SCRIPTURE READING 1 John 4:7-21
Beloved, let us love one another because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten of God and has knowledge of God. Those who do not love have known nothing of God, for God is love. God’s love was revealed in our midst in this way: by sending the Only Begotten into the world, that we might have faith through the Anointed One.
Love, then, consists in this: not that we have loved God, but that God has loved us and has sent the Only Begotten to be an offering for our sins. Beloved, if God has loved us so, we must have the same love for one another. No one has ever seen God. Yet if we love one another, God dwells in us, and God’s love is brought to perfection in us. The way we know that we remain in God and God in us is that we have been given the Spirit. We have seen for ourselves and can testify that God has sent the Only Begotten as Savior of the world.
When any acknowledge that Jesus is the Only Begotten, God dwells in them and they in God. We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us. God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God in them.
Love will come to perfection in us when we can face the day of judgment without fear⎯because our relation to this world is just like Christ’s. There is no fear in love for perfect love drives out fear. To fear is to expect punishment, and anyone who is afraid is still imperfect in love.
We love because God first loved us. If you say you love God but hate your sister or brother, you are a liar. For you cannot love God, whom you have not seen, if you hate your neighbor, whom you have seen. If we love God, we should love our sisters and brothers as well; we have this commandment from God.