The Miracle of Love

Bible Study Questions

1 John 4:7-21

 What is the difference between a home with and without love?

What is a business like without His love?

In this study we take a special look at the love of God to see what makes love so special and how we can bring His love to where it is lacking.

(Please note: The refers to questions that require one to think through to find the answer rather than just observing what the passage states.)

A.   God’s Love Revealed in His Children (1 John 4:7-8)

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

1.     What are we instructed to do in 1 John 4:7?

2.     Why are we told to do this? (1 John 4:7)

3.     How can a person get God’s love? (1 John 4:7)

4.     Is God the only source for love?

5.     If a person states that he or she is a Christian, but shows his lack of love through his bitterness and unforgiving spirit, should we affirm that he is a Christian?

Application Choose to forgive people even if they offend you. It will make it easier for you.

B.    God’s Love Revealed in the World (4:9-10)

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. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

God manifested His love.  Let’s note four things about this agape  love as revealed in history and time.

1.     How did God show us His love? (1 John 4:9)

2.     Why did God send His only begotten Son into the world? (1 John 4:9)

3.     What does ‘His only begotten Son’ mean? Why is it stated like this?

4.     What are we to understand about agape love from the phrase ‘not that we loved God’?

5.     What are we to understand about agape love from the phrase ‘but that He loved us’?

6.     What does propitiation mean? (1 John 4:10)

7.     How does sending His Son to be a propitiation show God’s love?

Application: Here are four characteristics of God’s love. Name one that you want to better understand and apply to your life. Start praying about it regularly. Name one particular place that you will begin to exercise His love by His grace.

• Enabling (that we might live through Him)

• Other Seeking (not that we loved God)

• Self-Initiating  (but that He loved us)  

• Sacrificial ( sent His only begotten Son;  our propitiation)

C.  God’s Love Revealed Toward Each Other (4:11-21)

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has beheld God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. And we have beheld and bear witness that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. And we have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us, that we may have confidence in 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, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us. If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also. (1 John 4:11-21).

We must understand that God’s love will be displayed to each other through our own lives.  Some Christians just do not understand that this great privilege of bringing God’s love to each other.  We treat this ‘love one another’ simply as a general command to keep Christians in line.  But exactly the opposite is true.    Let us again note some special aspects of this privilege to love one another.

1.     What are we told to do in 1 John 4:11?  What makes Christians able to comply to this command?

2.     Can anyone see God? (1 John 4:12)  Since Jesus is not around, how are people to get to know God’s love?  What does it mean that God’s love is ‘made perfect’ (NASB) or ‘completed’ (NIV) in us?

3.     Why might John bring up the subject of the Holy Spirit in 1 John 4:13?

4.     What did John behold and bear witness to? (1 John 4:14)

5.     Does it really matter that Jesus really came? Isn’t it good enough that this thought inspires us to do good (1 John 4:14)?

6.     Can other people from different religions know God and His love? (1 John 4:15)

7.     What phrase is stated in 1 John 4:8 and repeated in 4:16? What does this practically mean to you? Does this mean that God does not judge sin? Why or why not?

8.     Does 1 John 4:17 tell us that a person is saved by the way he loves? Please explain.

9.     Share how John says that fear and love work along with each other. (1 John 4:18)

10.  Why is it important that we love, as John writes in 1 John 4:19, because He first loved us?

11.  What does 1 John 4:20 say about church factions and splits and the hatred behind them?

12. How is 1 John 4:21 like or unlike to 4:7?

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Biblical Foundations for Freedom

Rev. Paul J. Bucknell

NASB used unless noted