God is Love


1 John 4:16, now looking at the second part of it, is a great consolation for any believer anytime, anywhere, in any situation. 

"So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him" (1 John 4:16).

The great comfort is that, in Christ, you now live in communion with God and partake of His great love.

"God is love." 

From all eternity, God is love. Before God loved us and forgave our sins, God was love. Without ever diminishing in love, without ever improving in love, God is love. Perfect love is an aspect of God's nature.

How is God love?

From eternity past, without beginning or end, God the Father has loved God the Son and God the Holy Spirit with a perfect bond, affection, and commitment. And also God the Son has loved God the Father and God the Holy Spirit with the same love. And finally, God the Holy Spirit has loved the Son and the Father with the same holy love, a love unique, transcendent, beyond comprehension, and worthy of all adoration, praise, honor, and awe.

What's the big deal? 

God's redeeming love for you in Christ is both an extension of this love, and it also enables you to share in this love. John writes, "whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him." Abide means remain with. It means to stay with. It means to keep on in spiritual fellowship with God through faith in Christ. 

In the context of 1 John, to abide in love means to abide in genuine Christian love for God and others (1 John 4:7-12; 19-21). Abiding in this love is a sign that you abide "in God," and that "God abides" in you. 

This is the big deal: fellowship with God. In Christ, we have not only learned about God and His love, but we are also partakers of it. We have been spiritually brought into the loving communion of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Believers have joined the love of God. 

God's love lives in us. God's love within us comes to outward expression through genuine love for God, each other, and others. This is John's point: 

"So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him."

SINCE God is love, and SINCE God lives in us in Christ, THEREFORE, believers walk in the love of God. We are marked by a genuine, affection, self-giving, self-sacrificing love one for another. We seek the common good even at cost to ourselves. We seek the good of each other even at cost to ourselves. We yearn for the blessing and well-being of each other, not just ourselves and our families.

"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" (1 John 4:10-12).

Despite your feelings, struggles, sufferings, sorrows, doubts, and persecutions, the reality is that if you are in Christ, you now live in communion with God and partake of His great love. He will never leave you or forsake you. God is love to perfection, and in Christ you've come to share in the perfect love of God.


The love that is characteristic of God's nature is eternal, unchanging, and uncreated, just as God is eternal, unchanging, and uncreated. God is perfect in all His attributes, and so God is perfect in His love, what we could call a unique Trinitarian love.

Love is not God's only character trait. God is also holy, righteous, and just. This does not contradict love, it only further describes it. God's love is a holy love, a righteous love, and a just love. God is gracious, merciful, and compassionate; so God's love is gracious, merciful, and compassionate. Love, one way or another, flavors everything about God.

The greatest danger in the doctrine of God's love is to pour our preconceived understanding of love into the idea of God. Many people impose their definition of love onto God and therefore worship a figment of their imagination. It is all too common for man to, for lack of a more common expression, put God in the box of their own feelings, philosophies, presuppositions, and arbitrary imaginations. This is idolatry, even though it is popular. The reality is that God is the definition of love; He is the standard.

The practical take-away is that we must humbly allow the Bible to shape our definition of God and the nature of His love. In other words, our ideas about God must not come from our notions and opinions about love. Rather, our understanding of love and loving must come from God and what He has revealed about Himself in the Bible. Just about everyone agrees with, "God is love," or, "God is loving," so long as they get to define love and then impose that definition on God. Beloved, be on guard against this kind of reasoning. It is worldly and ungodly. It is arrogant and pretentious. It is idolatry.