Summary: What can we learn from the love of Christ?
Love others, because God loves you!
(Scriptures are from the 'God's Word' translation)
If we go back to verse 12 in this chapter we find a warning: “Don’t be like Cain. He was a child of the evil one, and murdered his brother.”
• In our text this evening, we find the great contrast between the love that abides in a Christians, and the hate abides in those still in the world.
• Cain, we are told, was filled with that hatred, which resulted in a murderous spirit ~ and we are told, that we should not be surprised that that murderous spirit still survives in the hearts, minds and spirits of mankind today.
Then John reverts to his favorite theme—love.
• He basically says, "As for us, we have learned a different lesson. We have come to know the love of God, who is the supreme love in the universe.
• And the lesson it has taught us is that we ought to love as God loves. Christ gave His life for us: that means we must give our lives for other believers."
• This is Divine Love ~ and it’s a love that can’t be taught to us in a book, or by teachers, but by the most stupendous act of self-sacrifice that was possible either in heaven or on earth.
• As a result, is if anyone who knows the love of Christ can refuse to help a needy brother or sister, it is too that no love is in that person.
• As Christians, we are commanded to show, just like God has shown us that we cannot love merely in words, but there must be through actions.
I). SO LET’S LOOK AT LOVE’S GREATEST ACT: “Christ gave His life for us.”
A). The point here is that, by what God has done for us, we have come to learn supreme love.
• It’s a love that outshines all other kids of love that there is;
• It’s a love that is not only unique, but is as a model of how we are to love!
B). Let me point out some unique features of that love:
1. That love come from the Highest Source: God.
2. God channeled His love through His only Son Jesus.
3. That love was shown in Christ giving His life for us!
4. That love was given for us as the payment "propitiation" (1Jn_2:2) for our sins!
5. Here’s one of the strangest things about that love: It was given to us, Romans 5:8 says, "While we were still sinners".
6. It’s a love that was given for the sins of the whole world" ~ for “everyone who believes in Him.”
7. So God’s intent in loving us was to save us from sin; to purify us; and to remove forever the one stumbling-block that keeps us from a relationship with Him!
C). This is love. This is the supreme lesson taught us in Christ ~ that God’s love is infinite, eternal, boundless, and gushing out for all who will accept it!
II. SO WHAT DO WE NEED TO LEARN FROM LOVE’S GREATEST ACT?
A). The love of God means little or nothing to us if we don’t learn something from it: if it doesn’t change or affect us in some way. I want to suggest to you that there are five things we need to learn from the love of God:
1). It teaches new truth about mankind ~ That we are very precious in the eyes of God.
• Heaven itself has led the way, and the highest Being in the universe finds His greatest glory in stooping down to earth to redeem His creation and to make them His children!
2). It creates a new duty: that giving our lives for others.
• What do we immediately think of when we read that we are to give our life for someone else? Dying!
• And that may very well be a part of our giving, but there’s more to it than that:
• When I got married, I gave my life to my wife ~ when I took on the responsibility of having children, I gave my life for my girls.
• In other words ~ they became more important to me and I am to me!
• We could call it a measure of self-devotion: How much are we to give of ourselves, or to devote ourselves to other believers? All the way!
3). God’s love becomes a new inspiration in us!
• This is definitely proven in the lives of the apostles and the early church.
• These cowardly disciples and timid believers went out and changed the world!
4). God’s love gives us new test of character.
• I think you’ll agree with me when I say that God’s love is a loyal love ~ He loves us no matter what.