Summary: As Christians it is essential that we display the Mark of love.
The Mark Of A Christian
Text: 1 John 3:11-18
1. Illustration: "It is possible to be a Christian without showing the mark, but if we expect non-Christians to know that we are Christians, we must show the mark." "Love--and the unity it attests to--is the mark Christ gave Christians to wear before the world. Only with this mark may the world know that Christians are indeed Christians and that Jesus was sent by the Father." More than ever, the church needs to respond compassionately to a needy world. More than ever, we need to show the Mark.
2. Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. He also said the second is like it, love your neighbor as yourself.
3. The greatest detriment to the Gospel today is that Christians are not displaying the Mark to a dying world that needs Jesus.
4. In our text this morning the beloved Apostle reminds us about...
1. The Foundation Of Love
2. The Evidence Of Love
3. The Example Of Love
5. Let's stand together this morning as we read 1 John 3:11-18.
Proposition: As Christians it is essential that we display the Mark of love.
Transition: John begins by reminding us about...
I. The Foundation Of Love (11-12).
A. From The Beginning
1. John again reminds us of the gospel that was preached to the believers throughout Asia by the testimony of the apostles. Nothing in that message had changed since it came straight from the Lord on the night before He died.
2. He says in v. 11, "This is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another."
A. The phrase, "the massage you heard from the beginning," points back to the very beginning of the letter where John talks about the message preached by Jesus.
B. The statement in 1:5 that "God is light" is now balanced by the command to "love one another."
C. This is not a new message. It is one that we have heard from the time we started following Christ.
D. John is appealing to the basic nature of the message to emphasize its importance and truth to his audience who may have been tempted to ignore it based on bad teaching.
E. However, exactly what is John talking about when he says to love one another?
F. The problem we sometimes have is that our English language is so limited. In our language we have one word for what John is talking about, love. However, in Greek there are several different words to express what John is writing about.
G. The two major words for love in Greek are Phileo and Agape.
H. Phileo represents a deep affection for a friend, an animal, or a family member, while agapao expresses a love that does not require a comparable response.
I. As such, agapao is a fitting description of the kind of love God has shown to man in sending His Son to save all who will believe (John 3:16) (The Complete Biblical Library Greek-English Dictionary Alpha-Gamma, Under: "25).
J. Here John is using agape as the kind of love we are to show to one another. That we are to love our brothers and sisters in Chirst the same way Jesus loves us, without regard to how they treat us. It is an unconditional, because I said I would love.
K. John has already made it clear that those love their fellow Christians live in the light of Gods presence and revelation, and now he develops this basic concept.
L. Although he tells us to love one another he is referring primarily to loving those inside the church because this is where Christian love starts (Marshall, 189).
3. After telling us how we should live, John now tells us how we should not live. In v. 12 he says, "We must not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and killed his brother. And why did he kill him? Because Cain had been doing what was evil, and his brother had been doing what was righteous."
A. John likes to underline his point by contrasting it with the opposite end of the spectrum.
B. He says that Christians shouldn’t be like Cain, the man in Genesis who became the first murderer by killing his own brother.
C. John points out that Cain got his inspiration from the devil himself, who is the ultimate murderer.
D. John’s point is the failure to love leads us down the path to murder.
E. Jesus didn't say that a person who hates his brother has already committed murder in his heart, however, he speaks of hatred in the same frame of reference as the man who looks lustfully in his heart after a woman has committed adultery in his heart, and he indicated that the penalty for hatred was the same a murder.