Summary: Message 5 in 1 John series focusing on loving one another.
“Loving Your Brother”
The True Sign of Transformation
John lived and served day and night with Jesus for three plus years. After the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus, he recorded what Jesus said and did for us to read to this day. We would call him an eyewitness to the historical Jesus. John’s letter to Christians some years later reminded them that Jesus was real. John heard and saw and touched Him. What he saw and heard completely impacted his life. Two riveting themes run through the letter.
Intimate relationship with the God who is light and love.
The greatness and goodness of God!
The bulk of the letter expands on those two themes and explores the implications for those who want to have intimate relationship with this God.
I. GOD IS LIGHT
A. THE MESSAGE 1:5
God is light and not one speck of darkness can be found anywhere in his character.
B. The Implications 1:6-4:6
Continually walk (live) in the Light
We will continually have fellowship with one another
The blood of Jesus Christ will continually cleanse us from all sin.
Continually confess sin 7-10
1. He will forgive our sin (restore fellowship)
2. He will cleanse us (deal with what caused the sin)
3. Rely on your advocate 2:1-2
We have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ
4. Give attention to His instructions 2:3-6
John wrote how we could be sure that we really know Jesus. There are numerous degrees of knowing someone.
Awareness – acquaintance – associate – allegiance – affection or adoration
John uses the word “know” in the sense of an intimate relational knowledge characterized by adoration and affection. John employed the word “fellowship or mutual partnership in the first chapter. John revealed the major indicator that we have reached the top level of relationship with Jesus.
we know that we have come to know Him by this -- if we keep His commandments.
“Keep” -- John used a present tense verb indicating continual action; continually keep.
The meaning of the word has to do with guarding (as in guarding a prisoner), watch, keep your eyes fixed upon, keep in view, apply oneself to, pay attention, observe, be vigilant, and obey
The sure indicator of intimate relationship with Christ is close attention to the words and teaching of Christ. Jesus Himself indicated that all the commandments could be rolled into two.
Love God passionately.
Love others persistently.
John reinforced the main thought by some further explanation.
The one saying, "I have come to know Him," and not keeping His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, the love of God has truly been perfected in him.
Further, John summarizes the response of one who really knows Jesus, the one who has an intimate relationship with Jesus.
we know that we are in Him(know Him, abide in Him, have fellowship with Him by this…
the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked
God the Father and God the Son are beings of absolute light and purity.
If we want to develop and maintain an intimate level of communion, fellowship, knowledge, closeness, we must continually live in the light, confess and expose our areas of darkness, rely on the advocacy of Jesus when we fail to live in the light, give serious attention to His instruction and wishes, live as He lived.
5. Live in love for one another 2:7-11
It is not enough to live in the light. We must also live in love for God is not only light but love.
To be filled with His light is to be filled with His love. Living in His light (keeping His commandments) perfects His love in us. His love inspires our obedience. Our obedience inspires His love. Today’s message is quite clear and equally simple.
God’s light radiates God’s love. You cannot live in His light and love and not love one another.
All those who abide in the light love one another.
All those who abide in darkness hate one another.
If you love one another, you are abiding in the light.
If you hate one another, you are living in the darkness.
Our interaction with others indicates the sphere in which we walk.
Living in the light = love Living in the darkness = hate
John penned five statements in five verses related to his theme.
a) I am not writing a new commandment 2:7
Beloved, I am not writing a new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word which you have heard. 1 John 2:7
Having thundered a bit with some tough black and white statements intended to disarm the false teachers and expose the hypocrites, John tenderly reminded his readers how much he really cared for them.