Summary: As we grow in love for each other in a Church, we learn more and more about each other, discovering more reasons to not like each other. This passage teaches the importance to choose love, unconditionally and depend upon Christ for His righteousness and l
1 John 3”10-18
Ill. What is love?
It is silence--when your words would hurt.
It is patience--when your neighbor's curt.
It is deafness--when a scandal flows.
It is thoughtfulness--for other's woes.
It is promptness--when stern duty calls.
It is courage--when misfortune falls.
A Transition (10).
In the middle of verse 10, John changes subject.
Last week we covered the first part of the verse: It takes Christ living through us to do works of righteousness. We have no righteousness of our own, for in our flesh dwells no clean thing.
Then John shifts gears, goes deeper and shows a continued reliance on Jesus living through us that is demanded. Agape love in the fellowship of a Church will take Christ living through us if we are to love our fellow Christians as Christ loved us. This transition introduces the topic of brotherly love and will continue.
The Term (11).
“From the beginning”. There are three views of this phrase and each will remain true.
A. First, this book was probably written to the Churches around Ephesus. Since this was one of John’s missionary areas, he knew first hand that the Christian message was presented with love and with an emphasis on love. He would have been completely aware of how this statement would be true in this sense.
B. Another view is that since the new covenant, presented by Jesus Christ, began, from the beginning, the theme has been love. This, too, is true.
C. Yet, there is also an overshadowing theme that seems to be supported by the text. “…from the beginning…” of God’s creation and interaction of man, love has been a theme, and was violated by men outside of God’s will. Consider Cain and Abel.
Cain, the father of human religion (Erick Sauars, The Dawn Of Redemption), demonstrates that violation of God’s way brings our life under the control of the evil one and is the cause for all types of sin, including murder. A choice creates waves in both directions. Let me explain.
First, a sinful choice or decision, the improper use of our God-given power to choose, causes actions that are in line with that choice. Once you determine to do sin in your mind, your body will follow with sinful actions. That is a future affect. Cain teaches us that once that choice is made, the wave of sinful actions is not easily stopped. It goes beyond our ability to control it. It takes a life of its own, and we wish not to own it.
It goes the other way also, not only creating actions, but also spiritually moving us into control of a spiritual world. A choice for God moves us under God’s further control. A simple choice away from God moves us more under the control of the evil one. I will clarify this further, as John does, in a few moments.
First, let me clear something up that can be confusing. A believer and follower of Jesus Christ cannot be possessed by demons or devils. Someone who is saved is possessed with the Holy Spirit of God and is never in danger of being snatched out of the Father’s hand (Romans 8:9, 38-39).
But the evil one can oppress you, attach you and even influence you if and when you choose his way.
Now we have already discussed that you cannot continue to be under Satan’s influence because your Father in Heaven will make it so dissatisfying and painful, you will have to eventually choose to leave Satan and grow spiritually towards God. However, the damage you do to yourself and others during your time of sowing wild oats can be very destructive, murderous and create losses that are not recoverable. Last week’s lesson.
The point of this verse should be this: if Cain would have had the proper love, first for God, but then, when corrected, for Abel, it would never have reached murder. The lack of love was a key ingredient in the murder of his brother. And there is plenty of that going around.
The Terrible (13).
See the pattern in the world through Cain? A lack of love, an evil choicf, unrighteous act, severe correction from God, and finally resentment towards God and those who are friendly with God. This is the pattern of those who reject the truth and seek their own way.
Cain’s offering was not accepted because it was not a blood sacrifice. He was saying that his sins were not so bad that death had to be paid. This is the attitude of the world, and when it doesn’t work, there is strong resentment towards God. When there is strong resentment towards God, there is resentment towards the forgiven. So is should not be surprising that the world hates us.