REAL CHRISTIANITY

 

1 JOHN 4:7-15

HEREIN IS LOVE Ė A.M. 2/6/05

REAL CHRISTIANITY #15

 

God hath not promised Skies always blue,

Flower-strewn pathways All our lives through;

God hath not promised Sun without rain,

Joy without sorrow, Peace without pain.

 

But God hath promised Strength for the day,

Rest for the labor, Light for the way,

Grace for the trials, Help from above,

Unfailing sympathy, Undying love.[1][1]

Annie Johnson Flint, quoted in Donald Kauffman, Bakerís Pocket Treasury of Religious Verse

 

Karl Barth, famed theologian, was once asked, ďWhat is the greatest thought you ever had?Ē His answer: ďJesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.ĒDale Galloway, Rebuild Your Life[2][2]

 

Although I would not agree with Karl Barth on a lot of things, I would basically agree with him that the greatest thought in the world is that Jesus loves me. I would just expand his saying a little to say that the greatest thought in the world is that God loves me.

 

It is no wonder that God loves me or that God loves you.

1 John 4:8 says in part ÖGod is love.

 

On a Sunday when we have worn red and white in honor of the Lord Jesus, and on the Sunday which is just before Valentineís Day it is fitting that we talk about love.One of the best passages for discussing love is found here in 1 John 4:7-18 as we continue our discussion of Real Christianity as found in 1 John.†††

Letís briefly look at six things about love as found in our text.

 

LOVEíS DEMAND - Vss. 7-8, 20-21

 

1 John 4:7-8 - Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. [8] He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

 

First, I want you to realize that type of love being referred to here is the best and purest kind.The word in Greek here is agape, which is the highest form of love.

It is self-sacrificing love.

It is love that is unselfish.

It is love that gives.

It is the word used when the Scripture refers to the love of God.†††

 

The demand of love is that we love one another.John is talking to fellow Christians.Christians are the ones who are to love each other as Jesus has loved them, and Jesus is God!

 

John 13:34-35 - A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. [35] By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

 

This kind of love is impossible without God making us lovers.Every Christian is to be a lover!And this love comes from God! Ö for love is of God;

 

Every individual who truly loves is a person who has been indwelt and changed by God! Öand every one that loveth is born of God

 

To be born of God is to be born again.

To be born again is to place oneís faith in the Lord Jesus as the one who died for our sins, and to believe that His death is the only hope that we have for forgiveness and eternal life.

 

John 1:12-13 - But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: [13] Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

 

Every person who has truly trusted Christ as Savior has been born again through the work of Godís Holy Spirit, and now has the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ dwelling in them.

 

Romans 8:9 - But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

 

        If it were possible for me to have the spirit of Beethoven in me, I would be a great musician and composer.†††

        If it were possible for me to have the spirit of Dale Earnhardt in me, Iíd be a great race car driver.

        If it were possible for me to have the spirit of Thomas Edison in me, Iíd be a great inventor.

        It is possible for me to have the Spirit of God the Father and God the God the Son dwelling in me, and when He does, I become a great lover.For God is love.

 

Öand every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.†††

 

How can I tell when the Love of God is truly present in my life?

1 Corinthians 13:4-8a (NKJV) - 4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails.

We probably donít think about these qualities enough and how we should allow the Spirit of God to produce them in our lives.If we show these qualities we are showing that Godís love is present in us!

Remember that Galatians 5:22 begins The fruit of the Spirit is loveÖ

 

When you love you show that you are born of God and know God.

Vs. 8 warns us that if we donít know how to love then we are not born of God!

He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

 

Loveís demand goes even further.

1 John 4:20-21 - If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? [21] And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

 

The person who has a prolonged hatred for someone else and claims to love God is a liar!

The argument is quite simple.How can one love God who he hasnít seen when he canít love his brother who he has seen!

 

If you claim to love God, YOU MUST love your brother!

If you donít love your brother, you donít love God!

 

LOVEíS DEMAND - Vss. 7-8, 20-21

LOVEíS DESCRIPTION - Vss. 9-10


Is something going on in your life that makes you feel unloved? Well, look at this: 1 John 4:9 - In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

 

God has only one literal, begotten son.

He has many children who are born into the family of God through faith in Christ, but only one begotten Son.

 

Imagine what it would be like to give up a child of yours and knowingly send him somewhere where you know that he would be rejected and murdered.Thatís what God did.

He sent the Lord Jesus into the world so that through His death we might have forgiveness and eternal life.

 

John 3:16 - For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

 

1 John 4:10 - Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

 

Love does not originate with us.It originates with God.

God sent His Son to be the propitiation or the satisfaction for our sins.Jesus died on the cross for our sins and God was propitiated or satisfied.†††

 

A certain medieval monk announced he would be preaching next Sunday evening on ďThe Love of God.Ē As the shadows fell and the light ceased to come in through the cathedral windows, the congregation gathered.

 

In the darkness of the altar, the monk lighted a candle and carried it to the crucifix. First of all, he illumined the crown of thorns, next, the two wounded hands, then the marks of the spear wound. In the hush that fell, he blew out the candle and left the chancel. There was nothing else to say.

Source unknown http://www.bible.org/illus.asp?topic_id=916

 

LOVEíS DESCRIPTION - Vss. 9-10
LOVEíS DUTY - Vs. 11


1 John 4:11 - Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

 

When Jesus sent out the 12 Apostles to minister in Israel, He said in part, in Matthew 10:8 - freely ye have received, freely give.

 

And I believe this thought can be applied to the love that we are to show for others.

        Freely we have received the death of Godís Son to pay for our sins.

        Freely we have received an identity as Godís kids, the children of God.

        Freely we have received the presence of God in our lives.

        Freely we have received a network of people of like faith to love and encourage us, the church.

        Freely we have received answers to prayer because of the Lord Jesus.

        Freely we have received the assurance of spending eternity in Heaven.

 

Freely we have received.Our duty is to freely give!

Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

 

What are some of the ways we can freely give in love?

        By listening to other believers intently, showing that you care. This week I road an airplane next to a lady who probably wasnít a believer, but she knew how to listen and show interest in the person she was talking to.

        By going out of our way to be a blessing to someone else in need, lending a helping hand.

        By being honest with a brother or sister who has a problem with sin and might not even know it.

        By giving of our own resources to people in need.

        By sharing about our own walk with God so another believer can have a closer walk with God.

        By praying for the Spiritual and physical needs of other Christians

        By being there when another Christian is struggling.

        By forgiving a Christian who has hurt us as Christ has forgiven us.

 

Freely we have received.Our duty is to freely give!

Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

 

LOVEíS DUTY - Vs. 11
LOVEíS DWELLING PLACE Ė Vss. 12-16

 

1 John 4:12 - No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.†††

 

No man has seen God the Father.

No man has seen God the Spirit.

And in this age, God the Son is not walking the earth as He once did.

 

As we said earlier, the moment we trusted Jesus as Savior, the Holy Spirit came to live inside of us.

God is love, and now we have become the dwelling place of love.

It is certainly better to have God residing inside of us than to just have a fleeting glimpse of Him.

 

As Christians, how do we know that God is present in our lives?

As Christians, how do we show that God is present in our lives?

We know that God is present and show that God is present when His influence causes us to love others.

The more that God controls us, the more we will perfect our love for God and for others.

 

A couple of weeks ago I played x-box for the first time.For those of you who donít what x-box is, itís a game system like Play Station 2, Game Boy, or the old time Nintendo or Atari.I played x-box with my 7 year old granddaughter and then with my 5 year old grandson.We played tennis.

I got whooped!

I got embarrassed!

I was humiliated by a 7 year old and then a five year old.

One of the main reasons why they were so good and I was so bad, was they had been sitting in front of this tennis game for a few hours practicing! They had perfected their game.

 

The more we practice Godís presence in our lives, that is the control of the Holy Spirit, the more we will perfect loving others.

 

1 John 4:13 - Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.

 

1 John 4:16 - And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

 

Because the Spirit of God dwells in us as Christians, we are Godís dwelling place.Because we are Godís dwelling place, and God is love, we are also loveís dwelling place.

 

LOVEíS DWELLING PLACE Ė Vss. 12-13

LOVEíS DISTINCTION - Vss. 17-18


1 John 4:17 - Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

The more we allow the Holy Spirit to control us, the more we will show the love of God in our lives towards others.

Our love is perfected, or completed.

And the more Godís love is perfected in our lives, the more we are like Jesus!because as he is, so are we in this world.

 

Loveís distinction is being able to stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ and have boldness or confidence, or ďfreedom of speechĒ.

 

If you are a true Christian, you need not fear condemnation.You will spend eternity in Heaven.

But we as Christians will give account of ourselves before the Lord Jesus, and that could be very scary, humiliating and embarrassing.

Romans 14:12 - So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

2 Corinthians 5:10 - For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

 

The way to avoid embarrassment before the Lord Jesus is to allow Godís love to be perfected in us.

If Godís love is perfected in us we will have nothing to fear because we will have done what we should have done.†††

 

1 John 4:18 - There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

 

God is love.

God does not fear.

Therefore, there is no fear in love.

Godís love in us drives out our fear, because fear involves torment or punishment or judgment.When we fear we are normally afraid of being punished in some way.

If we fear when we stand before the Lord Jesus, it will mean that we did not allow Godís love to perfect us here on earth.†††

 

How does this verse apply to us right now?

When Godís love is controlling us we will not live in fear right now.

In fact, God does not want His children to live in fear.

In fact, God wants us to so live in the presence of His love that we do not fear.

Godís love will cast out our fears if we will let it.

 

Psalm 27:1 - The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

 

Isaiah 41:10 - Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I

will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

 

Let me sum it up this way: When we are engulfed in the awesome sense of the love of God. When the love of God is control in our lives. We will not fear!†††

 

LOVEíS DISTINCTION - Vss. 17-18
LOVEíS DELIGHT - Vs. 19

 

1 John 4:19 - We love him, because he first loved us.

 

This is a great summary isnít it?

The time of worship which we had this morning should have been a time of great celebration for each of us.

Why?

Because God loved us first!

God showed His love to us first!

God reached out with salvation to us first!

God loves, protects us, keeps us, assures us, first!

 

If God loves us this much, it is only natural that we love Him in return.

It should be the delight of our lives to love Him!†††

 

LOVEíS DEMAND

LOVEíS DESCRIPTION

LOVESí DUTY

LOVEíS DWELLING PLACE

LOVEíS DISTINCTION

LOVEíS DELIGHT

 

 



[1][1]Swindoll, C. R. 2000, c1998. The tale of the tardy oxcart and 1501 other stories (electronic ed.). Logos Library System; Swindoll leadership library. Word Publishers: Nashville

[2][2]Swindoll, C. R. 2000, c1998. The tale of the tardy oxcart and 1501 other stories (electronic ed.). Logos Library System; Swindoll leadership library. Word Publishers: Nashville