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1 John 4:19

    1 John 4:19 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    We love him, because he first loved us.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    We love him, because he first loved us.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    We love, because he first loved us.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    We have the power of loving, because he first had love for us.

    Webster's Revision

    We love, because he first loved us.

    World English Bible

    We love him, because he first loved us.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    We love, because he first loved us.

    Clarke's Commentary on 1 John 4:19

    We love him because he first loved us - This is the foundation of our love to God.

    1. We love him because we find he has loved us.

    2. We love him from a sense of obligation and gratitude.

    3. We love him from the influence of his own love; from his love shed abroad in our hearts, our love to him proceeds. It is the seed whence our love springs.

    The verse might be rendered, Let us therefore love him, because he first loved us: thus the Syriac and Vulgate.

    Barnes' Notes on 1 John 4:19

    We love him, because he first loved us - This passage is susceptible of two explanations; either.

    (1) that the fact that he first loved us is the "ground" or "reason" why we love him, or.

    (2) that as a matter of fact we have been brought to love him in consequence of the love which he has manifested toward us, though the real ground of our love may be the excellency of his own character.

    If the former be the meaning, and if that were the only ground of love, then it would be mere selfishness, (compare Matthew 5:46-47); and it cannot be believed that John meant to teach that that is the "only" reason of our love to God. It is true, indeed, that that is a proper ground of love, or that we are bound to love God in proportion to the benefits which we have received from his Hand; but still genuine love to God is something which cannot be explained by the mere fact that we have received favors from Him. The true, the original ground of love to God, is the "excellence of His own character," apart from the question whether we are to be benefited or not. There is that in the divine nature which a holy being will love, apart from the benefits which he is to receive, and from any thought even of his own destiny. It seems to me, therefore, that John must have meant here, in accordance with the second interpretation suggested above, that the fact that we love God is to be traced to the means which he has used to bring us to himself, but without saying that this is the sole or even the main reason why we love him. It was His love manifested to us by sending His Son to redeem us which will explain the fact that we now love Him; but still the real ground or reason why we love Him is the infinite excellence of His own character. It should be added here, that many suppose that the Greek words rendered "we love" (ἡμεῖς ἀγαπῶμεν hēmeis agapōmen are not in the indicative, but in the subjunctive; and that this is an exhortation - "let us love him, because he first loved us." So the Syriac, the Arabic, and the Vulgate read it; and so it is understood by Benson, Grotius, and Bloomfield. The main idea would not be essentially different; and it is a proper ground of exhortation to love God because He has loved us, though the highest ground is, because His character is infinitely worthy of love.

    Wesley's Notes on 1 John 4:19

    4:19 We love him, because he first loved us - This is the sum of all religion, the genuine model of Christianity. None can say more: why should any one say less, or less intelligibly?