Many of us have heard the phrase “God is love” in church. It is something we say often because it is true. But where does this phrase come from, and what does it mean? 

To understand this phrase more deeply, we will first look at its context, and then talk about how this wisdom can be applied to our everyday lives. The phrase “God is Love” comes from 1 John 4:7-9. Essentially, this verse is a command to love others because love is from God. So, if we are from God, we will love others because that is the nature of God. 

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1 John 4:7-9 Context

Before we talk about this verse in detail, let’s go over the context of when this passage was written. 

The Author

The truth is, we don’t know for sure who wrote the book of John. But we do have a pretty good idea that it was written by the apostle John. This theory is supported because some members of the first church knew John personally. We also know that the author of this book places himself as one of the Apostles, so the likelihood of John being the author of this epistle is high. 

Because we cannot say for sure that John wrote this book, we also cannot say when exactly this book was written. Scholars suspect it was written around the same time as the Gospel of John, which is around 90 AD. 

The Importance of 1 John 

The overarching message of the Book of 1 John is that while it is important to know the difference between good and evil, that recognition needs to be accompanied by God’s love. This book serves as a reminder to Christians that they need to keep their eyes on the job that God gave them, that they are saved, and to stand firm against false teachings. 

God is Love

Now that we have established a bit of context, let’s look at the specific verse: “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:7-8). 

In this verse, the author is trying to impart the importance of love, and how it is tied to our identity as Christians. We worship God, who is the very concept of love, so it is only natural that our nature should also be to love others. 

We Are Called to Love 

This is exactly what Jesus commanded us to do in Matthew 22: 36-40. We are meant to love one another, love our neighbors, love our enemies, and most importantly, love God. The author of 1 John tells us why we are commanded to do this. It is because to do this is in God’s nature, and since we are of God, loving others is in our nature as well. 

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The author of 1 John is right. We should love others because God is love, and we are His. We should love our neighbors just as Jesus commanded us to do. 

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