A reinterpretation of 1 John 4:7-12

Love one another. Why? Because love is from God. That is, love is created by God.

If love is created by God and is a part of God, then everyone who loves knows God.

Furthermore, if love is from God, then those who love are also from God.

By contrast, those who do not love do not know God, which implies that the only way to know God is through love, since love comes from God. Love must, therefore, be the only approachable part of God for humanity.

Love is not only from God, God is love. This must be true in the sense that, epistemologically speaking, we can only know God through God’s attribute of love. God is infinite, and cannot be defined solely by a single attribute. Nevertheless, what we know of God is known only through our knowledge of love.

God revealed the nature of love to us by sending us Jesus Christ.

Jesus was sent for the purpose of allowing us to live through him.

This means living vicariously through him, experiencing death, resurrection, atonement, justification, and sanctification through him.

This also means living our lives in such a way that others see Christ in us instead of only our sinful selves.

The fact that God sent Jesus to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins is representative of God’s love.

The love that we bear for God, apart from God’s own love, is not love.

Love one another. Why? Because God loved us so much.

Not only the origin of love, but the volume of love we receive from God gives us reason to love one another. Since God loved us, and since love itself comes from God, then out of a sense of gratitude for God’s love we ought to give the gift of love to others, since love is the essence of the one who gives us the reason for gratitude.

We cannot see God to directly offer our love to God as we would offer love to another person.

Just as God made love visible in Christ, we can make love visible in our willingness to show love for one another.

When we make love visible in our love for one another, we allow God to live in us.

When God lives in us, God becomes visible for others around us.

This is the ultimate purpose of God’s love: not to simply make us feel better, but to live in us and allow us to love one another.