Summary: The kind of love God expects His followers to have for one another.
“The Love of God”
I. The Measure of Love (16a)
A. Dualism of John’s writings
• Love & Hate
• Light & Dark
• Righteousness & Sin
B. There is no middle ground with John, no gray area.
C. This causes us to do a reality check here John says you either love your brother or you hate him and are guilty of murder.
D. This leaves the question how are we to love our brother?
E. “Perceive” or “know” is in the perfect tense which means a past event has caused this present state of knowing.
F. In our lives that past event is our salvation, apart from knowing Christ we can not comprehend the love of God.
G. This is also a different kind of “love”, it is much deeper than our idea of love we love everything from Grandma to puppies to fried chicken, but not all in the same way.
H. “Love” is the Gk. Word agape, this is an unconditional love; we often say “I love you if….” Or “I love you because….”, but agape says I love you period.
I. This is the type of love that God has for all of us.
1 John 4:10 (KJV)
10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Romans 5:8 (NASB95)
8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
J. Scripture is clear that love does not begin with us but it begins with God.
K. Not only does God love us first but He is also the one who seeks us out to have a relationship with Him.
Romans 3:11-12 (NASB95)
11 THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD; 12 ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS; THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD, THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE.”
John 6:44 (KJV)
44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
L. If the true measure of our love is God’s love (agape), then the true measure of God’s love is His Son Jesus Christ.
John 3:16 (KJV)
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Ephesians 2:4-7 (NASB95)
4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
II. The Manifestation of Love (16b-17)
A. John implores us to follow the example of Christ and love our brothers and sisters in Christ in the same way Chrsit showed His love to us.
B. No doubt here John was recalling the words of Jesus to His disciples on the night He was betrayed.
John 15:13 (KJV)
13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
C. If we have been truly changed and transformed by the love of Christ then this type of love should be evident in our lives.
D. This kind of love should always move us to action; God’s love moved Him to send Jesus, Jesus’ love moved Him to be obedient to the cross, our love should produce something that is real.
E. “ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”
F. John is not advocating walking around looking for an opportunity to throw ourselves in front of a bus or jumping on a live grenade although that may be easier than what is intented.
G. “Life” is the Gk. Word pysche, has the idea of laying down our heart and mind or our will.
H. It says I’m willing to set aside my pride, my wants, my desires for the betterment of my brother.
I. Simply it means putting others first!
J. Vs. 17 This kind of love also shows up in a real physical way.
K. It’s not enough to just say that I’m willing to do whatever it takes, (example: People who say if you need anything just call)
James 2:15-16 (NASB95)
15 If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?