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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 John 4:9

 

 

By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.

Adam Clarke Commentary

In this was manifested the love of God - The mission of Jesus Christ was the fullest proof that God could give, or that man could receive, of his infinite love to the world.

That we might live through him - The whole world was sentenced to death because of sin; and every individual was dead in trespasses and sins; and Jesus came to die in the stead of the world, and to quicken every believer, that all might live to him who died for them and rose again. This is another strong allusion to John 3:16; : God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life; where the reader is requested to see the note on John 3:16.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 1 John 4:9". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/1-john-4.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

In this was manifested the love of God - That is, in an eminent manner, or this was a most signal proof of it. The apostle does not mean to say that it has been manifested in no other way, but that this was so prominent an instance of his love, that all the other manifestations of it seemed absorbed and lost in this.

Because that God sent his only begotten Son … - See the notes at John 3:16.

That we might live through him - He died that we might have eternal life through the merits of his sacrifice. The “measure” of that love, then, which was manifested in the gift of a Saviour, is to be found,

(1)in the worth of the soul;

(2)in its exposure to eternal death;

(3)in the greatness of the gift;

(4)in the greatness of his sorrows for us; and,

(5)in the immortal blessedness and joy to which he will raise us.

Who can estimate all this? All these things will magnify themselves as we draw near to eternity; and in that eternity to which we go, whether saved or lost, we shall have an ever-expanding view of the wonderful love of God.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 John 4:9". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-john-4.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

Herein was the love of God manifested in us, that God hath sent his only begotten Son into the world that we might live through him.

The marginal reading "in our case" instead of "in us" appears as the true meaning, since it is God's sending his Son to die for the sins of the whole world, which is the manifestation spoken of, that not being something "in us" but "in our case," or on our behalf.

His only begotten Son ... This is a better rendition than that of making it read merely "only Son," because it is admitted by all scholars that "uniqueness" is an essential quality of meaning in this word.[30] "Only Son" would therefore mean that God has no other sons; yet all Christians are "sons of God." "Only begotten" conveys that essential meaning of "uniqueness," exactly in the sense of the word ([@monogenes]) as translated in Hebrews 11:17 where Isaac is called Abraham's "only begotten son," there being a uniqueness in Isaac's sonship not found in Abraham's many other sons. It is therefore a most happy and appropriate translation which reads "only begotten Son."

While mentioning Buechsel in Kittel's Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, who defended this translation (only begotten), as "practically the only modern scholar" to do so,[31] Roberts went on to reject it. But the old rendition may not be disposed of so easily.

W. E. Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, Marshall's rendition of the Nestle Greek Text, the translation in the Emphatic Diaglott, Frances E. Siewert in The Amplified New Testament, the New Catholic Bible, to say nothing of that great galaxy of New Testament scholars who produced the American Standard Version (still referred to by F. F. Bruce as the most accurate of modern versions), and also Kenneth S. Wuest - all translate the word as meaning "only begotten." The present day meaning of "only begotten" exactly fits the legitimate meaning. "Only begotten" carries the meaning of "uniqueness" without denying the sonship of Christians, making it superior to the RSV, etc.

The same word ([@monogenes]) was used of a man's son (Luke 9:38), of Jairus' daughter (Luke 8:42), and of the son of the widow of Nain (Luke 7:12). Roberts said, "It could hardly mean only begotten in that case (Luke 7:12), since begetting is a function of the male rather khan the female,"[32] apparently overlooking the fact that nothing is said about the widow's having done the begetting! Her son was the "only begotten" of whoever begot him, just as Jesus was Mary's son, despite his having been the "only begotten of the Father."

Admittedly, this is a disputed translation; and the purpose here is to affirm appreciation and preference for the one that has come down through the ages. We simply do not believe that the modern scholars have any more information regarding this than did the translators of KJV and ASV, nor that the recent ones are any more competent.

That we might live through him ... The great purpose of that visitation from the Dayspring from on High was that, through obedience to the Son of God, people might have the blessing of eternal life.

[30] J. W. Roberts, op. cit., p. 115.

[31] Ibid., p. 113.

[32] Ibid.


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 4:9". "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

In this was manifested the love of God towards us,.... The love of God here spoken of, and instanced in, is not his general love to all his creatures, which is shown in the make of them, and in the support of them in their beings, and in his providential care of them, and kindness to them; but his special love towards his elect, and which was before it was manifested; it was secretly in his heart from everlasting, and did not begin to be at the mission of Christ into the world, but was then in a most glaring manner manifested: there were several acts of it before, as the choice of them in Christ, the appointment of him to be their Saviour, and the covenant of grace made with him on their account; these were more secret and hidden; but now the love and kindness of God appeared, broke forth, and shone out in its glory; this is a most flagrant and notorious instance of it, in which it is exceedingly conspicuous; this is a most clear proof, a plain and full demonstration of it:

because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world; the sender is God the Father, who is distinguished from the Son that is sent; of which act of sending; see Gill on Romans 8:3 and See Gill on Galatians 4:4; and for him, who is that God against whom we have sinned, and is that lawgiver that is able to save, and to destroy, and of purer eyes than to behold iniquity, to send his Son to be the Saviour of sinful men is an amazing instance of love; and which appears the more manifest, when it is observed that it is "his only begotten Son" that is sent; of which See Gill on John 1:14; and the place he was sent into is the world, where his people are, and where their sins are committed, he came to expiate; and where he was treated with great indignity and contempt, and suffered many things, and at last death itself: the end of his mission was,

that we might live through him; who were dead in Adam, dead in sin, and dead in law, and could not quicken themselves; nor obtain eternal life for themselves, by their performances. Christ came, being sent, that they might have life, and that more abundantly than Adam had in innocence, or man lost by the fall; and accordingly they were quickened together with him; when he was quickened, after he had been put to death, they were virtually and representatively quickened and justified in him; and in consequence of his death and resurrection from the dead, they are regenerated and made spiritually alive, and live unto righteousness; and through his righteousness wrought out for them, and imputed to them, they are in a legal sense alive unto God, and alive and comfortable in their own souls, living by faith on Christ, and have a right and title to eternal life; and which they also have through him, and which is chiefly intended here; for the design is not only that they may live spiritually and comfortably here, but eternally hereafter.


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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 4:9". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/1-john-4.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

toward usGreek, “in our case.”

sentGreek,hath sent.”

into the world — a proof against Socinians, that the Son existed before He was “sent into the world.” Otherwise, too, He could not have been our life (1 John 4:9), our “propitiation” (1 John 4:10), or our “Savior” (1 John 4:14). It is the grand proof of God‘s love, His having sent “His only-begotten Son, that we might live through Him,” who is the Life, and who has redeemed our forfeited life; and it is also the grand motive to our mutual love.


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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 4:9". "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

Was manifested (επανερωτηephanerōthē). First aorist passive indicative of πανεροωphaneroō The Incarnation as in 1 John 3:5. Subjective genitive as in 1 John 2:5.

In us (εν ημινen hēmin). In our case, not “among us” nor “to us.” Cf. Galatians 1:16.

Hath sent (απεσταλκενapestalken). Perfect active indicative of αποστελλωapostellō as again in 1 John 4:14, the permanent mission of the Son, though in 1 John 4:10 the aorist απεστειλενapesteilen occurs for the single event. See John 3:16 for this great idea.

His only-begotten Son (τον υιον αυτου τον μονογενηton huion autou ton monogenē). “His Son the only-begotten” as in John 3:16. John applies μονογενηςmonogenēs to Jesus alone (John 1:14, John 1:18), but Luke (Luke 7:12; Luke 8:42; Luke 9:38) to others. Jesus alone completely reproduces the nature and character of God (Brooke).

That we might live through him (ινα ζησωμεν δι αυτουhina zēsōmen di' autou). Purpose clause with ιναhina and the first aorist (ingressive, get life) active subjunctive of ζαωzaō “Through him” is through Christ, who is the life (John 14:6). Christ also lives in us (Galatians 2:20). This life begins here and now.


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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 4:9". "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

Was manifested

See on John 21:1; see on 1 John 3:5.

Toward us ( ἐν ἡμῖν )

Wrong. Not “among us,” as John 1:14, nor “in us;” but as Rev., in margin, in our case.

Sent ( ἀπέσταλκεν )

John describes the incarnation as a sending, more frequently than in any other way. Ἁποστέλλω is to send under commission, as an envoy. The perfect tense, hath sent, points to the abiding results of the sending. See on 1 John 3:5.

His only-begotten Son ( τὸν υἱὸν αὐτοῦ τὸν μονογενῆ )

Lit., His Son, the only-begotten (Son). A mode of expression common in John, enlarging upon the meaning of a noun by the addition of an adjective or a participle with the article. See 1 John 1:2; 1 John 2:7, 1 John 2:8, 1 John 2:25; 1 John 5:4; John 6:41, John 6:44, John 6:50, John 6:51; John 15:1, etc. On only-begotten, see on John 1:14.


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The text of this work is public domain.

Bibliography
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on 1 John 4:9". "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

9In this was manifested, or, has appeared. We have the love of God towards us testified also by many other proofs. For if it be asked, why the world has been created, why we have been placed in it to possess the dominion of the earth, why we are preserved in life to enjoy innumerable blessings, why we are endued with light and understanding, no other reason can be adduced, except the gratuitous love of God. But the Apostle here has chosen the principal evidence of it, and what far surpasses all other things. For it was not only an immeasurable love, that God spared not his own Son, that by his death he might restore us to life; but it was goodness the most marvelous, which ought to fill our minds with the greatest wonder and amazement. Christ, then, is so illustrious and singular a proof of divine love towards us, that whenever we look upon him, he fully confirms to us the truth that God is love.

He calls him his only begotten, for the sake of amplifying. For in this he more clearly shewed how singularly he loved us, because he exposed his only Son to death for our sakes. In the meantime, he who is his only Son by nature, makes many sons by grace and adoption, even all who, by faith, are united to his body. He expresses the end for which Christ has been sent by the Father, even that we may live through him, for without him we are all dead, but by his coming he brought life to us; and except our unbelief prevents the effect of his grace, we feel it in ourselves.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on 1 John 4:9". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/1-john-4.html. 1840-57.

Scofield's Reference Notes

world

kosmos = mankind. (See Scofield "Matthew 4:8").


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These files are considered public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available in the Online Bible Software Library.

Bibliography
Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on 1 John 4:9". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/1-john-4.html. 1917.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

LOVE MANIFESTED

‘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.’

1 John 4:9

Of the reality of God’s love St. John had no doubt; neither need we have any, though some do doubt it, thinking that God’s justice and hatred of sin interfere with His love. But justice does not interfere with love in God. Justice and love are compatible in man, and much more so in God. The Cross of Christ reveals and establishes the harmony between righteousness and mercy. There justice gets its own, and love has its way, and God is a ‘just God and a Saviour,’ and ‘grace reigns through righteousness.’ Christ’s Cross is not the cause but the consequence of God’s love. The text asserts God’s love before He sent Christ; affirms Christ’s mission to be the manifestation of God’s love. There need be no doubt, then, as to the fact that God loves us, has loved us. But more than this, the text not only implies that God is loving and loves us, but asserts that He is love. Love is the sum and harmony of all His attributes, His essence.

I. The manifestation of God’s love.—God’s love is manifested in creation, in preservation, and in all the blessings of this life, but above all in redemption.

(a) God sent His Son.—He did not merely allow or consent to His coming. He Himself sent His Son, gave Him His commission and authority.

(b) God sent His only begotten Son. He Who was sent by God as a gift of love was no less than His only begotten Son. Then God’s love is as great as the Divine glory of His Son. God sends no servant, no archangel, but His equal and co-eternal Son, Who, as His only begotten, and sharing that nature which is love, could best manifest God’s love.

(c) God sent His Son into the world. The destination of the Son, His being sent into a fallen and sinful world, a world disordered and corrupt, a world which during thousands of years had not grown better but worse, manifested God’s love. Christ’s personal history and experience in the world manifested how great was the love of God that sent Him to such a world and to such treatment in it.

(d) God sent His Son … that we might live through Him. The purpose of Christ’s mission, involving His death as a sacrifice for sin, His giving His life to redeem ours, manifested God’s love. They for whom He sent His Son were sinners, guilty, helpless, unloving.

II. Some thoughts which emerge.

(a) Here is the spring and motive of love to God, and the love to man which is its evidence.

(b) If God has given His only begotten Son for our life, with Him also He shall freely give us all things.

(c) How precious is the soul of man! It is the subject of God’s love, and Christ was sent to give it true life.

(d) We must become sons of God, born sons, if we are to manifest His love.

(e) To reject God’s love thus manifested must be the greatest sin and misery, and it is self-inflicted misery as it is wilful sin.

(SECOND OUTLINE)

THE INCARNATION

It may help us to love God more and to adore God Incarnate with more definite and intelligent acts of worship if we carry in our minds clear ideas respecting the facts and the results of the Incarnation.

I. The facts of the Incarnation are these.—God the Son was from all eternity, is now, and will be for ever, ‘equal to the Father as touching His Godhead.’ In all the ages of time that preceded the days of the Cross the Son of God existed, even, according to His own words, ‘Before Abraham was, I AM’; and in all the ages of eternity—if we may speak of ‘ages’ in a period of unmeasurable duration—He also had existed; according to the words of the Holy Ghost, ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.’ The unmeasurable eternity passed on, and there came a ‘beginning’ which marked the first boundary of time; and in that ‘beginning God created the heaven and the earth,’ and in that creation God the Son, the Eternal Word, took part, for ‘all things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made.’ He, then, Who was sent into the word by the Eternal Father and Creator, was the Eternal Son and Creator. It is He of Whom St. John writes, ‘And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us’; of Whom the Angel Gabriel said to Joseph respecting Mary, ‘That which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus; for He shall save His people from their sins’; of whom St. Luke writes, ‘And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn’; Who, at the end of His humiliation and sufferings, ‘cried with a loud voice’ and said, ‘Father, into Thy hands I commend My Spirit; and having said this, gave up the ghost’; and Who, having ‘shewed Himself alive after His Passion by many infallible proofs,’ was ‘carried up into “that” heaven’ in human nature where He had been in Divine nature from all eternity.

Most wonderful facts, and yet attested beyond all rational contradiction in the Gospels, that ‘perfect God,’ the Son of God in all the qualities of Divine nature, thus became ‘perfect man,’ the Son of Man in all the qualities of human nature; and that, after thirty-three years of life on earth as a babe, a holy child, a working, teaching, suffering man, He ascended to heaven to reign there with His Divine and human nature inseparably united for ever.

II. The results of this Incarnation.—‘In this was manifested the love of God towards us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.’ The summing up of the results of the fall is contained in the words ‘death through sin,’ and the summing up of the results of the Incarnation is contained in the words ‘life through holiness.’

(a) It was said of Jesus before He came into the world, ‘That Holy Thing Which shall be born of Thee shall be called the Son of God.’ It was the holiness of His origin which made Christ a New Man and a Second Adam. In Him our human nature was re-created in purity and sinlessness, as it had been originally created in the First Adam, but as it was never inherited from him by his descendants. The Creator did not again build up a human body out of the dust of the ground and inspire it with the breath of life, but He provided a pure Virgin, that she might, by a miracle, become a Holy Virgin Mother; and that thus the human nature of God Incarnate might be inherited from a human parent and formed of her human substance, and yet so inherited that it should be uncontaminated by that which all other human beings inherit—the taint of original sin. Thus the Holy Child Jesus came into the world with the nature of man unfallen, and His soul and body were both untouched by original sin from His cradle to His Cross.

(b) But as Jesus was entirely free from original sin, so also He passed through the probation of His earthly life without ever falling into actual sin. No assaults of the Tempter could make Him disobey His Father as they had made the first Adam do. In the wilderness He withstood all the array of temptations to which human nature is liable through the infirmities of the flesh, the seductions of the world, and the wiles of the devil; in the garden of Gethsemane He resisted the temptation to separate His Will from the Will of His Father by choosing some other way than that of the Cross; at the Cross itself He bore trials of His body and soul such as had never fallen to the lot of man before, yet none of these things could move Him from the pathway of perfect holiness.

(c) By that perfect holiness, therefore, which could thus withstand all assaults of the enemy of God and man, Jesus was qualified to become an offering for the sin of the world, living over again under its greatest trials and difficulties the probational life of human nature, and living it until He had carrried that human nature in His own person beyond the range of the Tempter’s power. Free from the sin of nature and free from the sin of act, He could be the Representative of all sinners and stay the penalty of sin, as Adam had represented all sinners incurring that penalty; and thus in the words of St. Paul, ‘As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.’ It was a result of the Incarnation of the Son of God that His death should vanquish the power of death, and that though men must still die before they can live, yet shall the purpose of God in sending His Son into the world be fulfilled, ‘that we might live through Him.’


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Bibliography
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on 1 John 4:9". Church Pulpit Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/1-john-4.html. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

9 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.

Ver. 9. In this was manifested] The very naked bowels of his tenderest compassions are herein laid open unto us, as in an anatomy. God so loved his Son that he gave him the world for his possession, Psalms 2:7; but he so loved the world that he gave Son and all for its redemption.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 John 4:9". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/1-john-4.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

1 John 4:9. In this was manifested the love of God, &c.— All the blessings of Providence are effects of the divine love to man; but St. John has said, 1 John 4:8 that God is Love itself; and to illustrate that, he here pitches upon the most remarkable proof and instance of God's love to man. The love of God was the source and origin of the plan of our redemption: the eternal Son of God, by his patient suffering and perfect obedience unto death, purchased or obtained of his great Father, to be the person who should be honoured with carrying this glorious plan into execution, which in time he will finish in the most complete manner, for all his faithful saints. God's sending his Son into the world, includes his dying for us; see 1 John 4:10. He became the great vicarious Sacrifice, and, through the complete atonement which he has made, God the Father may now be just, and yet a Justifier of those that believe in Jesus. Those false prophets who denied Jesus to have a real body, and really to suffer and die, took away entirely the love which God manifested, in sending his only and dearly-beloved Son to die, that we might live through him. They not only invalidated the force of Christ's example, and the infinite merit of his atonement, but, of consequence, the greatness of his love, which appeared most illustriously in his willing sufferings and cheerful dying for us: and no wonder that they who thus enervated the love both of the Father and the Son, should not be moved by such infinitely amiable examples to love their Christian brethren.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 1 John 4:9". 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. That God doth not only bestow love upon his people, but it is good pleasure to manifest that love.

Quest. Wherein has God manifested his love towards us?

Ans. 1. In our creation, making us out of nothing in such a wonderful manner; our bodies curiously wrought as with a needle, our souls beautified with understanding, will, and judgment.

2. In our apostacy and degeneration, when no eye pitied us, and when we had no hearts to pity ourselves, then were his bowels of love and compassion yearning toward us; then he said unto us, Live, when he might have said, Die, and be damned.

3. In our redemption, recovery, and restitution, in sending his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live though him.

Observe, 2. A threefold evidence of God's love to mankind in the work of redemption, that great and glorious work.

1. It was a wonderful instance of the love of God, that he should be pleased to take our case into consideration, and to concern himself for our happiness; as nothing is more obliging to human nature than love, so no love obliges more than that which is exercised with great condescension after a provocation; such was God's love to offending man.

2. That he should design so great a benefit to us, as is here expressed, even life, That we might live through him.

3. That God was pleased to use such a mean for the obtaining and procuring of this benefit for us. He sent his own Son into the world, that we might live through him.

Where note, 1. The person sent, his own Son, and only begotten Son.

2. The persons sent to, the men of the world, who were spiritually dead, and judicially dead.

3. The manner of his being sent, voluntarily and freely, not constrained by necessity, not prevailed upon by importunity, not obliged by benefit or kindness from us; but out of his mere pity and goodness towards us, he sent him into a wicked world, and into an ungrateful world, that we might live through him.

From the whole learn, That God's bestowing his Son upon a lost world, was a manifest evidence of his great and wonderful love unto them: In this was manifest the love of God towards us, &c.


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Bibliography
Burkitt, William. "Commentary on 1 John 4:9". 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 4:9. The manifestation of the love of God is the sending of His Son.

ἐν τούτῳ refers to the following ὅτι.

ἐφανερώθη ἀγάπη τοῦ θεοῦ ἐν ἡμῖν] ἐφανερώθη expresses the objective fact, not the subjective knowledge; the apostle does not mean that the love of God is known by us through the sending of His Son (comp. 1 John 4:16), but that it has by that means come forth from its concealment, has manifested itself in act. ἐν ἡμῖν is therefore neither “in” nor “among” us; neither must it be explained = εἰς ἡμᾶς; ἐν is here, as in 1 John 4:16 and John 9:3 = “to;” either connected with ἐφανερώθη or with ἀγάπη τ. θ.; hence either: “it has been manifested to us” (Düsterdieck, Brückner, Braune, etc.), or: “the love of God to us” (Ewald) has been manifested. With the first interpretation the sentence: ὅτιεἰς τὸν κόσμον, makes a difficulty which has been overlooked by the commentators;(263) with regard to the second, the article is wanting before ἐν ἡ΄ῖν; but a direct connection of an attributive clause with a substantive, without a connecting article, is very often found in the N. T., and is therefore not “ungrammatical” (as Düsterdieck thinks); the idea is here, then, the same as that which John in 1 John 4:16 expresses by: ἀγάπη ἣν ἔχει θεὸς ἐν ἡ΄ῖν.(264) The difference between εἰς ἡ΄ᾶς and ἐν ἡ΄ῖν is this, that the former indicates only the tendency towards the goal, the latter the abiding at the goal. By ἡ΄ῖν we are to understand not mankind in general, but believers in particular, so also 1 John 4:10 in the case of ἡ΄εῖς κ. τ. λ.

In the following sentence: ὅτι τὸν υἱὸν αὐτοῦ ἵνα ζήσω΄εν διʼ αὐτοῦ, the special emphasis rests on the last words, for the love which God has towards us is manifested in the fact that He sent His Son into the world for this purpose, that we might live through Him, i.e. become partakers through Him of the life of blessedness. It is especially in its purpose that the sending of His Son is the manifestation of God’s love to us. The more particular description of the Son of God as μονογενής, which is frequently found in the Gospel of John, appears only here in his Epistles. In Luke (Luke 7:12, Luke 8:42, Luke 9:38) and in the Epistle to the Hebrews (Hebrews 11:17), ΄ονογενής denotes the only child of his parents. So the expression is used by John also to denote Christ as the only Son of God, “besides whom His Father has none.” This predicate is suitable to Him, inasmuch as He is the λόγος who is ἐν ἀρχῇ, πρὸς τὸν θεόν, θεός. Lorinus arbitrarily explains ΄ονογενής = ἀγαπητός; comp. Meyer on John 1:14. Calvin rightly remarks: “quod unigenitum appellat, ad auxesin valet.” How great the love of God, in that He sent His only-begotten Son in order that we might live! Baumgarten-Crusius: “ ΄ονογενής and ζήσο΄εν are the principal words: the most glorious … for our salvation!”


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Bibliography
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on 1 John 4:9". 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 4:9. ἐν ἡμῖν, in us) that is, the love of God, which is now in us, throughout our whole spiritual experience.— ὅτι, because) This motive of love is derived from 1 John 4:3. From that which is said in 1 John 4:3 respecting Jesus Christ, who is come in the flesh, mutual love is inferred, 1 John 4:7 : the consequence is proved from the love of God towards us, who sent His Son, that we might live. It is a proof of the love of God towards us: it is a motive to our mutual love.


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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on 1 John 4:9". 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

There could be no higher demonstration of his love, John 3:16.


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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 John 4:9". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/1-john-4.html. 1685.

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

9. ἐν τούτῳ ἐφ. For the sake of uniformity with 1 John 4:10; 1 John 4:13; 1 John 4:17, Herein was manifested: we have the same Greek in all four verses. ‘Herein’ plainly refers to what follows: comp. 1 John 3:16 and see on 1 John 3:19. For ἐφανερώθη see on 1 John 1:2. This is a second reason for our loving one another. We must do this [1] because love is the very Being of Him whose children we are; [2] because of the transcendent way in which His love was manifested. The context shews that ‘the love of God’, which usually in this Epistle means our love to God, here means His love to us: comp. 1 John 3:16.

ἐν ἡμῖν. Rather in us than ‘toward us’: we are in the sphere in which God’s love is exhibited: comp. 1 John 4:16 and John 9:3, which is very parallel. The latter passage tends to shew that ἐν ἡμῖν is to be joined with ἐφανερώθη rather than with ἡ ἀγάπη τ. θεοῦ: Herein was the love of God manifested in us. The rendering ‘in our case’ (R.V. margin) is improbable: comp. 1 John 4:12.

τὸν υἱὸν αὐτοῦ τὸν μον. His Son, His only-begotten: comp. John 3:16. As in τήν ζωὴν τὴν αἰώνιον (1 John 1:2), ἡ κοινωνία ἡ ἡμετέρα (1 John 1:3), ἡ ἐντολὴ ἡ παλαιά (1 John 2:7), and τὸ φῶς τὸ ἀληθινόν (1 John 2:8), the repetition of the article makes both ideas, ‘son’ and ‘only-begotten’, prominent and distinct. Comp. 2 John 1:11; 2 John 1:13. His Son was much to send, but it was also His only Son. ΄ονογενής as applied to Christ is peculiar to S. John: it occurs four times in the Gospel (John 1:14; John 1:18; John 3:16; John 3:18) and here. ‘Only-born’ would be a more accurate rendering: Christ is the only born Son as distinct from the many who have become sons. The word occurs in LXX. to translate a Hebrew word (yachid), which is elsewhere rendered ἀγαπητός (‘beloved’ or ‘darling’): and oddly enough where the Greek has μονογενής the A.V. has ‘darling’ and vice versa. Contrast Genesis 22:2; Genesis 22:12; Genesis 22:16 with Psalms 22:21; Psalms 35:17 : in the latter texts R.V. has ‘my only one’ in the margin. The Vulgate has unigenitus and unicus. Comp. Romans 5:8; Romans 8:32.

ἀπέσταλκεν. Hath sent; the perfect indicates the permanent result of Christ’s mission and should be distinguished from the aorists, ἠγάπησεν and ἀπέστειλεν, which express past acts without reference to their permanent effects (1 John 4:10).

ἵνα ζήσωμεν διʼ αὐτοῦ. These are the important words, setting forth that in which God’s love is so conspicuous and so unique. The only Son has been sent for this purpose (ἵνα), that we may live, and not die, as we should otherwise have done; comp. 1 John 3:14; 1 John 5:11; John 3:16-17; John 3:36; John 10:10; John 11:25-26. Just as πάντα διʼ αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο (John 1:3), so He was sent ἵνα σωθῇ ὁ κόσμος διʼ αὐτοῦ (John 3:17) and ἵνα ζήσωμεν διʼ αὐτοῦ.


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"Commentary on 1 John 4:9". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cgt/1-john-4.html. 1896.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

9. In this was manifested—The kingdom of nature is full of destruction: it is in the kingdom of grace that God, as love, is manifested, and in the kingdom of glory is perfectly realized. The infinite and universal secret that God is love, rather than that God is power, obscured or concealed in physical nature, is embodied in Christ, revealed in his life and death, and proclaimed by his gospel.

Sent his only Begotten Son—Not only proof of his love, but its incarnation and embodiment; revealing God’s character as love even in nature and in all things.

Live—Be delivered from original non-existence, and enabled to live the life of eternal love.


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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 John 4:9". "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

‘In this was the love of God manifested in us, that God has sent his only unique Son into the world that we might live through him.’

God’s love as in mind in this passage is a love revealed in sending ‘His only unique Son’, (in other words the only One of the same essence and being as Himself. This is using human terminology to depict a divine truth), into the world that we might live through Him. He sent Him in His great love, so that those who would truly respond to Him might have life. And the life we receive is His life, given to us, so that it reproduces His own righteousness and love. It will thus be revealed in love of those who are His.


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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on 1 John 4:9". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/1-john-4.html. 2013.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The proof of God"s love for people is that He sent His only begotten Son (lit. only born one) to provide eternal life for us (cf. John 1:14; John 1:18; John 3:16). [Note: For a good explanation of why a loving God allows people to go to hell, see Hodges, The Epistles . . ., p184.]


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Bibliography
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on 1 John 4:9". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/1-john-4.html. 2012.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

1 John 4:9. The Incarnation is a manifestation of the love of God because it is a manifestation of the divine nature, and the divine nature is love. ἐν ἡμῖν, “in our souls”—an inward experience. Cf. Galatians 1:16 : ἀποκαλύψαι τὸν υἱὸν αὐτοῦ ἐν ἐμοί. μονογενῆ, cf. Luke 7:12; Luke 8:42; Luke 9:38. St. John applies the term exclusively to Jesus. It carries the idea of preciousness; cf. LXX Psalms 22:20; Psalms 35:17, where יְחִידָתִי, “my dear life,” is rendered τὴν μονογενῆ μου. ἀπέσταλκεν. “hath sent as an ἀπόστολος” (cf. Hebrews 3:1). An apostle is not simply nuntius, but nuntius vices mittentis gerens. Cf. Bab. Ber. 34, 2: “Apostolus cujusvis est sicut ipse a quo deputatur”. The perf. is used here because the influence of the Incarnation is permanent. ζήσωμεν, ingressive or inceptive aor. Cf. Luke 15:24; Luke 15:32; Revelation 20:4-5. ἵνα ζήσωμεν reconciles ἐφανερώθη ἀγάπη with ζωὴ ἐφανερώθη (1 John 1:2). The Incarnation manifested the love of God, and the love was manifested that we might get life. Eternal Life is not future but present: we get it here and now. Cf. John 17:3. Amiel: “The eternal life is not the future life; it is life in harmony with the true order of things—life in God”.


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Bibliography
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on 1 John 4:9". The Expositor's Greek Testament. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/1-john-4.html. 1897-1910.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

1 John 4:9. In this was manifested the love of God — Namely, most eminently above all other instances thereof; because that God sent his only-begotten Son into the world — That is, evidently, sent him, who was his only-begotten Son before he was sent. “This,” as Macknight justly observes. “is an allusion to our Lord’s words, John 3:16, God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, &c. Christ is called God’s only-begotten Son, to distinguish him from all others, who in Scripture are called the sons of God; and to heighten our idea of God’s love to us, in giving a person of such dignity, and so beloved of God, to die for us. It is supposed, that by giving Christ the title of God’s only-begotten Son in this passage, the apostle intended to overturn the error of Ebion and Cerinthus, who affirmed that Christ was not God’s Son by nature, but that, like other good men, he was honoured with the title of God’s Son on account of his virtues; in which opinion these heresiarchs have been followed by some in modern times. They, however, who hold this opinion ought to show a reason why the epithet of the only begotten is appropriated to Christ.” That we might live through him — That the sentence of condemnation to the second death, to which we were obnoxious, might be reversed, and that being justified by living faith, and regenerated by the quickening Spirit of God, we might live a spiritual life in the divine favour, and in union with Christ here, and might be conducted to eternal life hereafter.


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Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 1 John 4:9". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/1-john-4.html. 1857.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

manifested. App-106.

toward = in. App-104. The sphere in which the manifestation takes place.

only begotten. See John 1:14.

Son. App-108.

that = in order that. Greek. hina.

live. Compare App-170.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 1 John 4:9". "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

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.

Toward us , [ en (Greek #1722) heemin (Greek #2254)] - 'in our case.'

Sent , [ apestalken (Greek #649)] - 'hath sent.' Into the world - therefore the Son existed before. Otherwise, too, He could not have been our life (1 John 4:9), our "propitiation" (1 John 4:10), our "Saviour" (1 John 4:14). It is the grand proof of God's love, His having sent His only-begotten Son that we might live through Him, the Life, who has redeemed our forfeited life: it is also the grand motive to our mutual love.


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 John 4:9". "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

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.
was
3:16; John 3:16; Romans 5:8-10; 8:32
God sent
10; Luke 4:18; John 5:23; 6:29; 8:29,42
only
Psalms 2:7; Mark 12:6; John 1:14-18; 3:18; Hebrews 1:5
we
5:11; John 6:51,57; 10:10,28-30; 11:25,26; 14:6; Colossians 3:3,4

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 John 4:9". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/1-john-4.html.

The Bible Study New Testament

This is how God. "God showed his love for us by ACTING IN HISTORY! See John 3:16."


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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on 1 John 4:9". "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

This verse corresponds with John 3:16.


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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on 1 John 4:9". 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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