Live As Children of God: Love Like God

Scripture: 1 John 4

1Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God ...


John distinguishes two groups of people: true believers and pseudo believers.

True BelieversPseudo Believers
1. Live in the Light

1. Live in Darkness

2. Saints whose Father is God

2. Sinners whose father is Satan
3. Walk in Truth and Dwell in Love3. Walk in falsehood and live in hatred
4. Know and Acknowledge Christ who came in the flesh4. Deny Christ has ever come in the flesh

For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form (Col 2:9)



This is HOW we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. (1 Jn 3:16)


This… is HOW we know that we belong to the truth, and HOW we set our hearts at rest in His presence. (1 Jn 3:19)


This is HOW you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God. (1 Jn 4:2)


We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us... whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is HOW we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood. (1 Jn 4:6)


Note how John treated the Gnostic teaching - Dear friends (beloved), DO NOT believe… but test ... (v.1)


If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting. (2 Jn 10)


This is the watermark of Christianity:


By this we know love, because (Jesus Christ) laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. (1 Jn 3:16, NKJV)



Proposition: Children are born with genes, inherited from their parents. As children of God, we are born of God and inherit His genes which permeate our entire being. Hence, we can and must reflect His image on earth.



Pericope 1: Exhortation: Love One Another

7Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 Jn 4:7-8)


1. Love is the Christian Responsibility (v.7a)

2. Love Authenticates the Christian Identity (vv.7b-8)


Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God. (1 Jn 3:1, NJKV)



Pericope 2: Manifestation of Agape-Love

9This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. 10This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. (1 Jn 4:9-11)


1. God's Love Expressed in Tangible Ways (v.9)


  • He sent His One and Only Son (monogenes)


2. God's Love Expressed as Costly Sacrifice (vv.10-11)


  • He came to be the atoning sacrifice (hilasmos)


And since God SO loved us, we ALSO ought to love one another. (1 Jn 4:11)



Pericope 3: Perfection of Agape-Love (vv.12-20)

12No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us. 13We know that we live in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 14And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent His Son to be the Saviour of the world. 15If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. 16And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 17In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the Day of Judgment, because in this world we are like Him. 18There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 19We love because He first loved us. 20If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. (1 Jn 4:12-20)


1. Completion of Love in Us (vv.12-15)


If anyone obeys His word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in Him: Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did. (1 Jn 2:5-6)


2. Reliability of God's Love (vv.16-18)

3. Enablement to Love Others (vv.19-20)



Pericope 4: Commandment from God

And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother. (1 Jn 4:21)


Our DNA is love, more love, all love.




  • 1. You can and must love


I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. So I live my life in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Gal 2:20, NLT)


  • 2. Grow in love and develop it to perfection so as to be confident on the Day of Judgement