“And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him” (1 John 4:16).
Written to Christians surrounded by the false teaching of the Gnostics, this passage gives a passionate presentation of the love relationship we are to have with God. He loves us because He is love, and we are to abide in Him if we truly love Him.
The Gnostics aggressively promoted the idea that true Christianity needed far more than the gospel Jesus offered if one wanted to find God. The gospel was okay, but it just wasn’t enough; thus, John writes this message to cultivate the idea that the Gnostics are wrong.
The gracious, sacrificial love of God, even for sinful mankind, underlies all that He has done for us, even though our finite minds cannot fully understand that kind of love.
The highest revelation and the most complete proof of that love is the offer of redemption. That offer stands today, as it has through the past two thousand years, just waiting for us to reciprocate in kind.