1 John 4:21

He who loves God must love his brother also

Many more passages describe our love for God, God’s love for us, and our love for the brethren.  These passages are those in which loving God and loving the brethren are connected.  The New Testament writers assume that the two concepts are inseparable, although some even in their time made the attempt.

Love is doing what is best for the other person regardless of its effect on me.

  • 1 John 2:5 – 5:3
    • The love of God is perfected in us (2:5)
      • 2:5 – 6 Whoever keeps His word… walk as He walked
      • 2:15 If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him
      • 3:1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God.
    • Love the brethren
      • 2:9 – 11 He who hates his brethren is in darkness; he who loves his brethren is in the light
      • 3:10 – 15 He who does not love the brethren has not God and has not eternal life
      • 3:23 – 24 …Love one another as He gave us commandment.  Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him.
      • 4:7 Let us love one another, for love is of God
      • 4:11 If God so loved us, we ought also to love one another
      • 4:20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar, for he who hates his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?
      • 4:21 And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.
      • 5:1 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him.
  • Ephesians 3:14 – 5:2
    • 3:17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you be rooted and grounded in love
    • 3:19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
    • 4:1 – 2 Walk worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace
    • 4:15 But speaking the truth in love may grow up in all things into Him who is the Head – Christ
    • 5:1 – 2 Therefore, be imitators of God as dear children, and walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.
  • 1 Peter 1:6 – 25
    • 1:8 …whom you have not seen, you love
    • 1:22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart.

Earmarks of loving the brethren from those passages

  • 1 John 3:16 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us.  And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
  • 1 John 3:17 But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?
  • 1 John 3:18 Let us not love in word and in tongue but in deed and in truth.
  • 1 John 4:7 – 8 Everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.  He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
  • 1 John 4:17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment, because as He is, so are we in this world.
  • 1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment.  But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.
  • 1 John 5:2 – 4 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments.  For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments.  And His commandments are not burdensome.  For whatever is born of God overcomes the world.  And this is the victory that overcomes the world – our faith.
  • Ephesians 4:16 – from whom the whole body joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love

2 Corinthians 5:14 – 17  For the love of Christ compels us…Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh.  Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer.  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.

Hebrews 10:24  Let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works.

How do we build up one another to this love?