Love in Truth

I. The two major messages of John set the stage for our brotherly love.”

A. We are to walk in the “light” (1 John 1:7).

1. Because: “God is light and in him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5)

2. Therefore we are to fellowship “in the light” (1 John 1:7).

a. Walk in darkness – no fellowship.
b. Walk in light – fellowship and obedience

3. Since we know Him (via the light) we keep His commandments (1 John 2:3-6).

a. We do not love the world (1 John 2:15-17)
b. We abide in Him (1 John 2:28)
c. We do not practice sin (1 John 3:6-10)

B. We are, therefore, to love the brethren (1 John 2:7-11).

1. Basic command: “love one another” (John 13:34-35)

a. "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

2. Love is perfected by obedience (1 John 2:5)

a. “…whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.”

3. Brotherly love is necessary to abide in the light (1 John 2:10-11)

a. “He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.”

II. The manifestation of brotherly love is illustrated both negatively and positively.

A. We cannot be like Cain either in deed or in attitude (1 John 3:12).

1. Cain killed because he was wicked (1 John 3:12).

a. He was “of the wicked one”
b. His “works were evil”
c. His anger drove him to murder the “righteous” brother.

2. Cain is the prototype of the Devil’s handiwork.

a. Cain had first-hand knowledge of what was right (Genesis 4)
b. Hebrews 6:4-6 -- For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.

B. We cannot follow Cain’s “way” (Jude 1:8-11)

1. They “defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries.”

2. They “speak evil of whatever they do not know.”

3. They “corrupt themselves.”

4. Jude 1:12-13 --These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.

C. We have the new life and the example of Jesus Christ as guides (1 John 3:13-16).

1. We can expect the world to “hate” us.

a. 1 John 3:13 -- Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you.
b. John 15:18 -- If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.
c. 2 Timothy 3:12 -- Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.

2. We have passed from death to life.

a. 1 John 3:14 -- We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death.
b. Ephesians 2:1, 5 -- And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins -- Even when we were dead in sins.
b. 1 John 5:24 -- Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.

3. We know that hatred of a brother is murder.

a. 1 John 3:15 -- Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
b. Matthew 15:19 -- For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.
c. Revelation 22:15 -- But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.

4. We have the ultimate expression of love in Jesus Christ.

a. 1 John 3:16 -- By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren
b. Romans 5:8 -- But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
c. John 15:13 -- Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

III. The command to love the brethren must be visible and practicable.

A. We are to mimic the selfless love of the Lord Jesus on our behalf.

1. John 10:11, 14-15 -- I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. . . . I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.

2. John 15:10-13 -- If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

B. We are not to avoid action when the need is real.

1. If we have the world’s “good” (means to live), we must respond.

a. The loving (and wealthy) father gave to the prodigal son after repentance– undeserving and foolish error; “came to his senses” (Luke 15)
b. The destitute widow gave to the treasury “all that she had” (Luke 21)

2. If we see the need (extremity or inability to live, not a want), we must respond.

a. Members gave of their surplus to help needy (Acts 4:32-35)
b. Former thief now works so that he can give (Ephesians 4:28)

C. We are to produce “deeds” to supply the genuine need among the brethren.

1. 1 John 3:18 -- My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.

2. Not just a kind word (theology) or a gentle tongue (deceptive sympathy).

3. James 2:14-18 -- What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, "Depart in peace, be warmed and filled," but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.

IV. The message is important to review and apply.

A. This kind of love is NOT . . .

1. It is not a gift of money to the poor. There are many biblical passages requiring discretionary “alms” to thru mercy to the poor.

2. It is not an obligatory “welfare” to the general populace.

a. The Bible nowhere commands such action. The Theocracy of Israel had a TAX for help to the destitute or infirm – our government attempts to emulate that.
b. The Bible rewards diligence and stewardship, not dependence.
c. The Bible condemns those who won’t work or are foolish.

3. It is not gifts to Christians who want to live better.

a. The Bible does not promote “something for nothing”
b. The Bible insists that diligence and wisdom and obedience produces wealth.
c. The Bible teaches discipline and/or rebuke for those who “want but won’t work”

B. This kind of love really IS . . .

1. It is for fellow Believers and not for Unbelievers. Love toward those who are outside the Kingdom is the Gospel and an example of holiness.

2. It is to meet the need of the Believers. It is to give the “ability to live;” not the ability to “luxuriate.” The right to luxury is based on work.

a. Out of work temporarily – not consistently
b. Physically impaired (sick, crippled, disabled)
c. Mentally impaired (crisis, breakdown). NOTE: does not take the place of family obligations
d. Widowed, orphaned
e. Acts 4:32-25 indicates that this is best handled through church leadership.

3. It is also both implied and commanded that we meet the SPIRITUAL needs.

a. Bible knowledge -- Family counseling -- Christian education
b. Our generation is spiritually poor, not monetarily poor.
c. Perhaps we should consider using our money to multiply truth.

V. The active love will produce confidence in faith and in prayer (1 John 3:19-24)

A. Active love will increase our confidence in our faith.

1. 1 John 3:19 -- And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him.

2. Hebrews 10:22 -- let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith

B. Active love will eliminate conviction of incomplete obedience.

1. 1 John 3:20 -- For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.

2. 1 John 3:21 -- Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God.

C. Active love will undergird our prayers.

1. 1 John 3:22 -- And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.

2. Matthew 7:7 -- Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

3. Matthew 21:22 -- And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive."

D. Active love will provide confidence for our assurance and our works.

1. 1 John 3:23-24 -- And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment. Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.

a. Salvation (loving God) guides life (loving brethren)
b. Faith (repent & believe) produces works (Christ living in me)
c. Knowledge (study & awareness) drives action (deeds and wisdom)

2. Ephesians 3:12, 16-19 -- in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him….that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

1 John


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