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Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

1 John 4

Verses 1-21

Fellowship with God in Love

1. Try the spirits] RV ’Prove the spirits.’ The verb is used of testing metals.

2, 3. See on 2 John 1:7.

3. Confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh] RV ’confesseth not Jesus.’

4. He that is in the world] the Devil: cp. 1 John 3:10; John 8:44; John 12:31.

5. They] the false prophets.

6. We] the Christian teachers.

8. God is love] the third fundamental maxim (see Intro.). Love is not merely an attribute of God, it is His very Being. Hence to be without love is to be without God: cp. 1 John 4:16.

9. See John 3:16.

11. We ought also] RV ’we also ought.’

12. Hath seen God] RV ’hath beheld God.’ His love] i.e. our love to Him. If we love one another we have proof both of His presence with us and of our love to Him.

17. Herein is our love made perfect] RV ’herein is love made perfect with us,’ i.e. in the double communion spoken of in the preceding v. As he is, so are we] We, as we are in this world, are like Christ, who shares our human nature. The sense of likeness to Him gives us confidence.

18. No fear in love] not the rightful awe which pertains to reverence, but servile or guilty fear.

19. We love him] RV ’we love.’ Possibly the verb should be rendered ’let us love.’

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on 1 John 4". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.