Summary: A sign that I am walking with God is that I have a love for my brother’s and sister’s in Christ
Caricatures: Drawn with similarities to the real thing but distorted(Nose, eyebrows, eyes, mouth, hair, ears). Rarely are they mistaken for the real thing, except in Christianity. The work of the devil is always to twist and distort the truth into something close but far enough away to be of no value.
1. Caricature that Christianity is primarily a
religion concerned about the behavior of men while
the real picture is that it is not so much behavior
as it is being. Character & behavior change as a
result of our being new creatures in Christ.
2. Caricature that Christianity has a negative
attitude towards life: don’t do that, stop doing
that while the genuine article is that in a
relationship with Jesus Christ we discover the
secret to the fullest, freest, most satisfying life
that could possibly be experienced.
3. Caricature that Christianity is a mere collection
of myths, legends, and stories gathered around the
figure of Jesus Christ but the real truth is that
the actions of God in history can be tested by the
normal means of testing evidence and they form a
sold ground of faith.
4. Caricature that the goal of Christianity is a
heaven filled with starchy, stiff, hymn singing
saints while the real truth is the effect it has on
our lives now.
All these distortions and others have been effective in keeping us from what the Apostle John is most concerned about as he writes: That we are missing out on the life that God desires for us. Koinonia - Real Fellowship.
John’s epistle is written to warn us of the things we allow into our lives that build barriers between our experience and this kind of life.
a. Maintaining fellowship with Jesus Christ is the secret to living the abundant Christian life.
Verse 5 ’in him has the love of God been truly perfected’ This is the supreme goal of the Christian life. It is what John describes in verses 7-11.
Word are like coins, they can be in circulation for such a long time that the begin to wear out. ’I love my wife…..I love the Rams(I love you more than hocky!)….I love Strawberry Pie…..I love, l love….. Greeks would have bristled at the idea of using the same word to express such a deep relationship being used to express such a trivial one. Reason they had 5 different words for love.
a. Goal of our walk with Christ is to live in perfected love. An Agape attitude towards others. It is an evidence our our walking in Real Fellowship with Christ.
Fellowship with God means keeping God’s Great Command (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. (8) On the other hand, I am writing a new commandment to you, which is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true Light is already shining.
(If you are not confused at this point then let me help to confuse you)
1. I am not writing a new commandment to you…..on the other hand, I am writing a new commandment to you… Strange contradiction.
a. John says this is an old commandment which is really a new commandment?
R.G. LEE ’This commandment was old when the pyramids were new’
b. This is the commandment to love others: It is as old as the Pentateuch(5 books of Moses) Leviticus 19:18 You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
1) Jesus reminded the disciples of this principle when they asked what was the greatest commandment of all(He threw this one is for free)
MT 22:36-40 Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law? And He said to him, ’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. ANNNNNND The second is like it,(This is like loving God) ’You shall love your neighbor as yourself’(Done it to the least of these). On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.(You cannot love God without loving one another!)
c. QUESTION: How is this also a new commandment?
1. In upper room at Last Supper Jesus says in JN 13:34 ’So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other.(How is that new?) Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Then he pushes it farther by adding in Verse 35 ’By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another’.
2. It is not easy to love one another: Christians are some of the hardest people to love. Hard to love family. My brothers were the hardest people on this earth to love, mean as snakes, only thing they were more than mean was ugly. They had a need right now, I would sell my car to help(easy to say when you own a Geo with engine noise)