Sermon on 1 John 4:7-12 | All You Need is Love

All You Need is Love (1 John 4:7-12)

Valentine’s Day is a day where we show love. The Beatles sang, “All you need is love.”

John was known as the “Apostle of love”; tradition says that John told those in Ephesus-where he had retired-to love one another each Lord’s day.

There are some things that we need to learn about love:

God is Love, vv 7-8

Love comes from God. We are made in the image of God (Gen 1:26). Part of our being in the image of God is our capacity to love.

God is love. Love defines God’s character. God loves us so much that he could be described as love.

God is not evil. The idea of many is that God is completely evil. The Scriptures affirm, however, that God is love (Rom 5:5; 2 Cor 13:11).

God Acts in Love, vv 9-10

God shows us love; it was revealed among us.

He sent Jesus:

  • In order that we might live through him (Jn 3:17).
  • In order that he could atone for our sins. The idea of a propitiation is that which atones for sins. Jesus came into the world that he might take our sins away (Jn 1:29).

He did this before we loved him (Rom 5:8). It is easy to love someone who loves you. Yet, it is difficult to love someone who does not love you (cf. Matt 5:46). God did the more difficult thing of loving us before we loved him.

God Expects Me to Act in Love, vv 11-12

True love is not a feeling; it’s an action. Because God loved me, he did something. If we are to love, we must act in love (1 Jn 3:17-18).

God expects me to act in love. We need to show our love. We can show love by: Being with those who hurt, writing cards to those who hurt, etc.

In order to have fellowship with God, I must love. Loving each other sets us apart from the rest of the world (Jn 13:34-35). 1 John 4:20-21.

God lives in those who love. Augustine said, “He who is filled with love is filled with God himself.”

Those who love do not need to fear the judgment (1 Jn 4:17-18). This makes love a measuring stick of Christian character.


This sermon was originally preached by Dr. Justin Imel, Sr., at the Owingsville church of Christ in Owingsville, Kentucky.

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