William Burkitt Notes and Observations - 1 John 4:14 - 4:14

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William Burkitt Notes and Observations - 1 John 4:14 - 4:14

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As if the apostle had said, "Though no man hath seen God at any time, yet the apostles, who preach the doctrine of faith unto you, and press the duty of love upon you, have seen with our bodily eyes the Lord Jesus Christ, and do testify, that God the Father glorified his love, by sending his Son to be the Saviour of a perishing world; not of Jews only, but of the Gentiles also.

And we further declare, That whosoever believing this our testimony, shall confess with his moouth, and believe in his heart, that this Jesus, whom we preach, is the Son of God, and shall evidence the truth of his faith by the sincerity of his love, and other good fruits, it is certain that God dwelleth in him by his Spirit, and he dwelleth in God by repeated acts of love.

And finally, we apostles well knowing, and firmly believing the love, the wonderful great love, which God hath manifested towards us, in and through his Son Jesus Christ, we again affirm and conclude that God is love.

Love originally, the fountain from whence all love flows. Love efficiently, the producing cause of all love in the hearts of our people. Love subjectively, a God full of love and mercy, of goodness and pity towards his creatures. Love objectively, he is deservedly the first and chief object of our love, as he is the first and chief good. Love declaratively, both his word and works declare the purposes of his love unto us, and give demonstrations of innumerable instances of his beneficence towards us. But especially God is love essentially.

Love in us is an adventitious and accidental quality; in God it is an essential property, it is his very essence and nature, inseparable from his being; he can as soon cease to be, as cease to love.

And as God is love, so we again affirm, that he that dwelleth in love, that is, he who has love, as the prevailing habit in his heart, and as the governing principle of his life, dwelleth, by communion, in God, as the eye dwells in the light, and as one friend by love dwells in another; and God, by his Spirit of love, dwelleth in him.