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1 John   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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What does love look like? Do you have it?

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What does love look like?

John kicks off this next passage by telling his listeners what love is. But before he goes into detail on what it actually is, he first tells them what it isn’t.
He confirms that his instructions are directed at Christians by saying this is the message YOU have heard from the beginning. Using an original example of brotherly hatred, he brings to mind Cain, who murdered his brother. Why does John say Cain murdered Abel?
Read
We see original sin rearing a full grown head for the first time here in Genesis. No human had died at this point. What Cain did to Abel was something that they had only done to animals up until this point. Think about what that means for this sin. Cain essentially was saying, “You are not worth living, and I will end your life like an animals.” This is ultimately at the core of every sin against another human being. You are not worth my treating you as I would like to be treated. I reject the notion that you are created in God’s image, and bear intrinsic value.
This is the crux of the abortion epidemic we have in America. Rationalization for murder has occured on a mass scale, because many have bought into the idea that an unborn child is worth nothing, as it is not a human yet.
As soon as we remove “created in God’s image” out of any equation, we find horror. Consider the holocaust, or any genocide really. It is the same steps to murder over and over.
Read 12-15
Next John says, do not be surprised my brothers if the world hates you.
Why does he say this right now?
It is because of the contrast that he is about to display.
John gives a proof of our faith. “We know that we have passed from death to life because we love our brothers.”
This should cause some introspection should it not? Are there any brothers or sisters of the faith that I do not love?
Read
The unforgiving servant remained untouched, and unchanged by the grace that was shown to him.
What is the difference between liking and loving someone?
Anyone who does not love remains in death.
Why should we love our brothers and sisters? Seriously why? We are very broken people...
Is the Bible saying here that if you are a Christian, and commit murder, then you are not saved?
I am unwilling to make that conclusion as murder was a sin that could be covered under the old covenant law, and Jesus sacrifice was perfect, sufficient and complete. If neither of these were true then I do not believe we would see David in heaven.

John insisted then that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. The NIV does not translate the Greek participle menousan (“abiding”), which is a crucial word here. John does not say that someone who hates his brother does not possess eternal life, but rather that he does not have it abiding in him. But since for John, Christ Himself is eternal life (John 14:6; 1 John 1:2; 5:20), John’s statement is saying that no murderer has Christ abiding in him. Thus once more the experience of “abiding” is what John had in view.

A murderer, can not experience the fellowship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, that comes as the fruit of Christ abiding in him. Murder is a sign that there is something deeply wrong in the heart, that is the opposite of Christ’s love.
So then on the other hand, we have a special case in David, as just about any other case of murder that we see in Scripture as far as my memory serves is you a deep seated rejection of God in the lives of those who commit murder.
It is a heavy challenge, worded in such a way that I do believe is intended to almost force us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.
This I believe leads to even another big question we all must answer for ourselves which is this, “What is eternal life?”
I was challenged by the introduction to Piper’s book, God is the Gospel, by this question...
If
Why does he say this right now?
It is because of the contrast that he is about to display.
John gives a proof of our faith. “We know that we have passed from death to life because we love our brothers.”
This should cause some introspection should it not? Are there any brothers or sisters of the faith that I do not love?
Read
The unforgiving servant remained untouched, and unchanged by the grace that was shown to him.
What is the difference between liking and loving someone?
Anyone who does not love remains in death.
Why should we love our brothers and sisters? Seriously why? We are very broken people...
Read verse 16
Jesus laid down his very life for all, out of love. John says THIS IS LOVE. How could we not love those that Christ has loved enough to die for.
Read verse 18
What John is calling for here is action! Jesus didn’t come to us, just to say “I love you” and leave. His love was shown to us through his redemptive sacrifice on the cross.
What do you think it means to love in truth?
The ability to love someone enough to tell them they are not in the truth.
John is doing this very thing by writing to a people, his dear children, who are swayed by Gnostic heresy.
Notice how he appeals to their knowledge. The gnostics esteemed “higher knowledge”
John uses the word gnosometha here for knowledge. This type of knowledge is more specifically an experiential type of knowledge, and not a just a scholarly knowledge. John invites the whole sphere of Christendom as it were to enjoy the gnosometha that those who abide in Christ belong to the aleithia, which means truth.
Read 21-24
Can I get a couple people to summarize those verses in a sentence or two?

John insisted then that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. The NIV does not translate the Greek participle menousan (“abiding”), which is a crucial word here. John does not say that someone who hates his brother does not possess eternal life, but rather that he does not have it abiding in him. But since for John, Christ Himself is eternal life (John 14:6; 1 John 1:2; 5:20), John’s statement is saying that no murderer has Christ abiding in him. Thus once more the experience of “abiding” is what John had in view.

I think a short summary of this last passage could be this, search your heart, are you holding on to hatred that separates you from God?
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