Faithlife Sermons

Living Like God's Children

The Results of God's Love  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  34:11
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The Results of God’s Love

I have spent a few weeks in these lessons from 1 John, talking about the results of God’s love. This is one of my favorite books in the New Testament. It is full of insight that comes from the beloved apostle John, after many years, probably many decades of living with a full assurance of his own salvation through Jesus Christ.
The Holy Spirit has used John to write the fourth Gospel about God’s Son, Jesus Christ, and these short letters John wrote to the church. John was serving as a kind of bishop, or an overseer, of a number of congregations between Syria and Greece.
>>>When he wrote these letters, he was writing to those who had become Christians and like us needed constant reminders about. . . .

Living Like God’s Children

Several weeks ago I preached the theme of Loving like God’s Children, primarily from 1 John 2 and 3. Today could be titled “Loving like God’s Children, Part II”, because the 4th chapter of 1 John is certainly one of the primary chapters about loving other Christians. There is a strong reminder that Loving is really about Living in the Spirit of the Holy God who saves us through his son. Wrapped up in John’s understanding of Jesus Christ is that the Son of God has a heavenly Father God and gives the Spirit of God to his children so we can live in the love of God. Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all important to the Apostle, even though the word “trinity” is never used. But of course, you do not need the word Trinity to be a theological idea when these three expressions of God are all part of your experience of God.
>>>That is what John is sharing with us. What it means to have an experience of God that is rich and full and fruitful. Living like God’s Children is Living in the love of God as the result of God’s love poured out to us as his children through faith in his Son.
When I touched briefly on 1 John 4:7-12 a few weeks ago, I shared that in verse 7 that . . .

Loving Comes From Being Reborn

That theme does not change, as John shares that “everyone who loves has been born of God”.
Today, as I dive in deeper to 1 John 4, from verses 7-21, I want us to understand that love is not an automatic way of living out our Christian life unless we really let the reality of God’s love sink in and become part of who we are.
As we think about how God’s love meant that he sent his only begotten Son to save us from our sin on the cross, we need to understand that
>>>the love of God is not just poured out on us, but is in fact poured into us so that our lives are changed so much that we know that . . .

Loving is What Living Like God’s Children Looks Like

And this is the essence of the message that we have in this passage from 1 John 4.
You might think that if love was what drove the Father to send His Son and love that caused the Son to fulfil his mission by death on the cross, that our faith in Christ as the Son of God and our Savior would naturally lead us to know love enough to live our lives as unselfishly as Jesus Christ lived his.
>>>Yet when we think about it just a bit, we realize that our inborn selfishness always tries to preclude our newborn sense of love for our brothers and sisters in Christ. John must get us to grow past our selfishness and grow into our inheritance as the Children of God. So he writes,
1 John 4:7 CSB
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
That’s a simple memory verse if you are of my generation, for as a young man I learned the Christian chorus of the Jesus People, a direct quote from 1 John 4. Most of you hearing me know it too:
Beloved, let us love one another // for love is of God, and everyone who loveth is born of God and knoweth God. // He that loveth not, knoweth not God for God is love // Beloved, let us love one another. // 1 John 4:7-8
But why does John have to remind us of this?
It’s because we see Salvation as a personal possession rather than an adoption into God’s family. We are so sinfully selfish that we really don’t understand very well God’s perfect design for his Children. We are more prone to battle others like siblings arguing over who’s best in our natural human families. And then battle between households about which family is best.
John brings us to this rather gentle but direct understanding of what it begins to look like if we are Living Like God’s Children: “Friends, let’s love each other. Love is from God who Saves us. When we are Loving, we are living out our New Birth into the Family of God.”
It almost sounds like, “Come on, guys, can’t we just get along?” That’s not what John means at all.
>>>The more important idea behind this is that. . .

Love is Who God Is, and What God Does

If we don’t understand the true nature of God, we can never understand why we should submit to loving all these rascals that surround us. After all, am I not supposed to love myself first and most?
As soon as I say that, you realize that it is not how God’s love works, right?
For God so loved the world....while we are still living in our sinful selfishness....that he sent his Son. To atone for us. To shed his blood on the cross so that we might be forgiven.
>>>God’s love works for those He loves. In fact, God’s very nature is love that works for the good of others. So John once again gives us a pretty stern statement, followed by the illustration of God’s Love in Jesus Christ:
1 John 4:8–9 CSB
8 The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his one and only Son into the world so that we might live through him.
OK, you selfish dopes, don’t you get it? If you don’t love others, you don’t even know God. You couldn’t possibly know God who IS love with any personal intimacy if it hasn’t caused you to pour out that love that God has poured in.
The Love of God, or the God who is Love, shows us his love with the gift of his Son. which means that Jesus Is the Revelation of God’s Love. The promises. The virgin birth. The ministry of Jesus. The love of Jesus that submitted to the will of God. The love of God that led Jesus to the Cross. The love of God that sacrificed his only Son so that we might be forgiven and have eternal life.
>>>It wasn’t a light or simple thing to love those who have hurt you like that. In fact, it is the love of God poured out for us so that our sinful shell should be cracked open to allow the love of God to be poured into us.
1 John 3:1–2 CSB
1 See what great love the Father has given us that we should be called God’s children—and we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it didn’t know him. 2 Dear friends, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that when he appears, we will be like him because we will see him as he is.
What a great love. What a great purpose. What a great promise. “When he appears, we will be like him because we will see him as he is.”
Yet John’s message is that we must begin now to let God’s love so fill us that we just pour out love on others. This is not the love of an overlord but the love of a servant heart. How can I make life better for you? God is love; God showed his love in Jesus Christ. God gives his love to us and invites us to have a deep and personal relationship with him, and live our lives through Jesus Christ.
>>>For that to work, we need to understand that. . .

God’s Loving Empowers Our Living

God is always loving us because his very nature is love. That love is our fuel for living well. That love is our model for living as loving people. God’s love goes too far for us to know; for that love sacrificed Jesus for us. That’s the model of loving others.
>>>John tells us this way:
1 John 4:10–11 CSB
10 Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we also must love one another.
We didn’t love God first; j

Loving Is What God’s Children Must Do

A Result of God’s Love is the Gift of His Spirit

1 John 4:12–13 CSB
12 No one has ever seen God. If we love one another, God remains in us and his love is made complete in us. 13 This is how we know that we remain in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit.

A Result of God’s Love is Certainty of Jesus

1 John 4:14–15 CSB
14 And we have seen and we testify that the Father has sent his Son as the world’s Savior. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God—God remains in him and he in God.

God’s Spirit Testifies About Jesus — And God’s Spirit Is Faithful

1 John 4:2–3 CSB
2 This is how you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming; even now it is already in the world.

A Result of God’s Love is Knowing How to Love

1 John 4:16–17 CSB
16 And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him. 17 In this, love is made complete with us so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment, because as he is, so also are we in this world.

A Result of God’s Love is Removal of Fear

It is important that we know that God’s Love is for us. So we can face the God of the Universe with a clean heart, knowing that Jesus has paid the price for our sin so we can know God’s love even more. . . .
1 John 4:18–19 CSB
18 There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears is not complete in love. 19 We love because he first loved us.

Human Love Can Be A Lie

Because of our sinful, selfish, prideful, vindictive, punitive nature. So we lie to ourselves about how we love others. We lie to others about how we love them. We gossip, complain, argue and look on others with disdain.
>>>John puts it plainly...
1 John 4:20 CSB
20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and yet hates his brother or sister, he is a liar. For the person who does not love his brother or sister whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.
>>>So it gets back to the practical reality that . . .

Living and Loving As a Child of God

Is A Result of God’s Love. We have to be encouraged by God’s love so we can we courageous enough to love like God loves. So in this last verse of chapter 4, John says clearly,
>>>Loving is not just a good idea, it is a command from God through Jesus Christ:
1 John 4:21 CSB
21 And we have this command from him: The one who loves God must also love his brother and sister.
Here is the command as Jesus gave it, according to John’s Gospel:
John 13:34–35 CSB
34 “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
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