Monday, April 25, 2011

Why Do We Love?

1 John 4:19 We love because he first loved us.

19 ἡμεῖς ἀγαπῶμεν, ὅτι αὐτὸς πρῶτος ἠγάπησεν ἡμᾶς.

This is such a rich chapter that it is almost impossible to know what to write about. This is such a simple, but powerful verse. The chapter is about love and how love is the manifestation of Christ in us. In other words, if we don't love other people then we lie when we say that we know Christ. It is impossible for us not to love if we know Christ. But why is that?

This verse tells us why. We love because He first loved us. There is nothing magic in the Greek. The first person plural is in the present active indicative. This refers to the present act of loving. It is what we do. The other verb is a third person aorist. That means that in some unidentified time in the past God loved us first.

What this verse tells us is the means of how we love - we love because God first loved us. But it also tells us something about the timing. God loved us first. He loved us before we ever loved Him. Other passages shed more light into this truth. We cannot love Him unless He loves us first because we are dead in our sins. Dead people don't make decisions and they certainly cannot love. 

When I consider this verse I am moved by God's immense love for an incredible sinner such as I. I think of all the times when I have sinned and cannot believe that He would extend His grace to me. Yet He does. If you know Christ this must move you too. If you're not, then I urge you to repent and believe.

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