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Summary: How Does John Describe Love? (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: gcurley@gcurley.info)

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SERMON OUTLINE:

The Test of True Love:

love is proved…

...by sacrifice (vs 16)

...by mercy (vs 17)

...by actions (vs 18)

The Results of True Love:

assurance (vs 19-20)

answered prayer (vs 21-22)

abiding (vs 23-24)

SERMON TEXT:

Ill:

• The US Treasury Department has a special group of men;

• Whose job it is to track down counterfeiters.

• Interestingly they are not trained by spending hours examining counterfeit money.

• Rather, they study the real thing.

• Then when they encounter the counterfeit money;

• They are able to spot it straight away.

The apostle John asks a question in verses 16-18 of this letter:

• How can we tell whether a persons love is genuine or fake?

• Not only does he ask a question but he goes on to give us an answer.

• So that as Christians we can spot the counterfeit from the real thing.

(A). THE DEFINITION OF True LOVE (vs 16-18):

Ill:

Definition of jokes:

• Atom Bomb: An invention to end all inventions.

• Boss: Someone who is early when you are late and late when you are early.

• Cigarette: A pinch of tobacco rolled in paper with fire at one end and a fool on the other.

• Classic: A book which everyone has heard of, but nobody reads.

• Etc.: A sign to make others believe that you know more than you actually do.

• Experience: The name men give to their mistakes.

• Lecture: An art of transferring information from the notes of the lecturer to the notes of the students without passing through "the minds of either"

• Miser: A person who lives poor so that he can die rich.

• Office: A place where you can relax after your strenuous home life.

• Politician: One who shakes your hand before elections and your confidence after.

• Philosopher: A fool who torments himself during life, to be spoken of when dead.

• Smile: A curve that can set a lot of things straight.

• Yawn: The only time some married men ever get to open their mouth.

Question: What is Love?

Answer:

(1). Love is proved by sacrifice (verse 16).

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers”.

The Message:

“This is how we've come to understand and experience love: Christ sacrificed his life for us. This is why we ought to live sacrificially for our fellow believers, and not just be out for ourselves.”

The apostle John asks his readers a simple question:

• What is the ultimate proof that Christ loved us?

• He then went on to give his readers and us the answer:

• The proof of his love was not merely what he said, but what he did!

• He gave his life as a sacrifice on the cross.

Ill:

• A wealthy English family once invited friends to spend some time at their beautiful estate.

• The happy occasion was almost plunged into a terrible tragedy on the first day.

• Because the children went swimming,

• And one of them got into deep water and started drowning.

• Fortunately, the gardener heard the other screaming children;

• And jumped into the pool to rescue the drowning child.

• That youngster was Winston Churchill.

• His parents, deeply grateful to the gardener, asked what they could do to reward him.

• He hesitated & then said, “I wish my son could go to college someday and become a doctor.”

• Churchill’s parents replied “We will pay his way,”

Years later when Sir Winston was prime minister of England:

• He was stricken with pneumonia.

• Greatly concerned, the king summoned his best physician to treat him;

• That doctor who came was Sir Alexander Fleming (the developer of penicillin).

• He was also the son of that gardener who had saved Winston from drowning as a boy!

• Later Churchill said,

• “Rarely has one man owed his life twice to the same person.”

Now each one of us here today can say those exact same words:

• Jesus Christ is the one who created the world and therefore gave us physical life.

• And by his sacrifice on the cross, he is the one who gives us spiritual life!

• So the apostle John makes it very clear that if you want to pass the test of true love:

• It will cost you, because true love is sacrificial.

Quote Warren Wiersbe:

“Self-preservation is the first law of physical life,

but self-sacrifice is the first law of spiritual life”

(2). Love is proved by mercy (verse 17).

“If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?”

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