1 John 4:8 New American Standard Bible 8 The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
To know God is to walk in His love and His grace. Those who do not walk in love can’t claim to know God. The Christian faith is meant to be lived out on a daily basis. It is not merely head knowledge about bible verses and facts. To know God is to encounter Him and experience Him.
Many churches are spiritually dead today because people have never encountered the Living God. Many churches today are loveless because to be able to love as Jesus taught, one must know Him, and one must walk with Him.
In this passage John says that God is love. Many would want to turn this around in our culture and say love is God. But what the world sees as love is not the love of God. What the world presents as love is often based on feelings and emotions and often what they claim they love is what makes them feel good. The love that the world claims is self-centered, shallow, and not true love.
True love is only found in God because He is love. It is His very nature. His agape love that is sacrificial and based on choice is true love. None of us deserve the love of God, but God in His mercy gave His only begotten Son to save us from our sins. None of us deserve the love that Jesus has for us, but Jesus chose the cross. Jesus chose the nails, Jesus chose the crown of thorns, Jesus chose the scourging. All because of His love for us.
If we truly know Him as the scripture’s states, we will naturally walk in His love. His character and nature will fill us and be produced within us. His very life will live within us and as Paul says it will no longer be us who live, but Christ will live within us (Gal 2:20).