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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 John 4:11

 

 

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

Adam Clarke Commentary

If God so loved us - Without any reason or consideration on our part, and without any desert in us; we ought also, in like manner, to love one another, and not suspend our love to a fellow-creature, either on his moral worth or his love to us. We should love one another for God's sake; and then, no unkind carriage of a brother would induce us to withdraw our love from him; for if it have God for its motive and model, it will never fail.


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These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 1 John 4:11". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/1-john-4.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another -

(1)Because he is so much exalted above us, and if he has loved those who were so inferior and so unworthy, we ought to love those who are on a level with us;

(2)because it is only in this way that we can show that we have his Spirit; and,

(3)because it is the nature of love to seek the happiness of all. There are much stronger reasons why we should love one another than there were why God should love us; and unless we do this, we can have no evidence that we are his children.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 John 4:11". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-john-4.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

1 John 4:11

Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another

The Doctrine love a pattern for the human

“God is Beauty,” said the Greek; “God is Strength,” said the Roman; “God is Law,” said the Jew; “God is Love,” says the disciple.
“It came to this that the Son of God had for love to lay down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” St. John seems to say, “Yes; but you will not be much called on to do that when things are settled. You will not be asked for your life--will you then give up something of your living? There is more call for that. Whoso hath the world’s livelihood (
βίος) and looks on his brother in want, and locks his compassions out of his reach--how is God’s love imminent in him?” The barbed question is followed up by a glowing indignation, called for it would seem, even in those days of first love. Ah! “Little children of mine, do not let us be loving in word, nor even in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” Not so much theory, not so much even of warm expression, but reality. “If God so loved us, as now we know He did, we owe it to love one another.” It is a debt. That life was given, and given to us. There must be some obligations growing out of that utterly unearned increment. Surely it is by our working that God will cease to permit the misery that He has not made. Repay, redress, rebalance, we cannot by mere almsgiving, however liberal. But “this world’s goods”--“the life of this world ( βίος )” of which St. John asks us to give him some--“this world’s life” is more than its spare monies. Breath, light, space to be decent, and healthful food; order and peace and rest, and beautiful sights and sounds; knowledge and the power to care for it, time to consider, religion, and a belief that religion and worship are for the likes of them, and not a form of luxury; these are regions of “the life of this world” which we inherit, but which have been fenced and walled from millions. When we with the best intent are building, broad and high, castles of dwellings for artisans we still are not working on the lines of nature and society. Sanitation and accommodation, with even recreation added, are not all that the simplest society claims. Society, to be society, must have society. It cannot be all of one grain. The simplest must have some little range of ranks. It must have some elements of inspiration from without it, and from above it, in force sufficient to be felt. Some loving spirits must go and dwell among them; who will not hear of brutality being regarded as the natural law even of the lowest; who will begin by expecting of them, even as of others, soberness and honesty and care for the family, and through expecting patiently will create. There are the ἀρχηγοί of a new society, and there is no form of influence fuller of power, fuller it may be of trial, but also fuller of reward, and richer for the future. What the few bear who live thus, what discouragements, what broken pledges, what fallings back, what mad sounds by night, what sights by day, no novel and no visitor can describe. None know but they who live there. And yet there are the elements of society. There is duty constantly scorning selfishness, suffering brutality rather than wrongly escape from it, working itself to death for the children rather than take them to the workhouse. There are sacrifices as strange as the sins that impose them. Again, there are ears that will hear, men and families that will advance their whole standard of life, under the influence of those whom they have seen loving them for nought. (Abp. Benson.)

The Divine example of love

I. Love should be exercised by us after the example of the love of God (verse 11). What, then, were the features of the Divine love, and what ought to be those of our love?

1. The love of God was universal. He expressed it to all, good and bad, worthy and unworthy.

2. More than this, the love of God has been conspicuous toward His enemies (Romans 5:6; Romans 5:8-9). In this respect also we are bound to imitate the Divine example.

3. This is farther demanded, though it should be at the cost of the greatest self-denial. It need not be asked at what expense did God express His love for sinners? What, then, shall we refuse to suffer for the benefit of others?

4. Nor let us overlook that our love, like God’s, should be aggressive. We are not to wait until we are besought. God did not so deal by us.

5. To complete all, love should be constant. Nothing should weary it or cause it to relax.

II. In the exercise of this love we enjoy communion with God (verse 12). “No man hath seen God at any time.” It is as if it had been said, although “no man hath seen God at any time, yet, if we love one another, God dwelleth in us.”

1. When we engage in duties of brotherly love we are conscious of the Divine approval. And this applies to all duties of brotherly love, whether those that relate to our immediate connections, or the Church of Christ, or the world.

2. There is a sustaining sense of the Divine cooperation. God is with us in them.

3. He will bless us and our work!

III. Thus also “his love is perfected in us.” This expression may be understood either of the love of God, as it is perfected when it produces love in us, or of our love when it is perfected in the exercises of brotherly love.

1. The love of God is perfected in us. From the beginning He had a design of love toward every one of His people. But that design is not carried out into completion until His grace secures the heart, and fills it with His love.

2. Or the saying may be understood of our love when it is perfected in the exercises of brotherly love. The Divine love is perfected when it inflames our souls, and makes us like God in love. And our love, thus kindled by the love of God, is perfected in the deeds of charity.

IV. In our brotherly love we are furnished with the evidence of our fellowship with God, as it is seen to arise out of the indwelling of the Spirit. “Hereby know we that we dwell in Him, and He in us, because He hath given us of His Spirit.” These fruits do not grow on the soil of nature. They are the plants of grace alone, and proclaim their heavenly origin. (J. Morgan, D. D.)

The love of the Father

I. The love of the Father an incentive to mutual love among Christians.

1. On the principle that like begets like--

2. On the principle of Christian professions--

II. The love of the Father in its marvellous example.

III. The possession of this Divine love is an assurance of richest spiritual blessings--the Divine indwelling and perfection of love. Lessons:

1. The revelation of the Divine love in Christ and in Christianity the highest truth, and its demonstration most scientific and clear.

2. The leading design of the manifestation of God’s love in the new birth of souls into the same love the sublimest and most blessed of all possible objects.

3. The importance of each Christian being an exemplification of the reality of God’s love and of the gift of His Son is thus seen to be most vital, as constituting one of the leading features in Christian apologetics--an unanswerable argument for the fundamental fact of Christianity.

4. As love is the most essential force for elevation and regeneration of the human race, Christianity is the only spiritual force yet discovered for that most-devoutly-to-be-wished-for consummation. (D. C. Hughes, M. A.)

Brotherly love

I. What relation we stand in to God.

II. The relation we bear to one another.

1. We are all creatures made of the same ignoble materials, and derived from the same Hand.

2. We all agree in one common nature.

3. We have all of us occasion for the assistance of one another.

4. As to the injuries we may receive, they do not come up to our sinning against God.

5. Let us consider the relation we bear to one another as being united in one common Christianity, and having embraced the same profession of faith. A motive this, to love, the most prevailing that can possibly be urged.

III. What benefits God hath conferred upon us. Were our minds fully possessed of a hearty sense of the extreme bounty of God, we could not be so base as to deny Him the only returns we are capable of making, that is love and compassion for one another.

IV. The kindness and love we are capable of showing those of the same frame and constitution with ourselves, comes prodigiously short of the marvellous favours and repeated kindnesses we have received from God. (R. Warren, D. D.)

God’s love the pattern for our love

“If God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.”

1. Because ignorance of what God means by love must now be wilful.

2. Because doubt and uncertainty as to the objects of love are forever excluded.

3. Because the power of love to conquer obstacles and impediments is, in God’s case, most gloriously shown.

4. Because the restoration of love between man and man is one of God’s objects in that redemption which so proves His love for us.

5. Because we are required to be followers of God as dear children.

6. Because love on our part must be pleasing to God.

7. Because “hereby we express our love towards God.” (S. Martin.)

The Divine prototype of love

“If God so loved us.” How? The preceding verse shows us some of the glorious traits of this love.

1. Its greatness and depth. One may dip out the ocean with a shell sooner than exhaust the ocean of God’s love with the little bucket of human conceptions. It is as boundless as God Himself, for “God is love” (verse 8). But the apostle puts into our hand a scale to measure even such greatness (verse 9). Is there for a father a greater offering than to give up his only son? “If God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.” The greatness of this Divine love ought also to be the motive to and the example for our love to our neighbour.

2. The all-embracing extent of this love. God sent His Son into the world. He gave Him not to some few, but to all. How often our love suffers from a miserable straitness of heart! Towards some, sometimes towards those who love us, we are very kind and pleasing, but towards others indifferent. Some attract us, numberless others are repulsive. And oh! what wretched pettinesses often suffice to lock up our hearts so that not the least drop of love can flow out! God's love did not suffer itself to be held back, nor to set itself any bounds: it embraced all, even its enemies. God finds people enough to love His beautiful and richly-gifted children; but few whose love goes far enough to receive the miserable ones also. If we desire to do what is pleasing to God’s heart, let us also love those whom no one else is likely to love! And if our courage fails us for this--for such love requires much courage--let us look up to the primal example of God’s love, which condescended to this miserable world.

3. The clearness and calmness of God’s love. The greater and stronger the love of men, so much the harder for it to remain clear and calm. The bleeding Lamb of God on Calvary shows not only how deeply and all inclusively, but also how clearly, and soberly, and holily God loves the world. He will heal its sin and guilt, and therefore He suffers the Lamb to bleed. He must judge while He heals, and He heals while thus judging. Thus clear and calm, too, was the love of Christ, in all its greatness. How He loved His disciples, and yet how soberly and calmly He pointed out to them their errors! “If God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.” Do we do it? Alas, how rare among us is that great and therefore sober love which steadily seeks to make our neighbour better! Either we continue clear and calm, and our love is, commonly, very lukewarm; or else it is great and warm, while we are as it were blind and dull.

4. Its unselfish disinterestedness. We love those who please us, who love us, or from whom we expect love. Therein appears the interestedness of our love. God loves those who love Him not; from whom, moreover, He can have no great hopes of love. Just as unselfish, too, is Christ’s love. In all His life of love He never seeks His own gain--not His honour, not His advantage, not His proper esteem, but only the honour of the Father and the salvation of the world. He puts away all self-help from His love (Matthew 4:3, etc.; 26:53, etc.); renounces the applause of the great masses, especially of the rulers; and walks the way of self-abnegation and the Cross. “If God so loved us, we ought also to love one another”--so unselfishly, so disinterestedly. How rare is the love in which one thinks not of himself, but only of the welfare of another; which forgets one’s self, seeks stillness and retirement, lets not its left hand know what its right hand doeth; yes, even expects nothing for itself, because it has its own reward in itself; which therefore rewards evil with good, which blesses them that curse us, and does good to them that hate us!

5. The steadfastness and faithfulness of the love of God; which is not less worthy of imitation. Only the unselfish love “never faileth.” Selfish love, in its very selfishness, has a worm in itself which speedily gnaws away its life. The purer love is, the less it changes. Because God’s love is without any mixture of impure self-seeking, therefore is it so steadfast. (Prof. T. Christlieb.)

Reflected love

Observe clearly this line of thought. “If God so loved us, we ought also so to love Him.” That is the first plain inference. But how? There is only one way--“loving one another.” To love God as He is, in Himself, is an abstract thing. This is only a feeling. To “love one another” in Him, and Him in “one another,” is action, and love is action, and action tests reality. “We ought”--we are under a debt to love one another. God’s love has placed us under this obligation. Whom are we to “love”? “One another.” Who is “one another”? All the great brotherhood; in the family of God. And if it be asked, What! all? All! The poorest, the meanest, the most wicked, the vilest? Find your answer in that “us”; or rather, for so each one of us ought to do--in the “me,” which goes to make the “us.” But “to love one another”--one another! It is, by reciprocity, not only to love, but to be loved. Now, am I wrong in thinking that to some of us it is a harder thing to consent to be loved than it is to love? There is a feeling of superiority in being kind to a person. It is pleasant to nature. It is a sort of patronising. But to receive kindnesses, especially from some persons, is an act of great humiliation. But you must love, and be loved, if you would fulfil the duty. You must so speak and act as to make yourself lovable to everybody. But there is a little word in the text which teaches us great lessons. “God so loved us.” How did God love us? That is our copy.

1. I notice that God’s love was originating love. He completely took the initiative. We should do the same--not wait to be loved.

2. And I notice that God’s love is a wise and thoughtful love. Our love is often very unwise and unthoughtful. There is very little mind in it; no consideration; therefore our love often does harm where it is meant to do good. God’s love is so carefully, so exquisitely adjusted. It is so very wise.

3. And God’s love, tender as it is, is always faithful. So far as reproof is faithful, God’s love is faithful. An unfaithful love is worse than hatred; and I may say very unlike God’s!

4. And God’s love is self-sacrificing love. “He spared not His own Son.”

5. And God’s love is never capricious. It never changes, except to deepen. Is your love so? Concerning love, let me further observe this--God always looks to the reflection of Himself in all His creatures. He expects to find the image of one or other of His attributes. If He finds it not, He passes unsatisfied. If He finds it, He “rests.” There He is content. Many different gifts and graces reflect different parts of the character of God; but God reflects all. Love gives back God to Himself, for “God is love.”

6. And love is the atmosphere of heaven. We are all to love now, that we may be ready to go forward. (J. Vaughan, M. A.)


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "1 John 4:11". The Biblical Illustrator. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/1-john-4.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

In this chapter, John repeated over and over again many of the closely related topics he had already mentioned, each time going a little further, giving a slightly different antithesis, stressing a little different aspect, or urging a closer attention, - all in such a marvelous way that, at last, his meaning becomes incontrovertible. In this verse, Christians' loving each other is motivated by the overwhelming majesty of the love of God himself.

One another ... is incapable of meaning "everybody on earth," although of course, the love of every Christian reaches out to the ends of the world, but not in the intensity commanded here.


Copyright Statement
James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 1 John 4:11". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/1-john-4.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Beloved, if God so loved us,.... As to send his Son to be a propitiatory sacrifice for our sins, and to obtain eternal life for us through his sufferings and death: the apostle uses the same language his Lord and master did, John 3:16;

we ought also to love one another; for those who are the objects of God's love ought to be the objects of ours; and if God has loved our fellow Christians and brethren to such a degree, as to send his Son to die for them, we ought to love them too; and if we are interested in the same love, the obligation is still the greater; and if God loved them with so great a love, when they did not love him, but were enemies to him, then surely we ought to love them now they are become the friends of God, and ours also; as God loved them freely, and when unlovely, and us likewise in the same manner, and under the same circumstances, then we ought to love, and continue to love the saints, though there may be something in their temper and conduct disagreeable: God is to be imitated in his love; and his love to us, which is unmerited and matchless, should influence and engage us to the love of the brethren, who have a far greater claim to our love than we can make to the love of God; and which indeed is none at all, but what he is pleased to give us.


Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on 1 John 4:11". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/1-john-4.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

9 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

(9) An other reason by comparison: if God so loved us, shall not we his children love one another?

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 1 John 4:11". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/1-john-4.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

God‘s love to us is the grand motive for our love to one another (1 John 3:16).

if — as we all admit as a fact.

we … also — as being born of God, and therefore resembling our Father who is love. In proportion as we appreciate God‘s love to us, we love Him and also the brethren, the children (by regeneration) of the same God, the representatives of the unseen God.


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 John 4:11". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/1-john-4.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

If God so loved us (ει ουτως ο τεος ηγαπησεν ημαςei houtōs ho theos ēgapēsen hēmas). Condition of first class with ειei and the first aorist active indicative. As in John 3:16, so here ουτωςhoutōs emphasises the manifestation of God‘s love both in its manner and in its extent (Romans 8:32).

Ought (οπειλομενopheilomen). As in 1 John 2:6. Noblesse oblige. “Keep on loving,” (αγαπαινagapāin) as in 1 John 3:11.


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on 1 John 4:11". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/1-john-4.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

So ( οὕτως )

Emphatic.

We ought

See on 1 John 2:6.


Copyright Statement
The text of this work is public domain.

Bibliography
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on 1 John 4:11". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/1-john-4.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

11Beloved Now the Almighty accommodates to his own purpose what he has just taught us respecting the love of God; for he exhorts us by God’s example to brotherly love; as also Paul sets before us Christ, who offered himself to the Father a sacrifice of pleasant fragrance, that every one of us might labor to benefit his neighbors. (Ephesians 5:2.) And John reminds us, that our love ought not to be mercenary, when he bids us to love our neighbors as God has loved us; for we ought to remember this, that we have been loved freely. And doubtless when we regard our own advantage, or return good offices to friends, it is self-love, and not love to others.


Copyright Statement
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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on 1 John 4:11". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/1-john-4.html. 1840-57.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

REFLECTED LOVE

‘Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.’

1 John 4:11

Thus St. John has summed up his argument, and this is ‘the conclusion of the whole matter.’

Whom are we to ‘love’? ‘One another.’ St. John is not writing about family affections, or private friendships, parents and children, brothers and sisters, or a few intimacies. He is writing to ‘the Church.’ Whom, then, ought we to love? Who are the ‘one another’? All in the Great Brotherhoood; in the Family of God; ‘the Church.’ All the Baptized; that is practically, with us, all with whom we have to do every day.

‘If God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.’ There is our copy.

I. God’s love was an originating love.—He loved us long before we loved Him. He completely took the initiative. We should do the same—not wait to be loved; but look around to some one whom we might love and be kind to, who does not love us, whom we ought to love; and at once do something, say a kind word, do a kind thing, to that person. Do we not all err in this? We expect somebody else to begin. We only think of loving where we are loved. It is a very happy thing for us that God did not act with us on that principle!

II. God’s love is a wise and thoughtful love.—O how wise! how thoughtful! Our love is often very unwise and unthoughtful. We take no pains about it. It is a mere passion. It has no distinct aim. There is no real principle in it. And then it is not appropriate. It does not fit the person we love. There is very little mind in it; no consideration; therefore our love often does harm where it is meant to do good. But that is exactly the contrary of God’s love. His love is so carefully, so exquisitely adjusted. It is so very wise.

III. God’s love is always faithful.—God can give pain. He does give pain. So far as reproof is faithful, God’s love is faithful. Be you faithful in your affections. Do not exaggerate your affections. Do not overstate your affections. See faithfully. Speak of faults. Do it opportunely; very gently, very hopefully, very sympathisingly, very tenderly. But when you do speak, speak uncompromisingly; not beating about the bush. Be faithful. An unfaithful love is worse than hatred; and I may say very unlike God’s!

IV. God’s love is a self-sacrificing love.—What sacrifice, I do not say of life, but what real sacrifice of time, or of money, or of comfort, are we making for any one? Even if we do it in our own families, or for a few friends, are we doing it outside? are we doing it beyond the circle of our relations? are we doing it as fellow-Christians, as fellow-men? are we doing it to ‘one another’? Does not our love just stop short of sacrifice?

V. God’s love is never capricious.—It is never a thing to be taken up and laid down again. It is never light. It is constant. It never changes, except to deepen. ‘Having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them to the end.’ He never leaves; He never fails; He is never tired of a friend. Is your love so?

Now these five things must all go to make the copy of the Divine love. And nothing is really love which is not a copy of the love of God.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
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Bibliography
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on 1 John 4:11". Church Pulpit Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/1-john-4.html. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

Ver. 11. If God so loved us] His one example easily answereth all our objections, taketh off all our excuses; as that our brother is our inferior, our adversary, of whom we have better deserved, &c.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 John 4:11". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/1-john-4.html. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

1 John 4:11

Sacrifice and Service.

I. The sacrifice of love. It is of this that St. John speaks when he says, "In this was manifested the love of God toward us." True, the visible world teems with illustrations of God's love, but this surpasses them all; true, our houses are filled with proofs of God's love, but this transcends them all. For "herein is love, not that we loved God." No: we had apostatised from Him; we had cast off His allegiance; we were in arms against Him; yet in this was manifested the love of God, that He gave His Son for us. Love, then, was the great mission of our Redeemer, to restore, reclaim, sanctify, save. And that love is the theme of the song which St. John heard in heaven, and which he calls a new song, the language of redeemed men. It was never heard there till the soul of Abel, the first martyr for God, leaving its murdered body on the field below, came up and sang it alone, and every harp was hushed to hear. And we, too, can share this song of love now. It will not sound like presumption from our lips. We are come to the innumerable company of angels; we, though still on earth, stand within the circle of salvation, and join in the everlasting song. They understand its meaning better; they utter it out of a fuller heart, and with a deepened gratitude. Not so many are the drops of dew at night that distil on every plant, not so many the blades of grass that quiver on ten thousand fields, not so many the particles of golden light that flood the world, as God's thoughts of love toward us in the gift of His Son. And Christ has given us the grandest example of sacrifice, for "He loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood."

II. Out of sacrifice flows service. For such service as this we live in days of wonderful opportunities. Opportunities come to all. Like the stones, they lie at our feet; and he shall gather most who stoops the lowest, like Him who came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to "give His life a ransom for many." Our responsibilities will be measured by our capacity to do good. Many indeed and splendid are the opportunities of service in our day. Never was the Church so powerful in numbers, in wealth, in influence, in organisation. There is a work for every man and woman, and a place for every little child. What we want is more quiet consecration in all our work, more of the spirit of love in all our religion.

J. Fleming, Penny Pulpit, New Series, No. 723.

References: 1 John 4:11.—Clergyman's Magazine, vol. i., p. 145. 1 John 4:13.—Spurgeon, Morning by Morning, p. 36. 1 John 4:14.—Ibid., p. 127; G. S. Barrett, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxi., p. 305; Homiletic Quarterly, vol. ii., p. 259.


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Bibliography
Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on 1 John 4:11". "Sermon Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/1-john-4.html.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

1 John 4:11. We ought also to love one another. We, as his children, ought to imitate the infinitelyamiableexampleofourcommonFather,andsincerelyandaffectionately love one another. Sometimes the love of God the Father, sometimes the love of God the Son, is proposed to our imitation.


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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 1 John 4:11". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/1-john-4.html. 1801-1803.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Observe, 1. The genuine inference which our apostle draws from the doctrine laid down concerning the greatness of God's love to us; namely, "that seeing God so loved us, we should love one another, and be like him according to our measure, and in our degree."

Observe next, The apostle's argument to provoke us thereunto; he tells us, That God himself is to be loved by us for his astonishing love unto us: But as God is not to be seen in his essence, but in man his image, so must we love God in man, his creature, made after his own image and likeness: And if we love the holy image of God in each other, it is an evidence that God dwelleth in us, and we in him; namely, by the inhabitation of his Holy Spirit, which being a Spirit of love in us, draws forth our love towards himself, and one towards another.

And further he assures us, That this will be a sign, that love is perfect in us; namely, that this grace is, in its vigour and perfection, in our souls, sincere and entire, having all its essential parts, though it be not absolutely perfect in all degrees.

Note, That perfection here is not opposed to imperfection, but to insincerity. Our love is then said to be perfected, when it is considerably heightened and improved. Blessed be God! the hour is coming when this, and all other graces, shall be perfected, when this spark of love shall be blown up into a seraphic flame.

Observe lastly, The rule which our apostle lays down, whereby we may know assuredly, that God dwelleth in us, and we in him; namely, If he has given us his Spirit, which is a spirit of holy love.

Learn thence, That the Holy Spirit, (not in its extraordinary gifts, which are long since ceased) but in its sanctifying operations and gracious fruits, (of which sincere love is the first and chief) is an undoubted evidence of God's dwelling in us by a special inhabitation, and of our dwelling in him; that is, resting in his love and favour, and under his protection and care; Hereby we know that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit; namely, as a Spirit of holy and universal love.


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Bibliography
Burkitt, William. "Commentary on 1 John 4:11". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/1-john-4.html. 1700-1703.

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

1 John 4:11. Conclusion from 1 John 4:9-10, giving the motive for the exhortation in 1 John 4:7.

The love of God (previously described: οὕτως) to us obliges us, believers, to love one another. The obligatory force lies not merely in the example given by God’s act of love, but also in this, that we by means of it have become the children of God, and as such love as He loves (Lücke). At the same time, however, the correspondence between ἡμᾶς and ἀλλήλους is to be observed; the Christian, namely, as a child of God, feels himself bound to love his brother because he knows that God loves him, and him whom God loves God’s child cannot hate.


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Bibliography
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on 1 John 4:11". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/1-john-4.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

1 John 4:11. θεὸς, God) who owes nothing.


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Bibliography
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on 1 John 4:11". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/1-john-4.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

We discover little sense of this love of his to us, if we do not so.


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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 John 4:11". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/1-john-4.html. 1685.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

The most wondrous exhibition of the love of God was the gift of his Son, to be the propitiation for the sins of the world; and the right apprehension and cordial reception of this truth is the most powerful means of leading men to love God, and to manifest it in love to men.


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Bibliography
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on 1 John 4:11". "Family Bible New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/1-john-4.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

11. ἀγαπητοί. For the sixth and last time the Apostle uses this appropriate address. Here also it affectionately emphasizes a deduction of practical importance. See on 1 John 3:2 and comp. 1 John 4:7. No address of any kind occurs again until the last verse of the Epistle.

εἰ οὕτως ὁ Θ. ἠγ. ἡμᾶς. ‘If, as is manifest, to this extent God loved us’. The fact is stated gently, but not doubtfully, just as in 1 John 3:13; 1 John 5:9. Comp. εἰ οὖν ἐγὼ ἔνιψα ὑμῶν τοὺς πόδας, … καὶ ὑμεῖς ὀφείλετε ἀλλήλων νίπτειν τοὺς πόδας (John 13:14). Οὕτως is emphatic, and refers to 1 John 4:9-10.

καὶ ἡμεῖς ὀφείλομεν. As R.V., we also ought: καί belongs to ἠμεῖς; we as well as God. In the spiritual family also noblesse oblige. As children of God we must exhibit His nature, and we must follow His example, and we must love those whom He loves. Nor is this the only way in which the Atonement forms part of the foundation of Christian Ethics. It is only when we have learned something of the infinite price paid to redeem us from sin, that we rightly estimate the moral enormity of sin, and the strength of the obligation which lies upon us to free ourselves from its pollution. And it was precisely those false teachers who denied the Atonement who taught that idolatry and every abominable sin were matters of no moral significance.


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"Commentary on 1 John 4:11". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cgt/1-john-4.html. 1896.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

11.] Application to ourselves of this example, as a motive to brotherly love. Strictly parallel with the latter part of ch. 1 John 3:16, where the same ethical inference is drawn with regard to the example of Christ Himself. Beloved (the Apostle’s usual introduction of a fervent and solemn address, 1 John 4:1; 1 John 4:7, al.), if (this εἰ with an indicative is very difficult to give exactly in English. It is not on the one hand any expression of uncertainty: but neither on the other is it = “since,” or “seeing that.” We may call it a certainty put in the shape of a doubt, that the hearer’s mind may grasp the certainty for itself, not take it from the speaker. “If (it be true that) …” is perhaps the nearest English filling up of the sense) God so loved us (so namely as detailed in 1 John 4:10, which and which alone, by the catch-word ἠγάπησεν in the aorist, is pointed at), we also ought to love one another (the καί does not belong to the ὀφείλομεν, but purely to the ἡμεῖς,—“we, on our side.” But on what does the obligation, asserted in ὀφείλομεν, rest? Clearly, on that relation to God and one another implied by being children of God, ἐκ θεοῦ γεγεννῆσθαι, which runs through all this section of the Epistle. If we are of God, that love which is in Him, and which He is, will be in us, will make us like Him, causing us to love those who are begotten of Him, ch. 1 John 5:1-2. And of this love, our apprehension of His Love to us will be the motive and the measure).


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Bibliography
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on 1 John 4:11". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/1-john-4.html. 1863-1878.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

11. Love one another—The infinite consequence noted in our comment on last verse. God’s original love, poured forth through Christ, envelopes us all, and requires that we should all be ensphered in one common threefold love, with each other and with Christ and God.


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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 John 4:11". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/1-john-4.html. 1874-1909.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.’

The greatness of this love of God, so wonderfully revealed, can only move those who believe in it and respond to it to love one another. How can we know that love and not love those whom God has called through it? We are one in that love. To know and to respond to God’s love should and will result in a desire to reveal that love to all who truly love Him, for we will be transformed by that love and desirous to ensure that the love which flows from what He is, is effective and continuing.


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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on 1 John 4:11". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/1-john-4.html. 2013.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

That demonstration of love by God is our model for showing love to others. As God manifested love in (among) us then by sending Jesus Christ, so He manifests His love among us now as we love one another ( 1 John 4:12-13).

"Since no one in all humanity is beyond the reach of our Savior"s sacrificial death, no brother or sister should be beyond our sacrificial love." [Note: Ibid, p187.]


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Bibliography
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on 1 John 4:11". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/1-john-4.html. 2012.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

1 John 4:11. Here, as in John 3:16, οὕτως may denote either the extent or the manner of God’s love—“to such an extent,” going such a length (cf. Romans 8:32); “in such a manner,” righteously, not by a facile amnesty but by a propitiation. ὀφείλομεν: see note on 1 John 2:6. Noblesse oblige. If we are God’s children, we must have our Father’s spirit. Cf. Matthew 5:44-48. Thus we requite His love. Aug.: “Petre, inquit, amas me? Et ille dixit: Amo. Pasce oves meas” (John 21:15-17).


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Bibliography
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on 1 John 4:11". The Expositor's Greek Testament. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/1-john-4.html. 1897-1910.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

ought also = also ought.


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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 1 John 4:11". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/1-john-4.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

God's love to us the grand motive for love to one another (1 John 3:16).

If - as we all admit.

We ought also - as born of God, and therefore resembling our Father, who is love. In proportion as we appreciate God's love to us, we love Him and also the brethren, children (by regeneration) of the same Father, representatives of the unseen God.


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 John 4:11". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/1-john-4.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
3:16,17,23; Matthew 18:32,33; Luke 10:37; John 13:34; 15:12,13; 2 Corinthians 8:8,9; Ephesians 4:31,32; 5:1,2; Colossians 3:13

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 John 4:11". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/1-john-4.html.

The Bible Study New Testament

If this is how. "If God could set such an example (1 John 4:10), then we who belong to God must imitate Him by loving one another!!!" Christian love is treating others as God has treated us through Christ.


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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on 1 John 4:11". "The Bible Study New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/1-john-4.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

If God was willing to love us first even when we were in sin, we ought to love each other since no one of us is any more worthy than another.


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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on 1 John 4:11". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/1-john-4.html. 1952.

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