1 John 4:19
We love him, because he first loved us.
English Standard Version
New International Version
We love because he first loved us.
New Living Translation
We love each other because he loved us first.
Berean Literal Bible
Berean Study Bible
New American Standard Bible
We love because He first loved us.
New King James Version
We love Him because He first loved us.
x O x
We love him
Omit ‘Him’, which is a later addition to the true text: some authorities for ‘Him’ add ‘God’, and some have ‘God’ for ‘He’ in the next clause.
No accusative is expressed, and none, whether ‘God’ or ‘one another’, is to be understood: Christian love of every kind is meant.
Authorities are much divided between ‘we love’ and ‘let us love’; for the Greek (ἀγαπῶμεν) may be either indicative or hortative subjunctive. The former is better.
The Peschito and Vulgate render ‘let us love’ and with Codex A insert ‘therefore’: nos ergo diligamus.
Because He first loved us
We shall narrow the Apostle’s meaning if we limit this to the idea of gratitude evoking love.
The ‘first’, which is the important word, means much more than that.
- Our love owes its very origin to God’s love, from which it is an effluence (1 John 4:7).
- Love is checked by fear when it is doubtful whether it is returned. Our love has no such check; for it knows that God’s love has been beforehand with it. Bede compares ‘Ye did not choose Me, but I chose you’ (John 15:16).
Every Christian grace is some form or other of love.
- Repentance is love — grieving.
- Faith is love — leaning.
- Hope is love — expecting.
- Courage is love — daring.
- Patience is love — waiting.
And so on through all the list of Christian virtues.
And thus we see how it is that a man has just as much religion as he has love and no more.
He first loved us!
You know, we find indications of the Pagans fearing their gods, dreading them, trying to appease their wrath by sacrifices and offerings, being very much obliged to their gods if they gave them a good harvest, and so on;
But nowhere can we recall any indications of a Pagan loving his god!
▪︎ Because the Pagans never knew a god that loved them!
▪︎ Because the Pagans only knew a god that continued to punish them!
But we have a God Who first loved us!
We ☆ Ἡμεῖς (Hēmeis) ☆ Personal / Possessive Pronoun – Nominative 1st Person Plural ☆ I, the first-person pronoun. A primary pronoun of the first person I.
Love ☆ ἀγαπῶμεν (agapōmen) ☆ Verb – Present Indicative Active – 1st Person Plural ☆ To love, wish well to, take pleasure in, long for; denotes the love of reason, esteem. Perhaps from agan; to love.
Because ☆ ὅτι (hoti) ☆ Conjunction ☆ Neuter of hostis as conjunction; demonstrative, that; causative, because.
He ☆ αὐτὸς (autos) ☆ Personal / Possessive Pronoun – Nominative Masculine 3rd Person Singular ☆ He, she, it, they, them, same. From the particle au; the reflexive pronoun self, used of the third person, and of the other persons.
First ☆ πρῶτος (prōtos) ☆ Adjective – Nominative Masculine Singular ☆ First, before, principal, most important. Contracted superlative of pro; foremost.
Loved ☆ ἠγάπησεν (ēgapēsen) ☆ Verb – Aorist Indicative Active – 3rd Person Singular ☆ To love, wish well to, take pleasure in, long for; denotes the love of reason, esteem. Perhaps from agan; to love.
Us ☆ ἡμᾶς (hēmas) ☆ Personal / Possessive Pronoun – Accusative 1st Person Plural ☆ I, the first-person pronoun. A primary pronoun of the first person I.
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