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Summary: God's love and ours. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: gcurley@gcurley.info)

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Reading: 1 John chapter 4 verses 7-16:

Ill:

• An elderly man stopped at a hearing aid centre and asked about prices.

• The salesman said “We have them from £25,000 down to £1.50,”

• “What’s the £25,000 one like?”

• The salesman said “Well it translates three languages.”

• “And what about the one for £1.50?”

• “It’s this button attached to a string,” said the salesman, pushing it across the counter.

• “How does it work?”

• “It doesn’t” replied the salesman said;

• “But if you put the button in your ear and the string in your pocket,

• You’ll be surprised how loud people talk!”

The apostle John wants his readers to emphasise something important to his readers:

• He will not shout loudly but he will repeat himself; until he is understood!

• In fact for the third time in this short letter John wants us to consider the subject of love!

• This does not mean John has run out of things to say;

• And has just resorted to repeating himself.

• It means……… that the Holy Spirit, who inspired John,

• Will present the subject once more, from a deeper point of view.

Ill:

• John’s letter has been called a spiritual staircase;

• Always revolving around the same centre.

• Through out this letter John keeps returning to his favourite three topics;

• Love, obedience and truth.

• His repetition is not laziness or lack of new things to say;

• In fact the opposite, each time he returns he is teaching us something new.

e.g.

In chapters one and two of this letter the emphasis is on ‘Fellowship’;

• A Christian who is in fellowship with God;

• Will naturally want fellowship with other Christians.

e.g.

In chapter 3 the emphasis has been ‘Sonship’;

• Because every Christian is ‘Born of God’ or ‘children of God’.

• Because we are ‘Of God’ we should be ‘Like God’.

• In chapters 1&2; love for other Christians is a matter of light or darkness;

• In chapter 3 love for other Christians is a matter of life or death.

Now in chapter 4 verses 7-16:

• Love for other Christians is actually the evidence that you are saved.

• That you know God!

• John is going to remind us again;

• That love is the most important ingredient of the Christians life.

• Love is part of the very being and nature of God.

• If we are united to God through faith in Christ, we share His nature.

• And since His nature is love,

• Love is the test of the reality of our spiritual life.

Ill:

• A navigator depends on a compass to help him determine his course.

• A compass always gives direction by pointing north.

• It is designed to respond to the magnetic field that is part of the earth's makeup.

• The compass is responsive to the nature of the earth.

So with Christian love:

• The nature of God is love.

• And a person who knows God and has been born of God will respond to God's nature.

• As a compass naturally points north,

• A Christian will naturally practice love because love is the nature of God.

Ill:

• A preacher was impressing upon his congregation;

• The difference between being ordered to love God’s word and actually doing it.

• He said suppose in England there is a law stating a woman must take care of her child.

• So, an inspector suddenly arrives one day at the home of a new mother.

• And he says “Are you taking care of your baby?

• The Law says you have to.”

• The woman, tenderly holding her baby, would reply,

• “I don’t need a law to make me take care of my baby.”

• Why? Because it is natural for her to love her baby!

• She feeds him, holds him, changes him, all because she loves him.

In the same way:

• It should be a natural thing for the Christian to love other people;

• And John will show us why in this passage.

THREE TIMES, IN THIS SECTION,

• John encourages us to love one another (verses 7, 11 & 12).

• He supports these admonitions by giving us three foundational facts about God.

(A). What God Is: "God Is Love" (vs 7-8):

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.

8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

(1). Where love originates.

This is the third of three great expressions of God’s nature in John's writings:

• "God is spirit" (John’s Gospel chapter 4 verse 24);

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