The Heart of Christianity

In 1 John 4:7-21, one of the readings for this coming Sunday, we learn that God is Love, this understanding stands on the heart of Christianity. But what does it mean?

by Father Lee Davis on April 22, 2024

The Heart of Christianity

1John 4:7-21

Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. God's love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.

By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world. God abides in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God. So we have known and believe the love that God has for us.

God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. We love because he first loved us. Those who say, "I love God," and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.


At the heart of Christian theology lies the profound declaration: "God is love." This statement, echoed through scripture and expounded upon by theologians, serves as a cornerstone of belief, shaping the contours of faith and informing the lived experience of believers.

Picture, if you will, a vast expanse of boundless love, emanating from the divine essence of God Himself. It is a love that knows no limits, no conditions. It flows freely, unencumbered by human frailties or shortcomings. It is a love that predates time itself, existing before the foundations of the world were laid.

In the tapestry of faith, this understanding of God's love weaves itself intricately into the fabric of believers' lives, coloring every thought, and every action with its radiant hues.

In the depths of despair, when the shadows of doubt loom large, it is the assurance of God's unyielding love that serves as an anchor, steadying the soul amidst the storm. It whispers softly in the ear of the weary, offering solace and hope in the darkest of hours.

It is a love that knows no boundaries, extending its embrace to the farthest reaches of humanity. It transcends barriers of race, nationality, and creed, enfolding all within its tender care. In the hands of this love, enemies become friends, strangers become kin, and the broken find healing and restoration.

This love should not merely be an abstract concept but a lived reality, manifesting itself in the everyday interactions of believers. It should compel us to acts of kindness, generosity, and compassion, prompting believers to mirror the selfless love of their Creator in their relationships with others.

At its core, the belief that "God is love" is a transformative force, that has the power to reshape hearts and minds, and imbue life with purpose and meaning. It calls believers to walk in love, to embody its essence in every facet of their existence.

In the end, to believe that "God is love" is to be enveloped in a divine embrace, to bask in the warmth of a love that surpasses understanding. It is to find, in the embrace of the Creator, the truest expression of love—the love that defines, sustains, and redeems all of creation.

Tags: love, compassion, god

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