Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of I John Chapter 4
Metaphysically Interpreting I John 4:1-6
4:1Beloved, believe not every spirit, but prove the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 4:2Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 4:3and every spirit that confesseth not Jesus is not of God: and this is the spirit of the antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it cometh; and now it is in the world already.4:4Ye are of God, my little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world. 4:5They are of the world: therefore speak they as of the world, and the world heareth them. 4:6We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he who is not of God heareth us not. By this we know the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
Metaphysically Interpreting I John 4:7-21
4:7Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is begotten of God, and knoweth God. 4:8He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 4:9Herein was the love of God manifested in us, that God hath sent his only begotten Son into the world that we might live through him. 4:10Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 4:11Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 4:12No man hath beheld God at any time: if we love one another, God abideth in us, and his love is perfected in us:
4:13hereby we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. 4:14And we have beheld and bear witness that the Father hath sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. 4:15Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God abideth in him, and he in God. 4:16And we know and have believed the love which God hath in us.
God is love; and he that abideth in love abideth in God, and God abideth in him. 4:17Herein is love made perfect with us, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as he is, even so are we in this world. 4:18There is no fear in love: but perfect love casteth out fear, because fear hath punishment; and he that feareth is not made perfect in love. 4:19We love, because he first loved us. 4:20If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, cannot love God whom he hath not seen. 4:21And this commandment have we from him, that he who loveth God love his brother also.
December 20, 1931: I John 4:7-19
What does the apostle John represent? The apostle John represents the spiritual faculty of love. He is known as the disciple whom Jesus loved, and in all his teachings and writings love is the dominant theme.
What special point does John bring out in today's lesson? God is love. His love is perfect and all the love that we express in a universal and unselfish spirit is perfect love. When we express the fullness of love as did Jesus, “his love is perfected in us.”
Give the metaphysical meaning of the 15th verse: “Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God abideth in him, and he in God”? Jesus Christ was the perfect expression of God's perfect ideal man. Whoever sees in the life and works of Jesus Christ the full expression of the Christ consciousness is awakening to the that consciousness, and becomes aware of the universal presence of Spirit, in which the race lives, moves, and has its being.
When we are expressing God’s[?] love in a divine way, shall we fear God? No. According to John, the apostle of love, “There is no fear in love: but perfect love casteth out fear.”
In today’s lesson, John explains something of the nature of love, and gives certain proofs by which we may test the sincerity of our love for God. Where does all the love that we see in manifestation originate? All love originates in God. “God is love.”
How is God love manifested in man? God love is manifested in man through the Christ or supermind. “Herein was the love of God manifested in us.”
How do we express the love of God? We express the love of God by loving one another.
December 20, 1936: I John 4:7-19
What is man’s greatest gift? It is the capacity to love others and take thought for them, because it is man's greatest advance in spiritual evolution.
What relation subsists between judgment and love? These two qualities are closely connected in man's consciousness, and must be developed together. John (love) and James (judgment) were brothers.
How can one love another if love does not arise spontaneously? One begins by entertaining good will for the other. To hold another constantly in mind with a feeling of good will for him results in one's loving him.
What is the permanent basis of peace on earth? Good will, an atmosphere of love and trust, is the only basis of permanent peace.
What is meant by the statement “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us”? This is an affirmation of the spiritual reality that forms the background and foundation of life. If love were not the nature of God, we as His children would feel no desire to love others.
“No man hath beheld God at any time.” Why does John make this statement in connection with his lesson on love? John shows that God is Spirit and that love is a spiritual quality. No one can see love, but everyone acknowledges its reality, because everyone has felt it. Likewise, God is felt in the heart, but is not seen.
How do we “bear witness that the Father hath sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world”? When we make His Spirit ours in our thoughts and actions, we bear witness to our indwelling Christ.
August 31, 1941: I John 4:7-21
What effect does love have on the heart of man? It frees him from fear and gives him confidence and self-possession (boldness in the day of judgment).
Why cannot we love God without loving our brother? Because God is in our brother, and until we can see God in manifest form in another, we cannot see absolute good, which is God in the abstract as unmanifested principle.
How does man first learn to love God? By seeing good in others or in the ideal form, where it has not yet become manifest. In the latter one learns to love what one has not yet seen. “This commandment have we from him, that he who loveth God love his brother also.”
What proof have we that God is principle, not person? The fact “no man hath beheld God at any time,” but that this invisible principle is revealed in us, when we are moved by the Spirit of the Christ to think, feel, act, and live unselfishly and helpfully, regarding others before ourselves.
June 20, 1943: I John 4:15-17
Much talk makes for small performance. To love “in deed and in truth,” is better than to love merely in word or with the tongue. To follow principle, regardless of consequences and even without considering consequences, and to do right even when it works to our apparent disadvantage, is the perfect expression of love. Then we “have boldness in the day of judgment.” Then we have no fear that the course we choose may prove the wrong one. We trust the Christ wisdom to show us the way, and we follow it wholeheartedly and confidently knowing that all things work together for good.
– UNITY magazine.
May 5, 1946: I John 4:7-8
What mars personal love? The narrowness of personality.
Is the appeal to “Let us love one another” made to more than love? Yes, it is made to reason and common sense also. To love one another makes for a feeling of brotherhood and good will, and these contribute to the wellbeing of society as well as of the individual.
November 30, 1947: I John 4:15-21
Why does our consciousness of God depend on our conviction that Jesus is the Son of God? Jesus represents God’s idea of man in expression. The Christ is the perfect idea man, the real self of all men. Jesus Christ is this Christ self brought forth into perfect expression. As we accept the Christ as the real self of all men, our understanding is quickened to see the real self in others and in ourselves. Seeing the real self helps make us God conscious.
Who is capable of expressing God-likeness? Those who become aware of God-likeness in others are able, because of this awareness to express it themselves.
How do we gain confidence in the divine nature in ourselves? By knowing or recognizing in ourselves the love that fills the heart with joy and peace, we gain confidence in our divine nature.
What fear does divine love remove from us? The fear that we may be presumptuous in claiming divine sonship, whereby we abide in God and God abides in us. When we become conscious of God as the motivating power of our life, we lose this fear completely.
What is eternal life? The life that is lived in the Christ consciousness.
Can both love and hate be in our heart at the same time? No. Where there is hate there is no room for love; and where there is love, there is no room for hate. Neither can we express the Christ life, when we try to entertain love for one person and hatred for another at the same time.
What is the test of divine love? The keeping of the commandment to love God and our neighbor. “This is love, that we should walk after his commandments.”
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 12-18-2013