Verses to review today: 1 John 3:1-4:7
New Verse: 1 John 4:8
Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. (ESV)
He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. (KJV)
Greek: ὁ μὴ ἀγαπῶν οὐκ ἔγνω τὸν θεόν, ὅτι ὁ θεὸς ἀγάπη ἐστίν.
Transliterated Greek: ho mē agapōn ouk egnō ton theon, hoti ho theos agapē estin.
Literal Word for Word Translation: the one who is not loving has not come to know God, because God is love.
Commentary: What is love as talked about by John as opposed to what we usually call love among human beings? Is there a difference? If not, since all people except for a rare few do love someone else in one way or another, how can he say they then do not know God? How about the nature of the love? Is most people’s love selfish and limited to a few? Isn’t God’s love unselfish to the max and available to all? If that is the kind of love John is talking about, even among Christians, who has that kind of love? John 14:21a says, “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is that loves me.” A universal love definitely would also consist of loving Jesus, wouldn’t it? So, maybe the kind of love Jesus is talking about in that verse, while not perfect in us as of yet, is one that grows for those who are obedient to Christ and includes such obedience? If that be the case, those who do not know Him can’t have that kind of love and surely, not having the Spirit, do not have a love for those they would normally hate.