth with it a three-fold intimation.(1) It is a specification of that affection, or rather attribute, in God, which most of all shone in this great work of Christ's Incarnation. It was His love that employed His wisdom, His power, His righteousness; set them on working for our good and benefit.(2) It shows the real proof and manifestation of His love. It was love testified in the reality of love. It intimates not only an act of love, but an effect of love, a fruit of love. It was not a well wishing love only, but a love that breaks forth into action and evidence.(3) It carries with it the most clear and full demonstration of love to us. Other fruits of love He hath vouchsafed us, and we enjoy them daily; but none so evident proofs of His love as the sending of His Son to us.

2. The illustration of the greatness and excellency of this love. "Not that we loved Him, but that He loved us."(1) We may resolve these words into a preventing sense. We began not with Him in this league of love, but He began with us. That is one excellency of His love; it was a forward, antecedent, preventing love.(2) We may resolve it into a negative sense. We loved not Him, and yet He loved us. That is another excellency of His love; it was a free, undeserved love, no way due to us.(3) We may resolve it into a comparative sense. Had we loved Him, or do we love Him? Yet that is nothing in comparison of His love to us. "Herein is love, not that we loved Him": no great matter in that. Our love to Him — it is not worth the naming.

II. THE EXCELLENCY OF THE BENEFIT WHICH FLOWS FROM THE FOUNTAIN — that is the sending of Christ to accomplish our salvation. And here are three great and gracious fruits of love.

1. That He would send to us.(1) This act of sending to us argues much love. It had been much for Him to admit of our sending addresses to Him. Consider upon what terms we stood with God, and we will confess it.

(a)The inferior should send and seek to the superior.

(b)The party offending to the party offended.

(c)The weaker should send to the stronger.

(d)They that need reconciliation should seek to him that needs it not.(2) God sent Him to us wittingly and willingly. Our Saviour came not of Himself only, but the Father sent Him. It was a full mission and commission. He sent Him; yea, more than so, He sent Him and authorised Him (John 6:27).(3) He sent Him —(a) Not as a Messenger only but as a Gift also; that is the best kind of sending. He so sent Him as that He gave Him to us.(b) He was a gift not only promised but actually bestowed and exhibited to us. We enjoy Him, whom the prophets promised, the patriarchs expected.

2. Here is an higher expression of His love in that He sent His Son to us.(1) Take notice of the dignity of Him that was sent (Philippians 2:6, 7).(2) For so great a God to send any, though never so mean, to such wretches as we were, had been a favour more than we could expect; but to send His only Son, His beloved Son, is a testimony of love beyond all comprehension.

3. The purpose and end of sending Him — that is, "to be the propitiation for our sins."(1) It was for sins.(a) It had been much for just and good men and for their benefit.(b) To mediate for those that have offended another is a kindness and office of love that may be found amongst men; but God is the Person wronged, our sins are all against Him, His law was broken, His will disobeyed, His name dishonoured. Yet see His love — He sends to propitiate and expiate our sins against Himself.(c) To send to rebels in arms and to offer them pardon, hath been found amongst men; but for rebels subdued and under the power of their sovereign, nay, shut up — we lay all at His mercy — and then He sends unto us His propitiation.(2) It was for the propitiating of our sins. That was the great work for which He came (Isaiah 27:9). That was His errand on which He came. This He published and made known to the world.(a) To propitiate is to appease God's wrath and displeasure, justly taken against us, and to reduce us into grace and favour again. He loved us in our deformity, that He might put upon us a spiritual beauty. He loved us when we displeased Him, that He might work in us that which pleaseth Him.(b) He did it by the means of making a full satisfaction to the justice of God for us. He hath done away our sins, not by a free dispensation, but by a full and just compensation.(c) What is the matter of our propitiation — the price of our ransom? That is the highest improvement of love. He is our propitiation: not only our propitiator, but our propitiation. He is not only our Saviour, but He is become our salvation — as David speaks. He is not only our Redeemer, but our ransom (1 Timothy 2:6; Isaiah 53:10; Romans 3:25; Leviticus 17:11). He was not only the Priest, but the Sacrifice also. He not only acted for us, but suffered for us (Galatians 2:20; Galatians 3:13).


1. It should teach us to fasten our admiration on this great love of God, to work ourselves to an holy wonderment, that God should bestow such love upon us.

2. This great love of God to us calls for another effect: that is an holy retribution of love to Him again. Provoke thyself, inflame thine heart with the love of Him who hath so loved thee.

3. This love of God requires in us an holy imitation. In particular, imitate this love of God in all the characters of love expressed in my text.(1) The reality of thy love. Show thy love by the fruits of love, as St. John speaks (1 John 3:18).(2) We must imitate this love of God in the preventions of love, in showing of love, going one before another.(3) We must imitate this love of God in the condescensions of His love to our inferiors, to our enemies.(4) We must imitate this love of God in that great and main effect of His love to our souls in freeing them from sin (Leviticus 19:17). Love to the soul of thy brother, it is the best love; and to keep him from sin, or to free him of sin, it is the best love to his soul.

(Bp. Brownrigg.)

Leave Christ as God's salvation out of the Bible, and it is of little account to a guilty, perishing sinner.

I. WE ARE TO STATE THE IMPORT OF THE TERM, OR SHOW YOU WHAT WE ARE TO UNDERSTAND BY PROPITIATION, And here I would appeal to the understanding of all men, whether we have not some other idea of this word than what is contained in repentance, amendment, and mortification. The Jews well understood the meaning of it: they had their eucharistical and expiatory or atoning sacrifices. Now can it reasonably be supposed that the apostles would recede from the well known meaning of this word, especially in their writings to the Jews, and always use it in a metaphorical or figurative sense? Further, the heathens were no strangers to the sense of the word propitiation.

II. TO INQUIRE INTO THE NECESSITY AND IMPORTANCE OF IT. By necessity, I do not mean that God was obliged to provide an atonement for the sin of man. Misery may excite but not oblige to pity, especially where guilt is the spring of it; and ruin the just consequence of apostasy. I know the Socinians suppose the goodness of God will not admit Him to demand or receive a satisfaction. Mercy is abundantly more natural and glorious without a propitiation; but the Scripture asserts the fact, and points out the necessity of it. I stay not to inquire whether God could not have fixed on any other method of recovery. Had we proper apprehensions of the holiness and justice of God when we consider this, and our circumstances as transgressors without saying what He might do, we may well adore Him for what He has done. The necessity of an atonement might be further evinced from the sanction of the law, clothed with the authority of a God who cannot lie; a God as jealous of His glory as of His faithfulness. As to the importance of the blessing of propitiation. Is there anything valuable in the favour and friendship of God?


1. That God sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

2. The doctrine, worship, and faith of the Old Testament saints were directed to this as the great centre of efficacy and perfection.

3. God the Father, sustaining the character of a Judge, has declared the highest satisfaction in it, by raising His Son from the dead and crowning Him with honour and glory as Mediator.

4. He will receive no confession, petition, or thanksgiving but through His hands. No man can come unto the Father but by Him. Lastly, the virtue of this sacrifice remains the same through all ages.

IV. THAT PROPITIATION IS THE PURE EFFECT OF DIVINE LOVE, AND THE BRIGHTEST DISPLAY OF IT. By love we mean not a foolish, weak passion, but such favour, grace, or mercy as founded in infinite wisdom and in full agreement with all the perfections of God; and that the gift of His Son is the fruit of Divine love stands uncontested. Love is the noble spring of all the good the believer has in time, and all the glory he will possess in eternity; but the gift of God's Son exceeds them all. Application:

1. Sinner, art thou deeply affected with thy guilt, and afraid of the consequences of thy transgressions? Here is a remedy exactly suited to thy ease.

2. Let believers labour, in the strength of grace, after the comfortable evidence of an interest in that which is to be their great support in death and security in judgment. Lastly, let us all take heed that we are not deceived; repentance and reformation without Christ will leave us short of heaven.

(Samuel Wilson.)

Sketches of Sermons.

1. The perfection and excellence of the law which he has broken.

2. The inability of man to expiate his offences.

3. The inflexible nature of Divine justice, which supports the honour of the law, and enforces its claims.


1. No creature could or would become a propitiation for man.

2. Jesus Christ is every way adapted to become our propitiation.

3. The Scriptures everywhere testify that Jesus Christ is our propitiation(Isaiah 53:5, 6, 7, 10; Matthew 20:28; Romans 3:24, 25; Romans 4:25; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 3:13; Colossians 1:20; 1 Timothy 1:15; Hebrews 9:22-26; 1 John 2:2). The Father gave the Son (John 3:16). The Son gave Himself (Galatians 1:4). He offered Himself through the Eternal Spirit (Hebrews 9:14).


1. Unparalleled in its nature.

2. Intense in its ardour.

3. Immense in its extent.

4. Glorious in its purpose and final issue.Inferences:

1. How pernicious is the doctrine of Socinianism, which completely destroys this only hope of a penitent — redemption by Christ!

2. How dangerous is the delusion of the self-righteous!

3. What abundant consolation does this subject afford penitent sinners!

4. In this love of God we are furnished with a rule and a motive for love to each other, "Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another."

(Sketches of Sermons.)



1. I am well aware it does nothing towards the proof of this proposition to observe that this is precisely such a provision as the circumstances of man required, while it was perfectly consistent with all the attributes of Deity that God should grant it. There is nothing in the Scripture doctrine of the atonement by Jesus Christ repugnant to the most correct ideas of fitness and propriety, with regard either to the offending or the offended party. If man had never sinned, we should have seen the glory of the Divine power, wisdom, and benevolence in the creation of the world. If, having sinned, man had been left to perish, we should have seen the glory of the Divine justice. If he had been freely pardoned, without any satisfactory atonement, we should have seen the glory of the Divine mercy; but, having sinned, and receiving free forgiveness and eternal life by means of an adequate, because infinitely valuable, atonement, we see the glory of all the Divine attributes, and, overwhelmed with the astonishing exhibition, exclaim with the apostle, "Herein is love."

2. The universal prevalence of sacrifices.

3. The sacrifices of the Mosaic economy.

4. The language of the prophets.

5. The testimony of the apostles, from that of Philip, in his preaching to the eunuch, to that of John, in the visions of the Apocalypse.

6. The language of Jesus Christ Himself.

(T. Raffles, LL. D.)

Love is its own perennial fount of strength. The strength of affection is a proof not of the worthiness of the object, but of the largeness of the soul which loves. Love descends, not ascends. The Saviour loved His disciples infinitely more than His disciples loved Him, because His heart was infinitely larger. Love trusts on, ever hopes and expects better things, and this a trust springing from itself and out of its own deeps alone.

(F. W. Robertson.)

A mother said to her pastor, "I wish some one could tell me why the Saviour died for us. I have never heard it answered to my satisfaction. You will say it was because He loved us; but why was that love? He certainly did not need us, and in our sinful state there was nothing in us to attract His love." "I may suppose," said her pastor, "that it would be no loss for you to lose your deformed little babe. You have a large circle of friends, you have other children, and a kind husband. You do not need the deformed child; and what use is it?" "Oh, sir," said the mother, "I could not part with my poor child. I do need him. I need his love. I would rather die than fail of receiving it." "Well," said her pastor, "does God love His children less than earthly, sinful parents do?"

John, Jude
Atoning, Expiation, Herein, Indeed, Love, Loved, Offering, Propitiation, Sacrifice, Sins
1. He warns them not to believe all who boast of the Spirit;
7. and exhorts to brotherly love.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
1 John 4:10

     1115   God, purpose of
     2354   Christ, mission
     2530   Christ, death of
     5441   philosophy
     6027   sin, remedy for
     6617   atonement, in NT
     6648   expiation
     6668   grace, and Christ
     6712   propitiation
     6717   reconciliation, world to God
     7950   mission, of Christ
     8272   holiness, growth in

1 John 4:7-10

     8203   character
     8296   love, nature of

1 John 4:7-12

     1085   God, love of

1 John 4:7-16

     1205   God, titles of

1 John 4:7-21

     8115   discipleship, nature of
     8348   spiritual growth, nature of

1 John 4:8-10

     5762   attitudes, God to people

1 John 4:8-12

     1100   God, perfection

1 John 4:9-10

     2048   Christ, love of
     6025   sin, and God's character
     8301   love, and enemies

1 John 4:9-19

     6512   salvation, necessity and basis

1 John 4:10-11

     8297   love, for God

1 John 4:10-12

     5844   emotions
     7925   fellowship, among believers

Love of God and Man
FIRST SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY. Eversley. Chester Cathedral, 1872. 1 John iv. 16, 21. "God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. . . . And this commandment have we from Him, That he who loveth God love his brother also." This is the first Sunday after Trinity. On it the Church begins to teach us morals,--that is, how to live a good life; and therefore she begins by teaching us the foundation of all morals,--which is love,--love to God and love to man. But which
Charles Kingsley—All Saints' Day and Other Sermons

First Sunday after Trinity God is Love.
Text: 1 John 4, 16-21. 16 God is love; and he that abideth in love abideth in God, and God abideth in him. 17 Herein is love made perfect with us, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as he is, even so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love: but perfect love casteth out fear, because fear hath punishment; and he that feareth is not made perfect in love. 19 We love, because he first loved us. 20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. III

Christ's Mission the Revelation of God's Love
'Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.'--1 John iv. 10. This is the second of a pair of twin verses which deal with substantially the same subject under two slightly different aspects. The thought common to both is that Christ's mission is the great revelation of God's love. But in the preceding verse the point on which stress is laid is the manifestation of that love, and in our text the point mainly brought out is its
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

The Servant as his Lord
'... As He is, so are we in this world.'--1 John iv. 17. Large truths may be spoken in little words. Profundity is often supposed to be obscurity, but the deepest depth is clear. John, in his gospel and epistles, deals with the deepest realities, and with all things in their eternal aspects, but his vocabulary is the simplest in the New Testament. God and the world, life and death, love and hate, light and darkness, these are the favourite words round which his thoughts gather. Here are nine little
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

Love and Fear
'There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.'--1 John iv. 18. John has been speaking of boldness, and that naturally suggests its opposite--fear. He has been saying that perfect love produces courage in the day of judgment, because it produces likeness to Christ, who is the Judge. In my text he explains and enlarges that statement. For there is another way in which love produces boldness, and that is by its
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

The Ray and the Reflection
'We love Him, because He first loved us.'--1 John iv. 19. Very simple words! but they go down into the depths of God, lifting burdens off the heart of humanity, turning duty into delight, and changing the aspect of all things. He who knows that God loves him needs little more for blessedness; he who loves God back again offers more than all burnt offering and sacrifices. But it is to be observed that the correct reading of my text, as you will find in the Revised Version, omits 'Him' in the first
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

May the Sixth the Perfecting of Love
"Herein is our love made perfect." --1 JOHN iv. 11-21. How? By dwelling in God and God in us. Love is not a manufacture; it is a fruit. It is not born of certain works; it springs out of certain relations. It does not come from doing something; it comes from living with Somebody. "Abide in Me." That is how love is born, for "love is of God, and God is love." How many people are striving who are not abiding. They live in a manufactory, they do not live in a home. They are trying to make something
John Henry Jowett—My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year

Love's Logic
But, dear friends, I trust after many years of instruction in the doctrines of our holy faith, I need not keep to the beaten doctrinal track, but may lead you in a parallel path, in which the same truth may be from another point. I purpose to preach an experimental sermon, and possibly this will be even more in accordance with the run of the passage and the mind of its writer, than a doctrinal discourse. We shall view the text as a fact which we have tested and proved in our own consciousness. Under
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 17: 1871

A Psalm of Remembrance
Let me add another figure to render this truth yet more apparent. Suppose an eloquent foreigner, from a sunny clime, should endeavour to make you appreciate the fruits of his nation. He depicts them to you. He describes their luscious flavour, their cooling juice, their delicious sweetness; but how powerless will be his oration, compared with your vivid remembrance, if you have yourself partaken of the dainties of his land. It is even so with the good things of God; describe them as we may, we cannot
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 5: 1859

Can you imagine a being placed halfway between this world and heaven? Can you conceive of him as having such enlarged capacities that he could easily discern what was done in heaven, and what was done on earth? I can conceive that, before the Fall, if there had been such a being, he would have been struck with the singular harmony which existed between God's great world, called heaven, and the little world, the earth. Whenever the chimes of heaven rang, the great note of those massive bells was love;
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 5: 1859

Dark Times
1 JOHN iv. 16-18. We have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love but perfect love casteth out fear; because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. Have we learnt this lesson? Our reading, and thinking, and praying, have been in vain, unless
Charles Kingsley—The Good News of God

"And if Christ be in You, the Body is Dead Because of Sin; but the Spirit is Life Because of Righteousness. "
Rom. viii. 10.--"And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness." God's presence is his working. His presence in a soul by his Spirit is his working in such a soul in some special manner, not common to all men, but peculiar to them whom he hath chosen. Now his dwelling is nothing else but a continued, familiar and endless working in a soul, till he hath conformed all within to the image of his Son. The soul is the office house, or workhouse,
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

"For what the Law could not Do, in that it was Weak Though the Flesh, God Sending his Own Son,"
Rom. viii. 3.--"For what the law could not do, in that it was weak though the flesh, God sending his own Son," &c. Of all the works of God towards man, certainly there is none hath so much wonder in it, as the sending of his Son to become man; and so it requires the exactest attention in us. Let us gather our spirits to consider of this mystery,--not to pry into the secrets of it curiously, as if we had no more to do but to satisfy our understandings; but rather that we may see what this concerns
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

The Torment of Fear
(First Sunday after Trinity.) 1 John iv. 16, 18. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. The text tells us how to get one of the greatest blessings;
Charles Kingsley—Town and Country Sermons

"The Fruit of the Spirit is Love"
I want to look at the fact of a life filled with the Holy Spirit more from the practical side, and to show how this life will show itself in our daily walk and conduct. Under the Old Testament you know the Holy Spirit often came upon men as a divine Spirit of revelation to reveal the mysteries of God, or for power to do the work of God. But He did not then dwell in them. Now, many just want the Old Testament gift of power for work, but know very little of the New Testament gift of the indwelling
Andrew Murray—Absolute Surrender

Scriptural Predictions of an Apostasy.
Who has not wondered, as they read of the Savior's and the apostles' warnings of "false teachers," grievous wolves, delusive powers, and deceptive lights, what it all could mean? These things certainly are not without meaning. Jesus says, "And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound the love of many shall wax cold. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they
Charles Ebert Orr—The Gospel Day

The Established Christian Urged to Exert Himself for Purposes of Usefulness.
1, 2. A sincere love to God will express itself not only in devotion, but in benevolence to men.--3. This is the command of God.--4. The true Christian feels his soul wrought to a holy conformity to it.--5. And therefore will desire instruction on this head.--6. Accordingly, directions are given for the improvement of various talents: particularly genius and learning.--7. Power.--8. Domestic authority.--9. Esteem.--10. Riches.--11. Several good ways of employing them hinted at.--12, 13. Prudence
Philip Doddridge—The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul

The Manifestation of Holy Love.
"And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us." --1 John iv. 16. The question which now presents itself is: In what way is the divine, majestic act of making man a partaker of true love accomplished? We answer that this is-- 1. Prepared by the Father in Creation. 2. Made possible by the Son in Redemption. 3. Effectually accomplished by the Holy Spirit in Sanctification. There is in this respect, first a work of the Father, which the Heidelberg Catechism designates, "Of God the Father
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit

Love in the Triune Being of God.
"God is Love."--1 John iv. 8. Between natural love even in its highest forms and Holy Love there is a wide chasm. This had to be emphasized so that our readers might not mistake the nature of Love. Many say that God is Love, but measure His Love by the love of men. They study love's being and manifestations in others and in themselves, and then think themselves competent to judge that this human love, in a more perfect form, is the Love of God. Of course they are wrong. Essential Love must be studied
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit

I May Briefly Reduce the Chief Persuading Motive to this So Needful and So Much...
I may briefly reduce the chief persuading motive to this so needful and so much desiderated grace into some three or four heads. All things within and without persuade to it, but especially the right consideration of the love of God in Christ, the wise and the impartial reflection on ourselves, the consideration of our brethren whom we are commanded to love, and the thorough inspection into the nature and use of the grace itself. In consideration of the First, a soul might argue itself into a complacency
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Dwelling in Love
"We love Him, because He first loved us."--1 John iv. 19. Mechthild of Hellfde, 1277. tr., Emma Frances Bevan, 1899 I rejoice that I cannot but love Him, Because He first loved me; I would that measureless, changeless, My love might be; A love unto death and for ever; For, soul, He died for thee. Give thanks that for thee He delighted To leave His glory on high; For thee to be humbled, forsaken, For thee to die. Wilt thou render Him love for His loving? Wilt thou die for Him who died? And so by
Frances Bevan—Hymns of Ter Steegen and Others (Second Series)

Whether Initial Fear Differs Substantially from Filial Fear
Whether Initial Fear Differs Substantially from Filial Fear We proceed to the eighth article thus: 1. It seems that initial fear differs substantially from filial fear. For filial fear is caused by love, whereas initial fear is the beginning of love, according to Ecclesiasticus 25:12: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of love." Initial fear is therefore other than filial fear. 2. Again, initial fear fears punishment, which is the object of servile fear. Thus it seems that initial fear is the
Aquinas—Nature and Grace

Here Some one Will Say, this is Now not to Write of virginity...
52. Here some one will say, This is now not to write of virginity, but of humility. As though truly it were any kind of virginity, and not that which is after God, which we had undertaken to set forth. And this good, by how much I see it to be great, by so much I fear for it, lest it be lost, the thief pride. Therefore there is none that guardeth the virginal good, save God Himself Who gave it: and God is Charity. [2211] The Guardian therefore of virginity is Charity: but the place of this Guardian
St. Augustine—Of Holy Virginity.

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