1 John 4:19
KJV - 19 We love him, because he first loved us.
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In this verse, John is pointing out that all humans, in their "natural" (that is, sinful), unsaved condition are in a state of enmity toward God, and are incapable of either abiding in His presence, or offering Him works of righteousness that He will find acceptable (Isaiah 64:6). Instead, God out of pure grace (undeserved love and mercy) toward fallen humanity made eternal fellowship with Him once again possible by becoming human Himself in the person of Jesus Christ; living the sinless life of perfect obedience to God of which none of us are capable; undergoing in our place the penalty (death and eternal separation from God) that all humans justly deserve; and then rising from the dead to live eternally as evidence that God had found His substitutionary payment to be acceptable. All those who then place their faith in Jesus' death and resurrection (rather than in anything that they have done or can do) to make themselves acceptable in God's sight have Jesus' perfect righteousness imputed to them by God. In response to this tremendous love that God showed us (before any of us were capable of loving Him), Christians therefore can now offer in joy and gratitude to God a love that God will accept, because it is a love made clean by faith in Christ and His righteousness.
I'm glad you asked. We see in 1st.John 4:19 (Life Application Bible Notes) God's love is the source of all human love, and it spreads like fire. In loving his children, he kindles a flame in their hearts. In turn, they love others, who are warmed by God's love through them. (vv.20-21) But the real test of our love for God is how we treat the people right in front of us: our family members, and fellow believers. We cannot truly love God while neglecting to love those who are created in his image.
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