1 John 4:6-10
1 John 4:6 (KJB)
We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
Heareth - Hearing with understanding
Here John is stating that he and those with him are definitely of God and those others who know God by salvation, will hear and understand the true word when it is spoken. Those who are unbelievers will hear the word being spoken and will not understand it, in fact, when the unbelievers hear the true word being spoken, it normally makes them very angry. The second acid test in this verse is that when the believers hear the true word being spoken they will hear and understand but if the word spoken is of a heretical nature, they will reject what is being taught. The true believer will have the ability to discern between what is being taught in truth and what is being taught by heresy. They will be able to tell who is teaching the truth and who is not. The Holy Spirit will guide us into truth and will give us the discernment to know the truth from error. When worldly teachings are being proclaimed, the unsaved of the world will normally approve what is being taught and if the world accepts the teachings, then we can know the teachings are false. The world gives approbation to its own. (John 15:19 KJV) If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
1 John 4:7 (KJB)
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
John changes gears here and begins a section on love. He encourages the Christians to show love toward each other and as we have seen previously, true Godly love is love that is proactive. True love is sacrificial in nature and that type of love comes from God. The worldly love seeks to get something in return but true love expects nothing in return. True Christian love goes unrequited many times. Those who have the spirit of true Christian love are those who have been born again. When a person becomes saved they tend to strip away the selfishness and begin to be other oriented. That is an indication that a person has truly become saved, especially when acts of love are not just done once or twice but on a continual basis as a lifestyle.
1 John 4:8 (KJB)
He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
The person who shows no love or concern for others and is only self-centered gives strong evidence that they have not become saved. They may talk a good story but their actions prove their selfishness. Those who have truly become saved and are proactive in their love for others definitely know God. God is love because it is one of His main traits as evidenced in His love for the Elect by sending the Lord Jesus Christ to the cross. The second half of this verse ďGod is loveĒ has been misunderstood by unbelievers. Godís love is qualified toward His Children in that those who are saved experience the eternal love of God in salvation. (John 13:1 KJV) Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. John 13:1 states that Jesus loved His own in the world, it does not say He loved everyone in the world. (Psa 5:5 KJV) The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity. Psalm 5:5 states that God hates all workers of iniquity and those workers of iniquity are the unsaved because their works are of darkness. So Godís love is lavished on His children but His righteous hatred is lavished on the unbeliever. Yes God is love but toward His redeemed children.
1 John 4:9 (KJB)
In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
Here John specifically states that the love of God is manifested or revealed towards those He has saved. God sent His only begotten Son into the world to die for the Elect, so we may be redeemed and live eternally with Him. It is important to see the wording used. Notice it says ďthe love of GodĒ not ďa love of God.Ē That definite article ďtheĒ teaches us that Godís love is directed toward His children only. If the indirect article ďaĒ was used then it would show Godís love is manifested in a plurality of situations. There is no such thing in Scripture where it teaches that God hates the sin but loves the sinner. As we previously saw in Psalm 5:5 that God hates all workers of iniquity, in other words, all unbelievers. (Psa 7:11 KJV) God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day. Psalm 7:11 teaches us that God is angry with the wicked every day. Godís anger is leveled against the unbeliever while His love is directed toward the Elect. We must always keep in mind that Godís love is qualified and it is not a general love.
1 John 4:10 (KJB)
Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Propitiation - Expiation, Sin offering
Here is the great initiator of love. The Elect of God was also in rebellion against Him before they became saved. (Eph 2:3 KJV) Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. Notice that Ephesians 2:3 states that we were by nature children of wrath just like the others. We were spiritually dead and incapable of loving God but He knew those whom He had named before the foundation of the world unto salvation and He was able to lavish His love upon us. His love for us came through Calvary as He sent the Lord Jesus Christ to be our sin offering. When Christ went to the cross and finished the salvation plan of God for the Elect, He then lavished His love on us through the finished work of Christ. Christ removed all our sins at Calvary and therefore we can be loved by God because we are as if we never sinned, that is how clean Christ made us. If we have but one sin, we are still disqualified for Heaven and unsaved. That is why Christ had to completely clean us from all sin. This verse shows the qualified love of God toward His children as we were still in sin and Christ cleansed us as part of Godís salvation plan.