Without a doubt, John is the apostle of love. Love is all over his letters and gospel. Just look back a few days to the post for 1 John 4. Today, in a new letter from the “Elder” John to an unnamed church personified as the “Chosen Lady and her children” (v.1), John reminds us that at its core Christianity is all about love, but the commandment to “love one another” is no new commandment at all. This has been a foundational message from God, since the beginning.
And now, dear Lady, I ask you, not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but the one we had from the very beginning, that we should love one another. This is love: that we should behave in accordance with his commandments. (vv.5-6a)
God’s love is not the sentimental love of emotion. It is the love of sacrificial action.