Summary: What happens when our hearts comdemn us and what can we do about it?
Text: 1 John 3:11-24
Title: When our hearts condemn us
John tells us that the oldest message in the world is the message “We should love one another.” And the first person in the world to disobey that message was Cain who we are told in verse 12 “belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother” And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous.”
What relevance has something Cain did thousands of years ago for us today?
Cain is a representation of the world. Because John immediately follows up in verse 13 with the warning, “Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you.” If Cain hated his brother for no good reason then don’t be surprised if the world hates you for no good reason.
Now in this part of the world this is a rare experience but in many other parts of the world this is an everyday reality for Christians.
“The shocking, untold story of our time is that more Christians have died in the 20th century simply for being Christians than the first nineteen centuries after the birth of Christ. “ As quoted by Nina Shea in her book IN THE LIONS DEN
In 1996 alone it is estimated that in just that one year more than 160,000 believers were martyred.
So in many parts of the world where they are suffering for their faith the message “ we should love one another “ is a source of great comfort.
There is another reason why we should love one another and it is more likely to be one we can all certainly relate too. You may not have underlined verse 13 but you might want to underline the first part of verse 20. V20 “whenever our hearts condemn us”
Have you ever perceived a defect in your life? That is your heart condemning you!
Even though you have accepted Jesus into your life and meant it have you ever questioned your salvation? That is your heart condemning you!
There are a number of certainties that John points out in our scripture passage that we will begin to become unsure of if our hearts condemn us.
1.(v14) We have passed from death to life. But a person with a condemning heart doubts that kind of assurance!
2.(v19) We know that we belong to the truth. But a person with a condemning heart doubts that kind of accuracy!
3.(v21) We have confidence before God. But a person with a condemning heart doubts that kind of acceptance.
4.(v22) We receive from him anything we ask. But a person with a condemning heart doubts that kind of assistance.
5.(v24) We know that he lives in us. But a person with a condemning heart doubts that kind of attachment.
So what is the remedy for a condemning heart?
“Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.”
The remedy for a condemning heart is by having real love for others.
What is real love and where do you get it?
1.Real love is not just something you say.
“Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
Its important to say I love you to others but that by itself is not real love.
2.Real love is something you do
“Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue BUT WITH ACTIONS AND IN TRUTH.
V17 A SIMPLE TEST TO DETERMINE IF A PERSON HAS REAL LOVE
“If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?”
When you have a condemning heart and find it hard to love yourself go out and find someone else to love.
Instead of pitying yourself have pity on someone else!
By showing the love of God to others we can overcome a condemning heart
But let us remember that before we can show the love of God we must first know the love of God.
V16 “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.”
In order to know the love of God I must believe that Jesus laid down his life for me.
When I know that Jesus laid down his life for me I know God loves me!
How do you know God loves you? Jesus laid down his life for me! God did not just say he loves us He showed he loved us!