Gracefully Truthful


Discover the original intent of Scripture. Make good application to our everyday lives.
Become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Read His Words Before Ours!

1 John 4:6-8

6 We are from God. Anyone who knows God listens to us; anyone who is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of deception.

7 Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

The Original Intent

1) From this passage, how can we identify those who know God and how do they know Him? (verse 6)

In this letter, the apostle John characterizes a “child of God” (1 John 2:24-29) as one who remains consistent in his faithful obedience to God; those who actively and intentionally learn and apply God’s Word. He distinguishes “children of God” from those who are not being true to the word of God. (1 John 2:3-6)

As children of God (through faith in Christ Jesus), a believer is one who has been equipped with everything necessary to know God and to follow wholeheartedly after Christ. (Hebrews 13:20-21) The Spirit of God confirms this relationship a believer has with God. (John 14-16)

In verses 1-5, the apostle John wrote concerning the role of the Spirit of God in the life of the believer. The Holy Spirit, who permanently resides with the believer, is a witness to Christ’s presence in our lives. Because of Christ in us, true followers of Jesus have the power to refuse and refute false teaching. In contrast, those who believe and follow deceptive teaching are not of Christ. They instead derive their values from sources apart from God and His Word.

John reminded the believers of the Spirit’s work in them. He, the Holy Spirit of God, was the One who personally helped them “know” God intimately and respond confidently to the apostles’ teaching. Because John had deep love for the believers (2 John 1:1-3), he felt a responsibility to share with them the truth of who Jesus is (1 John 5:20).

The apostle took on a parental-like role as he guided believers into spiritual growth. The weight of this parenting role is evident in the writings of Paul and Peter, too. They wanted their spiritual offspring to know God so they could confidently reject deceptive teaching. (3 John 1:3-4, Galatians 4:19, 2 Peter 1:12-15, and 2 Peter 3:14-18)

The Everyday Application

1) From this passage, how can we identify those who know God and how do they know Him? (verse 6)

The Bible teaches us that we can know God through His word. “Long ago God spoke to our ancestors by the prophets at different times and in different ways. In these last days, he has spoken to us by His Son.” (Hebrews 1:1-2)

When Jesus became a human and walked on the earth, He always spoke for God and as God! (God WITH us! John 1:10-18) After His resurrection, Jesus returned to His Father in Heaven, but because of His love and care for His followers, He gave the apostles the Spirit of God to be with them at all times.

Like the prophets in the Old Testament, the apostles had special revelation and authority (1 Corinthians 2:4-8) to help those who would become followers of Jesus understand the heart of God. It is also through the Spirit we are able to discern and understand their teaching (1 Corinthians 2:10-15).

My dear Sister, God has always wanted us to know Him! The Creator and Sustainer of the universe is a relational Father. The Spirit of God came to teach and guide the apostles just as Jesus promised. (John 16:12-15) We study what they wrote, pray for the Spirit’s wisdom, and meditate on what we glean from it. As we do, we grow in our understanding of Who God is.

Like a mother daily guides and cares for a young child, Jesus cares for us day to day through the Spirit. We are grateful for this because it is the Spirit who keeps us from error by drawing our hearts to what the Scriptures teach. The Spirit also confirms within our souls that God is our Father and we are His sons and daughters! (Romans 8:14-17)

The Original Intent

2) What is from God and reveals God? (verse 7)

The short but accurate answer is “LOVE”! The apostle made clear to the recipients the reason for his familial feelings. “You are from God.” (verse 4) “We are from God.” (verse 6) Together, they were children of God.

John was one with them, recognizing their brotherhood and sisterhood in Christ. With God as their Father, believers look alike as they look like God. Love is one of the most distinguishable characteristics of a member in God’s family. Our love for one another and Jesus demonstrates our connection to God.

To be a living picture of who God is, love is necessary in the believer’s life. The apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Corinthian church just how important love is in the believer’s life. (1 Corinthians 13:1-3) He sets up love, not spiritual gifting or knowledge, as the litmus test for differentiating spiritual sincerity from insincerity.

Theologian J. I. Packer wrote in his book Knowing God, “… a right-minded concern for revival will express itself not in a hankering after tongues, but rather in a longing that the Spirit may shed God’s love abroad in our hearts with greater power.” If we have been born of God, that makes us children of God through faith in Jesus Christ. Just as a parent and child are physically linked, as believers we spiritually share in the nature of our Father.

Since God’s nature is love, we will exhibit His character and characteristics as His child. Demonstrating genuine Christlike love confirms the reality of God and our relationship to Him. Love has come to us from God.

The Everyday Application

2) What is from God and reveals God? (verse 7)

Love from God is a gift that never ends. As His children, we are continually receiving God’s love. It is a changeless flow, replete with the wisdom and peace it brings. But why?

What did we ever do to deserve such love from God? Friend, we have done nothing, and we will never need to do something to earn God’s love. This truth is glorious: God is never, ever going to withdraw or lessen His love from us at some point in the future.

The Lord said to the prophet Jeremiah that His love is based on His unchanging character, not us. (Jeremiah 31:1-3) “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” It seems too good to be true, but God is not going to get tired of you. He isn’t going to get fed up with me. Nothing you or I do will cause Him to withdraw His steadfast, faithful love.

It is this knowledge which gives us the strength to love others as we should. It is this love which provides us the strength to continually be able to love our neighbors, or friends, or husbands or children, or even our enemies.

The apostle Paul reminded his young friend Timothy of his love for him, but he also recognized that Timothy had first received God’s love from his mother and grandmother. (2 Timothy 1:2-5) The love of God moves through our lives because God’s love drenches us. We bask in the depths of His love by humbly recognizing how unworthy we are to receive such love into our lives.

Once we have been adopted into God’s family, His Spirit fills our heart with love and hope (Romans 5:1-5) that can’t be kept to ourselves (2 Corinthians 5:11-15).

The Original Intent

3) How does the unconditional love of God communicate His essence? (verse 8)

If we are still wondering how God reveals Himself, John clarifies for us in verse 8, “The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” John explains that love is not only from God (verse 7), but that God Himself is love.

According to John, the love of God is not a conditional trait that God happens to exhibit. This is a crucial doctrine in Scripture and must not be glossed over as a student of His Word. Since it is the very nature of God that is the source of all love, we must carefully examine what love tells us about Who God is! As learners, we want to carefully examine the Scriptures so as not to misunderstand God.

Knowing with certainty that love originates from God is essential to the Christian belief. It is this belief that speaks to us about the God of the universe in His very essence. Bible commentator F. F. Bruce defines the word love in this passage as “a consuming passion for the well-being of others, and this love has its wellspring in God.” (

If we want to be like our Lord Jesus Christ, God who came in the flesh, we will care deeply about the well-being of others because … God is love.  Since it’s who He is, we understand that the by-product of getting to know God is that we will inevitably grow in our understanding of what love is. If we read John’s letter in its entirety, we discover why it’s so important to get this right.

It is God who initiates, generates and demonstrates love precisely because it’s in His nature. “LORD, you ARE a compassionate God.” (Psalm 86:15)

The Everyday Application

3) How does the unconditional love of God communicate His essence? (verse 8)

“Love came down.” We usually sing this sentiment at Christmas, although the wonders of His love should not be reserved for a certain season! John said in 1 John 3:1-2 for us to look and “see what great love the Father has given us.” Though no one has ever seen God, when we love each other, we are making visible the nature of God. (verses 12-13)

How might this reality change our motherhood, our sisterhood, our friendships?

I believe there is no greater realization than this: God is love, and in Him you and I are carriers of that love. Here’s where you lean in, my Friend, and bask in the wondrous love of God. Don’t miss this! We are loved by Love Himself! It’s not only love personified (Titus 3:4-7) or embodied (1 John 3:16) in Christ. It is love perfected (1 John 4:18-19) in and by the LORD God Almighty!

When I think about such love, I can’t help but sing my wonder. The hymn, “What Wonderous Love Is This” was written in the early 1800’s and was likely passed down orally from person to person. Even though the tune took on variations as it was sung through the years, the simple words remained the same. Whether sung as a haunting melody in a minor key or a more cheerful anthem, the truths in the hymn are unchanging.

When we reflect on and sing these words, we join with all who’ve gone before us in worship. When we recount the ways His love has been poured out, our hearts shout:
“What wondrous love is this, oh my soul, oh my soul!
What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss to bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul;
to bear the dreadful curse for my soul?”
We are loved to love, Sister!

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Tags :
Share This :

Can We Pray With You?

Prayer is central to our ministry as believers in Jesus as we carry eachother’s burdens and intercede for one another. Our team is honored to share the work of praying alongside you!

This Week's Lock Screen
Oct 30 - Nov 17, 2023 - Journey Theme #124

Authentically living out a life of worship to the God who rescued us from darkness requires accountability and intentionality. Join a GT POD and take the next step in your faith journey!

Like this:

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x