Summary: Another evidence that gives us the assurance of our salvation is found in our Christian Love. A continuation of our study of the assurance of salvation in 1 John.
“BLESSED ASSURANCE” – Evidence #4 – ‘Christian Love’
INTRODUCTION: We continue in our series on “The Assurance of Salvation”.
In our past messages, we have seen:
o You can’t be effective as a Christian without the assurance of salvation.
o EVIDENCE #1 - Intimacy with Christ is an evidence of salvation.
o EVIDENCE #2 - How you deal with sin in your life gives assurance of salvation.
o EVIDENCE #3 - Obedience to Christ is an evidence of salvation.
NOW … as we continue in our study of I John, we will see another EVIDENCE of salvation … “Christian Love”.
One of the characteristics of a true, born-again believer, is a display of selfless love toward other believers. This gives us the ASSURANCE of our salvation.
When you were saved, the love of God was poured out into your heart through the Holy Spirit. Romans 5:5 – “And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Jesus lives within you … and NOW you have the CAPACITY to love, and the DESIRE to love others as never before.
EX.: Saul of Tarsus … he hated Christians and everything they stood for. His mission (which he believed was God-given) was to stamp out Christianity, even if it meant killing Christians. HOWEVER, after his conversion, the love of Christ so filled his heart that he was willing to risk his very life to lead people to Christ. The Apostle Paul couldn’t help loving Christians … because Jesus loved them … and Jesus lived within him.
I. LOVE IS COMMANDED – 1 John 2:7-8
God COMMANDS us to love one another.
Listen to what Jesus had to say:
o John 13:34-35 - "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."
o John 15:12-13 - "This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.  "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”
WHY DOES A COMMANDMENT TO LOVE SEEM SO FOREIGN TO US?
The love that Jesus talks about here is MORE than just a warm, fuzzy FEELING … it is a COMMANDMENT from God. If it is COMMANDED, that makes LOVE a CHOICE … an act of OBEDIENCE. It’s not just an EMOTION … it’s an OBLIGATION we have to God.
We are to love others whether we FEEL like it or not. Some people are EASIER to love than others … AMEN? “Some Christians are like porcupines … they’ve got a few good points, but they’re hard to get close to!”
WHY IS IT SO HARD TO LOVE SOME PEOPLE … EVEN CHRISTIANS?
We exhibit REAL LOVE when we get out of our comfort zone, and love the UNLOVELY … those who are hard to love and don’t necessarily love us in return.
Jesus raised the old standard of love to a higher level. The “Old Commandment” (Lev. 19:18) says that we are to “love thy neighbor as thyself”. Jesus raises the standard and gives us a “New Commandment” … to love others as He loves us … SACRIFICIALLY.
Jesus loved those who didn’t love Him. When Jesus looked down from the cross at those who hated Him and had succeeded in having Him killed, He cried out “Father, forgive them, for they know no what they do”. He didn’t have any warm fuzzy feelings for them. It was an act of the WILL … a CHOICE. We are COMMANDED to love others as Christ loved.
We HAVE to be COMMANDED … otherwise we would love ONLY if the FEELING was there. We would ONLY love the loving … the lovely … those who were easy to love … those who loved us in return.
II. LOVE IS DEMONSTRATED – 1 John 2:9-11
If you are truly born-again, you ARE going to love other Christians. If you SAY you are a Christian, but don’t love other Christians, you are spiritually blind … walking in darkness … LOST. If Jesus lives within you, His love WILL shine through.
John 13:35 - "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."
Paul gives us the characteristics of this love of Christ within us … 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a – all turn.
John tells us that you can determine the spiritual state of a person by looking at their LOVE … or LACK thereof. It is an EVIDENCE of their salvation.
1 John 3:10, 14-15
Where there is no super-natural love of Christ in us … there is no evidence of Christ within us.