What is meant by ”we love Him because He first loved us” in 1 John 4:19?

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Speaker 1

Paul is asking in 1 John 4:19, King James version, what is meant by we love Him because he first loved us? I love this question.

Speaker 2

I know I love this question because this is also one of my favorite read Bible verses. I think it is one of the most important Bible verses because it unlocks a lot of how the gospel works. So let’s take a look at that one, john four, one nine. And it reads very simply, we love Him because he first loved us. Beautiful verse. Everybody should have that memories, right? We love Him because he first loved us. So what does this verse mean? Well, first we look at the context. Let’s go back to verses. We look at John four starting at verse 17. And John says, love has been perfected among us in this, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in the world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love cast out fear because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. So what’s John saying here? So John saying if it wasn’t for God approaching us with love first, we would be totally afraid of Him. We know God would want to destroy us, obliterate us, we deserve that.

Speaker 2

But God approaches us with love and that love does not condemn us, that love seeks to save us, that love invites us into a relationship with Him. And so that is so critical to understanding the Gospel. The Gospel isn’t, you got to be a good person, then come to Christ. No. What are we told? We’re told that Romans five eight but God demonstrates his love towards us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. And let’s look at this, Romans five 6211. So Romans five 6211, it says, for when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly, for scarcely for a righteous man will one die. Yet perhaps for a good man someone might even dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, christ died for us much more than having now been justified by his blood, we shall be saved from the wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more having been reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. Not only that, but also rejoicing God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

Speaker 2

And look at that, the last verse. We have now received the reconciliation. Many people think it’s our job to reconcile ourselves with God, and that’s not biblical. God has already done the act of reconciling. He’s done everything to say, please come to me, let’s restore our relationship. Let’s be father and son, father and daughter. Let’s just have a relationship based on love. And it starts with God supplying that love in the relationship. That’s how it begins. Without that, we wouldn’t even know how to love. All good things come from God. So God shows us how to love. That’s in the Bible, that’s through the life of Christ, we now understand what love looks like. And then he shows up love to us, he’s forgiven us, he paid our debts, he invites us to the relationship. And let’s look at these things down a little bit in human terms. So now that we said this, let’s look at Ephesians five, starting at verse 25. It says, Husbands, love your wives. Just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her, that he might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that he might present her to Himself, a glorious church, not having spotted wrinkle or any such thing, but that she would be holing without blemish.

Speaker 2

So husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. Wow, okay, right. So how many people have experienced is seen, observed it where normally there’s exceptions, right? But normally I hear this time and time and time again, and then this was our experience, too. The man sees a woman, is attracted to her and pursues her, and you might see her brushing him off, trying to lose him, try to make it go away, and the guy persists. And why does she eventually turn around? Why does she eventually come back? Why do they end up getting married?

Speaker 1

Because he loves her.

Speaker 2

Because he loves her. He supplied that love. And so it’s just so interesting to me. I always wonder why that the guys usually are the ones that start that. And what’s fascinating and dovetailing on this, if a guy stops loving the wife, the marriage is going to crumble. Even if the woman is not reciprocating well at times and all that, if the guy would step it up a bit, would love her even more. It sounds like that’s when you could get a breakthrough, and that’s when really, marriage could be saved. But if the guy gets rebuffed a couple of times and then just gives up, that marriage is doomed. But man, you can supply the love. You can keep that relationship going. Just like God supplies the love, he keeps the relationship going with us. And the gospel is just men can.

Speaker 1

Supply that, but only if they’re receiving it. The receiving is so important. You have to receive from God before you can get because I think what happens to a lot of people and this is something that we really encountered, we were working on a documentary for mental health and seeing a lot of broken relationships and broken marriages and very unhealthy patterns. A lot of times you have these attachment issues where people don’t actually receive love when it’s given, because there was an issue that happened and they got into this disorganized disorderly kind of attachment, and they reject love whenever it comes instead of receiving it because they feel unworthy for it. Or there’s all kinds of reasons why we reject love in our life from how we were raised, from things that happened in early childhood. But this verse is so pivotally important because we love God, because he first loved us. And he showed us that love in 1000 ways. He showed us that love in every way possible to the point of sacrificing his own life for us. And so when we come to realize that, wow, okay, he’s working so hard to reach us, all we have to do is receive it is accepted and receive it.

Speaker 1

And when we receive it, then we can give it. And when husbands receive that love from God and then share that onto their wife, even when and I’ll be the first to admit there are days when I’m not an easy person to live with, I think everybody is this way, right? We don’t need to fake that we’re all perfect people all the time, because we’re not. That’s just the reality of it, right? So there are days when I do things that are, like, hurtful to Him, and it’s not my intention to be hurtful. Sometimes it happens from frustration or whatever, but when he responds to that with love to me and looks at it as like, she’s having a hard time right now, I just need to love her more. Oh my gosh, does that make me love Him and respect Him so much more that he saw my need there and met that need instead of just being offended at something that happened? And so, yeah, this verse is just like, such a pivotal part of healthy relationship dynamics when we recognize this and apply it in our life, and it’s so transformational to us.

Speaker 2

So I want to end with this first. Therefore, this is second Corinthians five, starting at verse 17. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things have passed away. Behold, all things have become new. Now. All things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Christ Jesus, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. He’s hitting again and again and again. God’s loving us. He’s not trying to judge us, condemn us. He’s not trying to punish us. He’s trying to boo us, restore that relationship.

Speaker 1

It’s so powerful that he’s not imputing our trespasses to us. And this committed us to the word of reconciliation. Like, wow, how much more clear can I get that when somebody wrongs us, if we’re going to tap into the character of God and the Spirit of God, when we are wronged, we’re not supposed to impute that trespass to them. We’re supposed to commit to his word of reconciliation.

Speaker 2

God’s law is to love.

Speaker 1

Yeah.

Speaker 2

If you look it up, thou shalt. Love, basically, is God’s law. And so God, even before he made the law, he was love. And then he’s the first to love. So he’s the first to keep his law. He is the first to show us how to do it. Love is all about relationships. At the end of the day, God just wants relationships. He made us to have a relationship. He wants to save us to have a relationship, and he has saved us. We can dwell and abide in him. He could go on forever. It’s so important. I wish just more of the world would understand this and what the gospel is really about. It’s not what we do. It’s because he loves us and we.

Speaker 1

Love him in return.

Speaker 2

Amen. Definitely. Then we should then show that in our relationships to each other. Yeah.

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