"Psalm 23," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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Preaching Series on 1 John (4 of 4)
1 John 4:7-21 Commentary
by Craig R. Koester
Preaching Series on 1 John (Week 4 of 4)
Preaching text: 1 John 4:7-21 We love because God first loved us Gospel: John 15:9-11 As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you
This section of 1 John is one of the Bible’s great “love” chapters. At its core is that “God is love” (4:8, 16). God is the subject and love is the descriptor. God is a living being, whose identity is defined by love. We might want to reverse the sequence and say that “Love is God,” but that would mean elevating love -- as a principle -- to divine status. But here love characterizes God, whose expressions of love create relationships between himself and others.
The love that defines who God is, finds expression in what God does through the sacrificial death of his Son. In the Johannine writings, sin separates people from God. In human terms, the highest manifestation of love is to lay down one’s life for another (John 15:13). Therefore, to convey love in a manner accessible to human beings, God ...
| Bible Text
2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
2020-21 Worship Resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
Narrative Lectionary 137: Preaching Series on 1 John
July 15, 2018
This re-broadcast podcast covers the four-week summer preaching series on 1 John (first aired in July 2014 -- note Dr. Koester's opening reference to "three Sundays in July and one in August" is not applicable to 2018 dates). Join Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Craig Koester, and Kathryn Schifferdecker for a conversation on the Narrative Lectionary. Recorded at Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, Minn., for WorkingPreacher.org.