"And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him."
1 John 4:16
The Apostle John shares with us in this verse how he personally responded to God, and how we should as well.
“And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us.”
The ancient word translated as “known,” is an experimental (experiential) knowledge. And the word translated as “faith,” is a “confident trust.” John’s order of his words is very relevant here.
First, he had a factual, practical, knowledge of Jesus Christ because he was Jesus’ follower. He and the other disciples lived with Jesus, listened to His words, had personal conversations with Him, and observed how Jesus healed the sick and ministered to people. We could say that John “logged time” with Jesus every day.
Second, after this practical knowledge of Jesus, John put his faith, this confident trust in Him. Simply put, he took Jesus at His word, he believed in Jesus.
Third, John told what he knew of Jesus (a witness), we could say it is his confession of God. Based on what John knew of Jesus, and because he came to put his faith in Him, John could say, “God is love.”
Faith is not some “pie in the sky, by and by” crutch on which we lean. Think about this, “True faith, according to John, is a faith of knowledge and experience: true knowledge is a knowledge of faith [Luecke].” John and his brother disciples found the Messiah! He isn’t the “best thing going.” He is the only thing going! He is “the way, the truth and the life” that leads sinful people to the Father. These men didn’t understand everything yet, but they surely had practical knowledge of the Lord, and they believed what He told them and what they saw in Jesus’ life. They understood the vital connection between knowledge and faith.
“God is love;”
John repeated this statement from verse eight. “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love,” (1 John 4:8). And he finished his argument that our affiliation with love is dependent upon our relationship to God. “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God,” (1 John 4:7).
“And he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.”
As far as Jesus is concerned, there is no such thing as being in and out of love. John said that if you are “dwelling” in love (a lasting relationship), then you are “dwelling” in God (a lasting relationship). You cannot be in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ today, and out of it tomorrow. Your “eternal life” began the moment you believed, and God saved you. You do not go in and out and back into that relationship! You do not get saved, and lose it, and get saved and lose it again! Salvation and eternal life do not work that way. And Jesus shows us that love doesn’t work that way either.
“As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love,” (John 15:9-10).
Dear believer, you need to know that you are never un-loved! God is love, and He loves you always! (John 13:1).
I see in this verse that My God Is Love!
1. Jamison, Fausset, and Brown, Jamison, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, the electronic version in eSword. Emphasis mine.