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1 John 4:16 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
16 We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him.
Albert Barnes and Edward D. Andrews write,
We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. We all have the assurance that God has loved us and the fullest belief in the remarkable fact of redemption by which he has manifested his love to us.
God is love. He is not merely kindhearted; he is kindheartedness itself. Compare 2Cor. 13:11. Never was a more important declaration made than this; never was more meaning crowded into a few words than in this short sentence—“God is love.” In the darkness of this world of sin—in all the sorrows that come now upon the race, and that will come upon the wicked hereafter—we have the assurance that a God of infinite benevolence rules over all, and though we may not be able to reconcile all that occurs with this declaration, or see how the things which he has permitted to take place are consistent with it, yet in the exercise of faith on his own declarations we may find consolation in “believing” that it is so, and may look forward to a period when all his universe shall see it to be so. In the midst of all that occurs on the earth of sadness, sin, and sorrow, there is abundant evidence that God is love.
In the original structure of things before sin entered when all was pronounced “good;” in the things designed to promote happiness, where the only thing contemplated is happiness, and where it would have been as easy to have caused pain; in the preservation of a guilty race, and in granting that race the opportunity of another trial; in the ceaseless provision which God is making in his providence for the wants of unnumbered millions of his creatures; in the arrangements made to alleviate sorrow, and to put an end to it; in the gift of a Savior more than all, and in the offer of eternal life on terms simple and easy to be complied with—in all these things, which are the mere expressions of love, not one of which would have been found under the government of a malignant being, we see illustrations of the sublime and glorious sentiment before us, that “God is love.” Even in this world of confusion, disorder, and darkness, we have evidence sufficient to prove that he is benevolent, but the full glory and meaning of that truth will be seen only in heaven. Meantime, let us hold on to the truth that he is love. Let us believe that he sincerely desires our good and that what seems dark to us may be designed for our welfare; amidst all the sorrows and disappointments of the present life, let us feel that our interests and destiny are in the hands of the God of love.
It is not uncommon for John to repeat an important truth. He delights to dwell on such a truth as expressed here, and who should not? What truth is there on which the mind can dwell with more pleasure; what is there that is better fitted to win the heart to holiness; what that will do more to sustain the soul in the sorrows and trials of this life? In our trials; in the darkness which is around us; in the perplexities which meet and embarrass us in regard to the Divine administration; in all that seems to us incomprehensible in this world, and in the prospect of the next, let us learn to repeat this declaration of the favored disciple, ‘God is love.’ What trials may we not bear if we feel assured of that! What dark cloud that seems to hang over our way, and to involve all things in gloom, will not be bright if from the depths of our souls we can always say, ‘God is love!’
And the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him. True Christianity is all love. (John 13:35) God is love; he has loved us; we are to love him; we are to love one another; we are to love the whole world. Heaven is filled with love, and there is nothing else there. The earth is filled with love just as far as true Christianity prevails and would be entirety if it should prevail everywhere. Love would remove all the corrupt passions, the crimes, the jealousies, the wars on the earth and would diffuse around the globe the bliss of heaven. If this actuates a man, he has the spirit of the heavenly world reigning in his soul and lives in an atmosphere of love.
 Albert Barnes, Notes on the New Testament: James to Jude, ed. Robert Frew (London: Blackie & Son, 1884–1885), 333–334.
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