Faithlife Sermons

5-6-2018 Loving the Unlovely 1 John 4:7-11

1 John Series  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  39:38
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Introduction:
A mother found under her place one morning at breakfast a bill made out by her small son, Bradley, aged eight—Mother owes Bradley:
For running errands, $8;
For being good, $1;
For taking music lessons, $3;
For extras, $3.
A grand total, $15.
Mother smiled but made no comment. At lunch Bradley found the bill under his plate with a 10 dollar bill, a five dollar bill and another piece of paper neatly folded like the first. Opening it he read—Bradley owes Mother:
For nursing him through scarlet fever, nothing;
For being good to him, nothing;
For clothes, shoes and playthings, nothing;
For his destruction during temper tantrums, nothing;
For all his meals, nothing. For attempting to teach biblical principles... well, refunded.
Total due: nothing.
How can you account for it? Only thus: she loves him. Marvelous, august, enduring love! Love that beareth all things. Many waters of adversity cannot quench it, neither can all the raging floods of sin drown it.
Transition:
As we prepare for Mother’s day next week, I thought it best to use one example of a mother’s love to introduce a not too dissimilar love which the Apostle John speaks about in our journey through his epistle.
Scripture Reading:
1 John 4:7–11 ESV
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
John begins this section with a command and its justification—which is the supreme motivation for obedience. He calls out to his fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to obey Jesus’ command to love one another in a very direct way.
Transition:
Transition:
As we consider our passage this morning, I want to focus on a couple aspects of biblical love that John reveals as we think on: Loving the Unlovely. First,

I. The Command to Love (vv.7-8)

Here we discover an exhortation to love one another. John doesn’t offer this exhortation simply because it is socially acceptable, but biblically expected. Notice:

A. The Act of Love (7a)

1 John 4:7 ESV
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
1jn
Beloved, let us love one another: A simple statement, but not as simple to live. The grammar implies a pattern of action that is continuous and so communicates the idea of “ ‘let us go on loving one another’ as we have been doing all along.” I believe that us here at Grace have been practising loving one another so much so that it has become a staple in our community—The congregation at Grace truly loves one another.
This use of "one another” makes this a call to mutual responsibility within the body of Christ, and not a command for “reciprocal love”. The command does not assume we receive love in return for our love, but that we are to each love the other regardless.
is known as the “Great Love Chapter” and for good reason, but one of the first things you notice in is that love is described in action!
1 Corinthians 13:4–7 ESV
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1 cor 13
All these words are descriptors for a love that is proved in action! And yes, this is the same kind of agape love that we find in our first John passage this morning!
John doesn’t say love when we feel like it, or when we think it is deserved. He doesn’t say love those who agree with our position always. He doesn’t ask us to love only those within our circle of influence. We are to love one another. I am convinced this applies to our love for all people, especially those within the body of Christ. Again, John is echoing Jesus when Jesus said that this was the second great command: love our neighbor as we love ourselves.
John doesn’t say love when we feel like it, or when we think it is deserved. He doesn’t say love those who agree with our position always. He doesn’t ask us to love only those within our circle of influence. We are to love one another. I am convinced this applies to our love for all people, especially those within the body of Christ. Again, John is echoing Jesus when Jesus said that this was the second great command: love our neighbor as we love ourselves.
John doesn’t say love when we feel like it, or when we think it is deserved. He doesn’t say love those who agree with our position always. He doesn’t ask us to love only those within our circle of influence. We are to love one another. I am convinced this applies to our love for all people, especially those within the body of Christ. Jesus revealed this was the second great command: love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Surely you would agree we need to show love to one another!

B. The Source of Love (7b)

1 John 4:7 ESV
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
1 jn
for love is from God” God, not human philanthropy, pity, or emotion, is the source of love (cf. v. 16). It is not primarily emotional but purposeful action (cf. ).
for love is from God” God, not human philanthropy, pity, or emotion, is the source of love (cf. v. 16). It is not primarily emotional but purposeful action (cf. ).
The first reason to pursue mutual love within the body of Christ is the source of love, namely, God.
This is something the average biblical student knows, but do we fully comprehend its depth. Love is of God. Love is one of the great character traits of God. It reveals part of His very essence. He possesses love and offers that love to those He will. Since God possesses love, and is the distributor of love, we can rightly discern that one cannot truly love apart from a right relationship with God.
Much that is considered and displayed by this world is not love at all, at least in a biblical sense. We wonder why our world is in the shape it is today. Why is there so much violence and neglect? Why is there no compassion or generosity? It is simple: many lack genuine love.
Much that is considered and displayed by this world is not love at all, at least in a biblical sense. We wonder why our world is in the shape it is today. Why is there so much violence and neglect? Why is there no compassion or generosity? It is simple: many lack genuine love.
Much that is considered and displayed by this world is not love at all, at least in a biblical sense. We wonder why our world is in the shape it is today. Why is there so much violence and neglect? Why is there no compassion or generosity? It is simple: many lack genuine love.
Let’s go a bit further. Why is there so much turmoil and division in so many church congregations today? The answer remains the same: a lack of genuine love. We cannot love as God would have us too and carry bitterness or anger toward our brother. We cannot love as God does and have a self-consumed, self-righteous attitude. Genuine love would solve the majority of problems we encounter today!

C. The Significance of Love (7c)

1 John 4:7 ESV
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
1 jn 4 7
everyone who loves is born of God and knows God
John reveals one of the characteristics possessed by all believers: the presence of love. Those who love as God would have us to is born of Him and knows Him. Our love for one another is a genuine mark of salvation.
Really this should come as no surprise. When we are born again in Christ, reconciled to God through Him, we become a new creature. The anger and hatred of the past is replaced with the love and compassion of God. Love revealed from someone is just an outward manifestation of the inward change wrought thorough salvation. Christians will be known and recognized for their love for one another. That love stands as a genuine testimony of one’s conversion. We are simply reflecting the attributes of our Father and Savior. – Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:

D. The Exclusivity of Love (v.8)

1 John 4:8 ESV
8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
YOU CANNOT say, as a Christian, “It’s not a gift of mine to love others”. We cannot be in a right relationship with the Lord and not have the very essence of who He is: love. If there is never any love felt or shown for others, it is a good indication that one has never been converted from sin in salvation. I have heard guys in the past say, ‘Yes, I love God, but I hate so and so!”-- according to John here, and according to the Holy Spirit, this is impossible! Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about when we get a little upset with somebody and in the heat of the moment, we experience a measure of hate toward an offender’s choices or actions. Even Jesus had become angry and hated sin and the sinful choices of the money changers in God’s Temple and certainly that particular hatred toward sinful actions was not sin—it could not have been sin since Jesus was without sin. So in our passage here, John is talking about those who truly hate a person — the disposition, the character, and personality.
Anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love”
YOU CANNOT say, as a Christian, “It’s not a gift of mine to love others”. We cannot be in a right relationship with the Lord and not have the very essence of who He is: love. If there is never any love felt or shown for others, it is a good indication that one has never been converted from sin in salvation. I have heard guys in the past say, ‘Yes, I love God, but I hate so and so!”-- according to John here, and according to the Holy Spirit, this is impossible! Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about when we get a little upset with somebody and in the heat of the moment, we experience a measure of hate toward an offender’s choices or actions. Even Jesus had become angry and hated sin and the sinful choices of the money changers in God’s Temple and certainly that particular hatred toward sinful actions was not sin—it could not have been sin since Jesus was without sin. So in our passage here, John is talking about those who truly hate a person — the disposition, the character, and personality.
YOU CANNOT say, as a Christian, “It’s not a gift of mine to love others”. We cannot be in a right relationship with the Lord and not have the very essence of who He is: love. If there is never any love felt or shown for others, it is a good indication that one has never been converted from sin in salvation.
Our fleshly nature doesn’t like that because this truth convicts, but it is true nonetheless. Our world suffers a lot and much of what it does suffer is a direct result of an absence of agape love and is easily attributed to an absence of a relationship with Christ. Our world, our lives, and our communities would be much different if the love of Christ was shown by all. Sadly, the stark reality is that it isn’t a loving world and it will not be until Christ’s return because many in our society are not born again.
Transition:
As we allow the command to love seep into our inner being, we must have something strong enough to ensure our obedience — I’m talking about commitment. we must stay committed, and perhaps it becomes easier as we consider:

II. The Commitment in Love (vv.9-10)

These verses reveal that love is not just an emotion we feel, but also a test of faithfulness in action. Consider for a moment:

A. The Demonstration of Love (9a)

1 John 4:9 ESV
9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.
“In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God sent his only Son” Yet again, love is a physical action, “God sent” As believers we are all aware of the fulfilled prophecy of the first advent of Christ into this world to offer Himself as the sacrifice for sin, and yet still today it is overwhelming when I meditate on the cost of eternal life. YHWH knew, prior to creation, that sin would enter the world through the human race. He knew there would have to be a perfect sacrifice to conquer the death sin caused. YHWH knew His only Son would be the only one worthy to pay the penalty. He loved us enough to send His Son to this world in order to bear our sin and suffer the judgment we deserved. YHWH didn’t just tell us He loved us through His Word, He manifested that agape love as He sent the Messiah to die for our sin.
“In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God sent his only begotten Son”. As believers we are well aware of the coming of Christ into this world to offer Himself the atoning sacrifice for sin, and yet it is still amazing. God knew, prior to creation, that sin would enter the human race. He knew there would have to be a perfect sacrifice to atone for sin. He knew His only begotten Son would be the only one worthy to atone. He loved us enough to send His Son to this world in order to bear our sin and suffer the judgment we deserved. God didn’t just tell us He loved us through His Word, He showed that great love as He sent His Son to die for our sin.
There is no greater demonstration of love than this. YHWH could’ve left us separated in sin and justly poured out His righteous anger on us and have us suffer the wrath we deserved. He could’ve condemned us all to hell and still be righteous, HOWEVER HE DID NOT! In His great love He offered His Son!

B. The Reconciliation through Love (9b)

1 John 4:9 ESV
9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.
1jn 4
"that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.” Isn’t that lovely? God loved us enough to provide eternal life through His Son, Jesus. In Christ, our hope is found because He lives, then we live!! While in sin we were separated from God and destined for eternal death and destruction, but in Christ we inherit eternal life. We no longer have to fear death, but have the assurance of life.
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. Isn’t that amazing? God loved us enough to provide eternal life through His Son. In Christ we live!! While in sin we were separated from God and destined for eternal death and destruction, but in Christ we inherit eternal life. We no longer have to fear death, but have the assurance of life.
This is a SUBJUNCTIVE mood grammatically which then implies a contingency, the contingency is a faith response is necessary. The purpose of Christ’s incarnation was eternal life and abundant life (cf. ).
This is an AORIST ACTIVE SUBJUNCTIVE which implies a contingency, a faith response is necessary. The purpose of the incarnation was eternal life and abundant life (cf. ).
John 10:10 ESV
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
This is Good News! But even better that we don’t have to wait until we depart from this life to enjoy living. The saved are alive in Christ as this very moment! He came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. We don’t have to wait until we close our eyes in death down here to enjoy living in Christ. We really begin to experience eternal, abundant life at the very moment of our becoming a new creation at conversion. That is available to us through Christ today who are saved!

C. The Beginning of Love (10a)

1 John 4:10 ESV
10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
"In this is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us” This NT proclamation is unique among the world religions. Typically a religion is only how adherents are seeking after a god, but Christianity is the God seeking a fallen mankind! The wonderful truth is not our love for God, but His love for us. He sought after us even with our sin and selfishness, our rebellion, and our pride. The glorious truth of Christianity is that God loves fallen mankind and has made the first crucial step for us to be a part of His family.
Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. This reveals the birth of love within our hearts. This passage deals with agape love, God’s love. It is impossible to love apart from God, and we would never know love had God not loved us. God offered His love, and in turn we too can express that love. We could never have loved God or anyone else had He not loved us first!
This reveals the birth of love within our hearts. This passage deals with agape love, God’s love. It is impossible to love apart from God, and we would never know love had God not loved us. God offered His love, and in turn we too can express that love. We could never have loved God or anyone else had He not loved us first!
This reveals the start of love within our own hearts. This passage deals with biblical defined agape love, God’s love. So then it is impossible to love apart from God, and we would never know love had God not loved us. God offered His love, and in turn we too can express that love. We could never have loved God or anyone else had He not loved us first!

D. The Propitiation in Love (10b)

1 John 4:10 ESV
10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
1jn 4 10
“he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” With Easter about a month behind us, we have talked some about the propitiation of Christ for our sins. This propitiation has popped up before
1 John 2:2 ESV
2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
You may recall from months back propitiation means expiation or even atonement. “Okay, that’s easy. What is it?” It is the appeasement or satisfaction of God’s wrath, or more specifically the mode/vehicle of appeasement
You might remember me talking about the Septuagint use of this word being used for the lid of the Ark of the Covenant called the mercy seat or place of atonement-- and that’s why you can actually find a couple translations that translate this propitiation here as Mercy Seat. The root of this word means gracious and merciful--and even cheerful comes from this root word!
My definition of propitiation based on my word study was: Jesus put Himself in our guilty place, the mercy seat, to stand before YHWH guiltless, yet counted guilty, So that YHWH is gracious and merciful to us, the guilty, that we are seen as guiltless.
His sacrifice on the cross fully satisfied the righteous demands of holy God. He paid the debt we owed for sin. It totally removed the condemnation we deserved and the judgment we faced. The saved by grace are viewed in light of the holiness of the Son rather than the guilt of our sin. We are reconciled to God, made acceptable to Him, and heirs of the promise through the propitiation of Christ.
It is impossible to meditate on the truths of the Bible and miss the immense love that YHWH has for us—a fallen people! He didn’t even spare His only Son, sending Him to become this propitiation for our sin. What love to provide the means of salvation and reconciliation to God!
2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV
21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
That is propitiation!
– Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: – For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

So What? (v.11)

1 John 4:11 ESV
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
V
we also ought to love one another.” by this “if” statement, We should have expected it to read: “we also ought to love God.” But John takes the expected rendering as self-evident, and adds what he sees necessarily follows from it.
The “so” covers both the quality and the quantity of the love.
“we also on our part ought to love one another.” We should have expected to follow:, “we also ought to love God.” But this link in the thought the apostle omits as self-evident, and passes on to state what necessarily follows from it.
The “if” is not any uncertainty (rather it puts, the fact more gently, but not more doubtfully, than “since.” The “so” covers both the quality and the quantity of the love. Καὶ belongs solely to ἡμεῖς: “we also on our part ought to love one another.” We should have expected to follow:, “we also ought to love God.” But this link in the thought the apostle omits as self-evident, and passes on to state what necessarily follows from it.
How do we go about loving one another, especially when we have some people in our community, or maybe even in our family that are not particularly easy to love? We have to see ourselves as ambassadors of God’s love and recognize that our ability to love that person does not come from our efforts alone, but from God’s example. To live out loving the difficult ones, we must first meditate on God’s love. Only when we really understand how much and how we are loved by God can we in turn live out this love for others—not out of obligation, but out of a love response to God. It is a costly love and will require our time, energy, emotions and money. However, when we do demonstrate sacrificial love, the world will know we are authentic Christians. They will also know that YHWH is a loving God. They will see Him as He is in the faces and voices of His children here at Grace.
The Bible is simply God’s love story, the story of the love of a holy God to a sinful world.
The Bible is simply God’s love story, the story of the love of a holy God to a sinful world.
R.A. Torry said once:
People tell us the Bible is full of things that it is impossible to believe. I know of nothing else so impossible to believe as that a holy God should love a sinful world, and should love such individuals as you and me, as the Bible says He does. But impossible as it is to believe, it is true. There is mighty power in that one short [passage], power to break the hardest heart, power to reach individual men and women who are sunk down in sin, and to lift them up until they are fit for a place beside the Lord Jesus Christ upon the Throne.
Conclusion:
I rejoice for the love of God that is shown to humanity. There can be no doubt of His great love for us. Christ revealed His great love as He suffered in our place on the cross. This was all done to provide for our salvation. Had God not loved us, Christ would never have come to earth to die for sin.
We ought to share this great love with others. Do you love as God would have us to? Do you know Christ as your Savior? Have you experienced this great love? If not, you can!
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