1 JOHN iv. 11. ” Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought
also to love one another.”
THIS word “beloved” reveals the heart of the writer. This
term of endearment, and indeed all kindred terms, were
either created or adopted by the spirit of the apostle. The
word “if” does not express doubt as to the love of God,
but carries with it the meaning of “because.”
I. If God so loved us, we ought also to love one another,
because ignorance of what God means by love must now
be wilful. Some professing Christians ask, What is love?
We answer by pointing to God giving His only-begotten
II. Because doubt and uncertainty as to the objects of
love are for ever excluded. Our natural inclination is to
love those only who love us; to salute our elect brethren
and sisters only. But to elect the objects of our love self-
ishly and capriciously, and to limit these objects wantonly,
is to transgress God’s law.
III. Because the power of love to conquer obstacles and
impediments is in God’s case most gloriously shown.
IV. Because the restoration of love between man and
man is one of God’s objects in that redemption which so
proves His love for us. He seeks to save us from an un-
V. Because we require to be followers of God as dear
children. We cannot follow God in every path, but Christ
strengthening us, and the Spirit of God sanctifying us, we
can follow God in love.
VI. Because love on our part must be pleasing to God.
Some men think that they please Him chiefly by theolo-
gical zeal; but how miserably have we got away from the
essential things and become occupied with the unessential.
VII. Because hereby we express our love towards God
We express our gratitude to the Source of our redemption.