1 John 4:7–12 (ESV)
God Is Love
let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the
world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God;
if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
What is love? Greek has several words to break down love. The greek word eros is used for sexual love. Eros is
not used in the New Testament, but can be found in the Septuagint (Greek version of Old Testament) in Proverbs 7:18 and 30:16. Eros is not used in today’s text. The Greek word phileō means spontaneous natural affection, with more feeling
than reason, occurs some 25 times, with philadelphia (brotherly love) 5 times, and philia (friendship) only in James 4:4. Another Greek word for love is storgē, which means natural affection between kinfolk. Another word for love, and is
used the most in the Bible is agapē, which means moral goodwill which proceeds from esteem, principle, or duty, rather than attraction or charm. It means to love the undeserving, despite disappointment and rejection. Agapē is especially appropriate for
religious love. Agapē has more to do with moral principle than with inclination or liking, it never means the cold religious kindness shown from duty alone, as scriptural examples abundantly prove.
Lutheran Study Bible states: “What the world considers love is actually selfish and self-centered, but all true love is from God. See p 1903. “Love” of sinful pleasures is misplaced affection, which corrupts what is good. E.g., it is natural
to want to have a spouse and a family. But to steal someone else’s spouse or family would be a perversion of a God-given desire. born of God. Only God can make Christians (cf Jn 1:12–13). One way this happens is through Baptism (see note, Jn 3:5).
Another way is through the preaching of the Word of Christ. knows God. A sinner can know God only through faith in Jesus Christ.”
I pray: O heavenly Father, the love I have for you and for the
people of this world can only come from you. You are love, the true love, not a twisted or selfish love, but is a love that is greater than brotherly love. Help me to love and to share my love that you have given me. Help me to not twist
it or misuse it. Amen.