Summary: Living out our faith
Loving In Deed and Truth
1st John 3:13 – 3:24
a. Turn with me in your Bibles to 1st John, Chapter 3, and verse 13.
b. Tonight we are going to look at the Book of First John, chapter three, verses 13 through 24, eleven verses that give us some guidance on how we live our lives. It has been said that the epistle of 1st John is like a spiral staircase and that John, throughout the letter keeps returning to these three themes: Love, Obedience, and Truth. Over the past several fellowships, we have looked at these subjects in depth. It may seem like John is just going back again to cover Love and truth in these eleven verses. But, John does not just re-hash the same subjects, as we will see tonight. He gives us yet more insight and has a different angle than we saw in chapter two.
c. Follow along with me starting in verse 13.
d. 13 Do not be surprised, brothers, if the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed from death to life because we love our brothers. The one who does not love remains in death. 15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him. 16 This is how we have come to know love: He laid down His life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers. 17 If anyone has this world’s goods and sees his brother in need but shuts off his compassion from him--how can God’s love reside in him? 18 Little children, we must not love in word or speech, but in deed and truth; 19 that is how we will know we are of the truth, and will convince our hearts in His presence, 20 because if our hearts condemn us, God is greater than our hearts and knows all things. 21 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us we have confidence before God, 22 and can receive whatever we ask from Him because we keep His commands and do what is pleasing in His sight. 23 Now this is His command: that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another as He commanded us. 24 The one who keeps His commands remains in Him, and He in him. And the way we know that He remains in us is from the Spirit He has given us.
e. The main idea of this passage is that we, as human beings can live our lives on three different levels. The first is hatred, which is of the world and contrary to God’s Word. The second is indifference, which is of the flesh and as we will see, as Christians, is less than God wants for us. Lastly, there is Christian Love, which is how we should live as Christians.
f. Tonight, we will look at all three of these in depth as we explore these three levels. As I thought about these three, while preparing for this message I thought about what really drives us to hate, or be indifferent, or to love, and really it all boils down to our attitude. I ran across a small quote from Chuck Swindoll. He says:
a. "The Longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church ... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have and that is our attitude... I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you...we are in charge of our attitudes."
b. How true this is. As I said earlier, we are going to look at three levels on which we can live our lives. Three attitudes, if you will – How we approach life. The first attitude is hatred. John looks at this in depth in verses 13 through 15. This ties in with verses 11 and 12 that we looked at last time, which covered Cain and his hatred of his brother Abel. Verse 13 tells us :