Summary: John has once again returned to the main theme of this epistle/sermon – love, the sum of righteousness and the test of salvation! John never stray too far from this theme, and yet once again provides us with a rich bounty of biblical truth meant to guid
CAN’T GET AWAY FROM LOVE
INTRODUCTION: John has once again returned to the main theme of this epistle/sermon – love, the sum of righteousness and the test of salvation! John never stray too far from this theme, and yet once again provides us with a rich bounty of biblical truth meant to guide our lives in the real world.
PROPOSITION: if you ain’t got love, you ain’t got nothin’!
I LOVE IS THE CENTRAL WHEEL OF MY SPIRITUAL LINEAGE – 4:7-8
A God is the embodiment of Love
1 God is FUNDAMENTALLY love, not loving
a Part of His Nature
b Part of His essence
B All love comes from God
1 Revealed in God’s desire to regenerate us
2 Revealed in God’s desire for continued fellowship with us.
C The presence of love indicates
1 That we have known God EXPERIENTIALLY
2 That we have known God SPIRITUALLY
3 That we know god HABITUALLY
D The absence of love indicates
1 Our deficiency of God
2 Our ignorance of the nature of God
a Not just God is love
b Love is God
II LOVE IS AN ACTIVE MODEL FOR THE CHRISTIAN – 4:9-12
A God directed a demonstration of his love towards us by sending Christ
1 God’s love is revealed in the believer by sending Jesus
2 God’s love is revealed through the believer by sharing Christ
B God act of self-initiated love is the model for the Christian community
1 God was the sole initiator
2 God did what we could not do
3 No reason for us not to love considering that God loved us unconditionally
a None of us will ever do to each other what we did to God
C How God is known
1 God is not known by sight
2 God is known by love
3 We experience the love of God by salvation
D God love in us reaches its proper maturity when it is seen in our love towards others
1 God has appointed each of us to be the visible representation of his love
III LOVE IS MEANT TO BE RESIDENTIAL IN OUR LIVES – 4:13-16
A Love is in us ONLY if God is in us!
B The presence of God in us is the Spirit of God in us!
1 John 3:24 Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.
1 The natural progression of God’s Spirit on us is to produce fruit
2 The first fruit of the Spirit that should be evident according to Scripture is love!
THE THREE LEGGED STOOL OF ASSURANCE
Leg #1 – our confession of Christ
Leg #2 – The presence of the Spirit
Leg #3 – Out love for other believers
IF YOU ARE MISSING ONE LEG, YOUR STOOL DOES NOT WORK – IF YOU ARE MISSING ONE LEG, YOUR ASSURANCE IS NOT COMPLETE!
C God meant His love to be the foundation of our lives
1 God meant us to know his love in our hearts
2 God meant us to rely on His love in our walk
a To trust it
b To entrust
IV LOVE UNLEASHES US FROM FEAR – 4:17-18
A A complete love brings confidence when God judges
1 Love allows us to act as Jesus did in this world
2 To be in the world, but not of the world
B An unloving Christian is NOT like his Lord
1 He has reason to fear
C To fear God’s judgment is a sure sign that we have not understood God’s love
1 Failure to understand God’s love brings a fear of punishment
D God’s love was designed to deliver me from fear
1 The death of Christ was designed to deliver me from fear
Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Hebrews 2:14-15 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death--that is, the devil-- 15and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.
E If we love God we will do what God wishes us to do
1 If I really love God there is no need to fear Him
2 If I am really acting as he has instructed me to act there is no reason to fear Him!
3 If we do not love the visible representations of God’s love that we see, how can we love God who we do not see