He that loveth not
knoweth not God;
for God is love.
1 John 4:8 RV
I have had a very strange relationship with 1 John. I have read the letter many times, and have read quite a bit about it's authorship problems, it's language and structure. Yet, it's true nature only reveals itself after being allowed to wander into one's life.
I recently described the Gospel of John as having "a focusing effect" on my faith. This letter has had a different effect. It appears from nowhere into reality. Where the Gospel truly reveals Jesus as the Son of God, the letter suggest what to do with that knowledge. It amplifies, extends, teaches, all with a gentle fervency that is disarming. The "spiral" effect of the authors writing seems to offer a way to view differing perspectives on one's current situation.
There is a mystical quality that permeates the writing. Consider:
the kingdom of God is within you.
Luke 17:21 RV
In 1 John, it is God that dwells within, but the journey toward this state is explained and expanded.
God is love;
and he that abideth in love
abideth in God,
and God abideth in him.
1 John 4:16 RV
In Luke, Jesus informs the Pharisees of where God is.
1 John gives a little map.