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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.

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What is love?

1 John Bible Study, Part 8

1 John 3:11-24

Introduction

- 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!

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