Summary: Our command therefore for living rightly is simple: believe in Jesus Christ and love one another as He has commanded. It’s in the fruit of our lives where we see whether or not this is being lived out.
What is love?
1 John Bible Study, Part 8
- We have been born of God (v9), therefore He lives within us
-- His seed is: The word, The Holy Spirit, and the regenerate spirit we gain
-- Scripture repeatedly reminds us that we are born again
-- That we should live differently and stop acting like the world
- John’s reminder is no different than anything else we’ve read to date
-- Why? V10 … because living this way we will know one another are His
-- If we live for God, we strive for righteous things that are His
-- If we live for the devil, we strive for unholy things that are his
- Read 1 John 3:11-24 / Pray
∆ Point 1 – What love is not …
- Before we can truly understand love, John we see what love is NOT
- Turn to and read Genesis 4:1-12
- Cain … a jealous, raged-filled man who wanted self-recognition (11)
-- His own jealousy prompted him to lash out and kill Abel, his brother
-- John captures it with the words “because his own actions were evil”
-- Cain had a heart problem; a condition bent on refusing to repent
- Just as Cain hated his brother for his righteousness – the world hates us
-- We see this time and time again, in persecution that is horrific
- True Christians, those born of God, have love for their brothers
-- This is the true indication of a life changed by Christ (14)
-- We have passed from death to life by Christ’s transformation
-- APP: This allows us to love, even when actions aren’t loveable
- I admit, we may have a difficult time loving others who act against us
- Maybe even loving others who openly sin with things we disagree with
-- But, if we have love for one another – love will conquer this within us
- Love means that we stand firm on conviction, but we receive openly
-- We cannot give to someone with a closed fist; that is a weapon for destruction
-- We must be willing to open our hearts to others; even when we disagree
- APP: If we have eternal life, we will willingly love others we encounter
-- Anyone who hates (15) is already a murderer; someone wishing destruction
-- Jesus said in Matthew 5:21-22, “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. ”
- APP: Yes we will quarrel, it happens because we are not all alike
-- Does this damn us to hell? Of course not – for we still have love placed there
-- It is when we openly choose to rebel; to hate; to wish malice; we die inside
-- It is a heart issue, and hatred blackens the heart (just as happened to Cain)
- TRANS: John then shows us what love looks like
∆ Point 2 – What love is …
- John then demonstrates for us what love looks like (16-18)
• Fact: Jesus Christ laid down his love for us
• Fact: We ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters
• Fact: We even ought to give generously when others are in need
• Fact: Love is not a feeling love is an action that we must demonstrate
- This contrast between what it is not and what it is – really is remarkable
-- They don’t even belong in the same passage, comparatively speaking
-- Unless John is trying to show, in simplest terms, what the plum line is?
- Christian love is not: hatred and mean-spiritedness for those around us
- Christian love is: willingly giving all we have just as the one we call Lord did
- (We will discuss more on this on Sunday … please pray as I prepare)
- When we examine ourselves, the measuring stick is always Christ
• Do we love like He does?
• Do we share like He does?
• Do we forgive as He does?
- Our standard is always Christ; when in doubt, look to the cross!
- TRANS: So if we know what love is and is not; how shall we live?
∆ Point 3 – We live confident before God
- By our deeds and actions, others will know that we belong to the truth (19)
-- The antichrists in this church were teaching they had a special revelation
-- They claimed to have new information from God to share with all
-- APP: But they missed the simplest command – to love one another!