We now begin the third section of the epistle (see Analysis).
- 4:7-10. What arguments are used in verses 7 and 8 to show that true Christians must love one another? In verses 9 and 10 the apostle speaks of the manifestation of God’s love in Christ. How does he describe the gift? What does he say of its purpose? By what means was this purpose achieved, and for whom did God do this?
- 4:11-18. The apostle goes over the same ground as before, but at a higher level. How does he describe here the Christian’s relationship to God? How does he show that no higher or closer relationship can be conceived? Out of the depths of that relationship, the believer bears his testimony through the Spirit (verses 13-16; cf. John 15:26, 27).
- 4:19-5:3. In view of Matt. 22:36, 37, why does not the apostle say in verse 11, ‘Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love God’? Why does John say, ‘We also ought to love one another’? What other test of our love for God is also mentioned?
- 4:17, 18. ‘Because in this world we are like him’: cf. John 3:35 with 16:27. Those who are loved of the Father need not look forward with dread. If we are still afraid, the remedy is to concentrate more on the love of God shown in the cross and the resurrection.
- 5:1. Faith in Jesus as the Christ implies receiving him as such, and to receive him is to be born of God (John 1:12, 13).