“Love Is From God” (1 John 4: 8, HCSB) by Carley Evans


“The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

First, “love is from God.” (1 John 4: 7) Love does not and never has and never will originate in us. In our natural state, our fallen state, we are incapable of producing love. “Love consists in this: not that we love God, but that He loves us.” (1 John 4: 10)

I repeat this: Love is not from us; rather, love originates in God. “We love because He first loves us.” (1 John 4: 19)

Because love emerges directly from God, “there is no fear” in this love. “Instead, perfect love drives out fear.” (1 John 4: 18)

What have we to fear since God is for us? Who is able to condemn us since God justifies us? Because God is on our side and because He justifies us, we are to “love the one born of [God.]” (1 John 5: 1) How can we condemn our brothers and sisters when God sets aside His condemnation of us? How can we hate one another when God puts His hatred of the sin in us upon His Son?

“The one who loves God must also love his brother.” (1 John 4: 21)

“Love One Another” (1 John 4: 20 – 21, ESV) by Carley Evans


“We love because He first loves us.” (1 John 4: 19) And God’s love is perfect. “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” (1 John 4: 18)

What is there to fear? God loves us.

And how can we not love one another? The author of 1 John reminds us that if we are not able to love our brothers and sisters with whom we interact, how can we possibly love God whom we can not see? If we believe in Christ, then we must also love those who also believe in Him. They are our kin; our blood relations. We are parts of the same Body, the church itself.

The reason we have so much pain is that we strive against each other, calling each other names when the only Name we need use toward one another is Jesus Christ’s.

“By this we know love, that He laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.” (1 John 3: 16)

“Let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” (1 John 3: 18)

“Walk in the same way in which [Jesus] walks.” (1 John 2: 6)

Jesus says, ” ‘Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.’ And once more He bends down and writes on the ground. But when [the crowd] hear it, they go away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus is left alone with the woman standing before Him. Jesus stands up and says to her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She says, ‘No one, Lord.’ And Jesus says, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.’ ” (John 8: 7 – 11)

The old know first not to condemn another.

“For God So Loves The World” (Luke 1: 68 – 70, ESV) by Carley Evans


John the Baptist’s father, Zechariah is “filled with the Holy Spirit” as he prophesies that God “has visited and redeemed His people. and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David.”

Zechariah calls us to praise our God. We are to lift our faces to heaven, and remember how much God loves us, how much He sacrificed for us, how much He intercedes for us, how much He covets us.

God “saves [us] from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us; [He] shows the mercy promised to our fathers and [He] remembers His holy covenant, the oath that He swore to our father, Abraham, to grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him all our days.” (Luke 1: 71 – 75)

Zechariah calls us to “serve [God] without fear.” How? We serve God without fear because He loves us. “In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4: 10) “By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as He is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because He first loved us.” (1 John 4: 17 – 19)

The author of 1 John calls us to live out this love of God in our lives “in this world.” He writes that “as He is so also are we in this world.” We are to love our brothers and sisters in Christ and call the whole world to Him. We are to ring out the glad tidings, the good news of Jesus Christ, born in Bethlehem, born of a woman from the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit.

Rejoice. Rejoice. I say it again: Rejoice. For God is come.