Summary: In this sermon, we will speak of God, the incarnated Word who lovingly laid down his life for us; that we might lay down our lives for the brethren. This lesson deals with faith, discipleship and brotherly love.
1. His Great Love Declared
2. His Great Love Demonstrated
3. His Great Love Duplicated
1. In our lesson today we will be discussing the theme: “A Testimony of His Great Love.” This is love “indescribable, incomprehensible and past finding out.” This love has been “declared, demonstrated and requires our duplication.” John defines it by writing: “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren,” 1 John 3:16. This is a compelling love that began with God’s giving of His Son; Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection; and the saints’ willingness to “follow in his footsteps” by “laying down their lives for each other,” 1 Peter 2:21.
2. First, we will discuss how His great love is declared. John writes: “Greater love hath no man than this; that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if you do whatsoever I command you,” John 15:13-14. John witnessed our Lord’s testimony of this event; and later wrote of it for our reading and belief, regarding the death of Christ. That we through hearing and reading might “hereby perceive (know and understand) the love of God,” 1 John 3:16a.
3. Secondly, we will notice how His great love is demonstrated. John again writes: “For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son…,” John 3:16. John not only heard the declaration of Christ; but he witnessed the demonstration of the sacrifice of Christ, His death on the cross for the sins of the world. Christ gave His life as a demonstration of His great love, that all might have eternal life.
4. Lastly, we will consider how His great love is to be duplicated. John concludes our text by saying: “and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren,” 1 John 3:16. The Apostle John further challenges us that we should “follow in His footsteps,” by our willingness to “lay down our lives for the brethren.” This was a time of trial and persecution for the saints. Like the martyr Stephen, when he laid down his life for the church, as he preached Christ to the Jews. This kind of love forgives others even at the moment of death. With this introduction, let’s consider, "His great love declared."
BODY OF LESSON
I HIS GREAT LOVE DECLARED
A. Hereby perceive we the love of God. One must rightfully ask: “how did John arrive at this conclusion?” To understand this, let’s consider the word “perceive.” The Greek word here is “ginosko,” which means: “to learn, to know, come to know, to get knowledge of, or to perceive." Note: For one to be able to provide testimony of a thing, it is necessary that they have either seen or heard of the thing them self. Hear your bible:
1. Notice, Jesus: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, we speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness,” John 3:11. To give testimony one must bear witness, of what they have seen or heard. Illustrate: Testimony in court, does not allow for “hear say.”