Sermons

Summary: 'The test of true Love' – 1 John chapter 3 verses 11-24 - sermon by Gordon Curley (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: gcurley@gcurley.info)

SERMON OUTLINE:

(1). Cain: The Lack of Brotherly Love (vs 12-15)

(2). Jesus: The Definition of Brotherly Love (vs 16-18)

(3). Confidence: The Blessing of Brotherly Love (vs 19-24):

SERMON BODY:

Quote: Robert Orben:

“Who can ever forget Winston Churchill’s immortal words: "We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills."

It sounds exactly like our family holidays.”

Quote:

“You can choose your friends, but you are stuck with your family!”

• Now that may be true, but that attitude is not good enough for God’s people,

• He wants us to not just ‘put up’ with each other,

• He wants us to develop a genuine concern and love for each other.

Note:

• This letter of First John has been compared to a spiral staircase,

• Because you keep going around the same three themes again and again and again.

• Those three themes are: love, obedience and truth.

• Now remember that the apostle John is not merely repeating himself,

• Although repetition is a good teaching aid.

• Notice each time he returns to one of these themes he gives it a new twist, a new insight.

• e.g., In Chapter 2 verses 7-11 the emphasis regarding love is on fellowship.

• The outward evidence that Christians are “Walking in the light.”

• Is that they demonstrate their unity, by their love for other Christians.

• e.g., In chapter 3 the emphasis regarding love is on relationship.

• The outward evidence that we are “brothers & sisters” (vs 13,15,16 & 17)

• Is demonstrate their by the fact we have a genuine love for one another.

• e.g., In Chapter 2 we are told that loving other Christians,

• Is a matter of “light and darkness” (vs 7-11).

• e.g., In chapter 3 we are told that loving other Christians,

• Is a matter of “life and death” (vs 14).

Cast your mind back to your last week’s study:

• In verse 10 the apostle John grouped mankind into two different groups,

• Two different families.

• One group is the family of God,

• And the other group are the children of the devil.

• “This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are.”

• Each family has a different mission or purpose statement,

• Each family has a different set of core values,

• Each family has a different way at looking at life’s events,

• Each family has a different way of how they view genuine love.

The illustrate those two families, the apostle John uses two examples in verses 12-18,

• One negative example (Cain) and one positive example (Jesus).

• So, let’s look at them.

(1). Cain: The Lack of Brotherly Love (vs 12-15)

“Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brothers were righteous. Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death.

Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.”

• A person's life shows a person's heart.

• And the apostle John makes a contrast between the children of the devil.

• And true Christians (Children of God),

• The apostle says you can identify them by their character, their attitudes, their actions.

• To illustrate that truth, the apostle John goes back to the very first family on earth,

• Adam and Eve were the first parents and Cain and Abel their first two children.

• (Genesis chapter 4).

Now look closely at verse 12.

• First, we are given a clear strong warning,

• “Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother.”

• Second, we are asked a rhetorical question:

• “And why did he murder him?”

• Third, we are given an answer that summarises Cain’s state,

• “Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous.”

Note:

• It is tragic that the first baby ever born (Cain) turns out to be a murder,

• And the second baby born (Abel) turns out to be the murder’s victim!

• When sin entered the world through one mans (Adam) disobedience,

• It did not take long to evidence its ugly influence in the world!

• The story of Cain and Abel is simple,

• Two people bring an offering to God, one is accepted and the other is rejected.

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