“The Heart of Love” [Love Letters]
Texts: 1 John 4:7-16
March 17/18, 2012
Pastor Matt Erickson
“This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4:10)
· “for love comes from God” (1 John 4:7)
· “God is love” (1 John 4:8, 16)
· “This is how God showed His love among us” (1 John 4:9; cf. 1 John 4:12 & John 1:18)
· “He sent His one and only Son into the world” (1 John 4:9; cf. John 3:16, 18)
· “The Father has sent His Son to be the Savior of the world” (1 John 4:14; cf. John 4:42)
· “He [God] sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:10; cf. 1 John 2:1-2)
· “That we might live through Him” (1 John 4:9; cf. John 17:3)
· “If we love one another, God lives in us” (1 John 4:12)
· “This is how we know that we live in Him and He in us” (1 John 4:13)
· “We know and rely on the love God has for us” (1 John 4:16)
· “If we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us” (1 John 4:12)
When did you first begin to truly understand the love of God? What was it that helped you truly get that understanding?
As we continue the “Love Letters” series this week, we are studying 1 John 4:7-16. However, this section is connected to 4:17-21. Take a moment to read 4:7-21 out loud. Take notice of repeating words and concepts that show up in these verses.
Clearly, love is a theme of this passage, as well as this entire letter of 1 John. In 4:7-16, what are some specific things John says about the love of God: what it is, how it is shown, what it looks like, etc.?
The phrase “God is love” (4:9, 16) is widely used. What does John really mean by this phrase in the portion we are examining today?
Would you say that the love of God has truly transformed your life? Why or why not?
John writes that God’s love is a motivation for us to love one another (4:11). What do you think is the connection between God’s love and our love for others?
Who is one person in your life that you could show the love of God to this week? What would that look like specifically?
Identify one specific way that you will respond to the study this week. Write it down, reflect on it, and put it into practice this week. If you are in a small group, discuss this with one another.