Summary: Do We Love the Brethren? 1John 3.14-20

Introduction: Love In Action October 24, 1996

A sophmore sent a love letter to his girlfriend. It read: “I’d climb the highest mountain, sail the widest ocean, cross the hottest desert just to see you. P.S.—I’ll be over Saturday night if it doesn’t rain.”

We chuckle at his fickleness, but feel bad for the girl who, like all of us, longs for love in action, not empty promises.

John said that Jesus Christ showed us what true love is when “He laid down His life for us.” But John continued, “We also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1 John. 3:16).

The Greek word used for love in 1 John 3:16 is agape. This kind of love is characterized by sacrifice. It is a love based on the will, not on emotions. It’s not a feeling subject to the whims of our convenience. It is a decision to love another despite the cost.

Laying down our lives for others usually doesn’t mean dying. Often it costs little more than stopping what we’re doing and entering someone’s world of need. I once felt prompted by the Holy Spirit to stop scrubbing my kitchen floor to visit a neighbor. She later accepted Christ, in part due to the friendship we had established during that visit.

Don’t miss small opportunities to love by waiting for big ones. With agape love, even small acts of love are big.

Source: Joanie Yoder, Our Daily Bread

I. We Know We Have Life 14-15

14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death.

15 Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

A. Why Does John Put a Tag On Those Who Possess Eternal Life?

1. We know we have passed from death to life

2. Isn’t this kind of the opposite of what naturally occurs?

a. You ‘member! You are born then you die!

b. But John says we are dead then we live

Ephesians 2 coming to mind?)

3. But John puts two criteria on those who have passed from death to life.

a. We love the brethren.

b. If we hate the brethren, we are murderers and plummeting straight to Hell!

B. Why Would John Say This And Where Does It Come From?

1. You wouldn’t be surprised if I said it came from Jesus right?

a. I know! I know!

b. Paul said,

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,

2 Timothy 3:16

2. But what if these criteria came straight from the mouth of Jesus?

3. Jesus said a couple of interesting things in the Upper Room Discourse.

By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.

John 13:35

By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

John 15:8

4. Then the Apostle join in just before Jesus’ Great High Priestly Prayer – John 17

Now we are sure that You know all things, and have no need that anyone should question You. By this we believe that You came forth from God.

John 16:30

a. They might have actually believed this when they said it.

b. But as soon as Jesus was arrest, they all deserted him – with the exception of John.

C. Application To The Church

1. We know we have eternal life if

a. We love our brothers and sisters in the church…

b. If we act ugly to our brothers and sisters in the church…

2. If you want to argue with someone about this…?

II. We Know We Have Love

16 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

A. We Know Love Because He Is Love

1. He did not come to be served

just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.

Matthew 20:28

2. He gave his life for mine

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.

John 10:11

3. If you love it you lose it

He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

John 12:2

B. We Show Love Because He Is Love

1. Lay down our lives in service toward one another.

2. Think about the parable of the talents

a. The Lord gave them talents first.

b. Then he required an accounting of their talents

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