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Whoever Hates His Brother

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Whoever Hates His Brother

Sunday, April 13, 2008

"But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes." (1 John 2:11, ESV)

1. John concludes his argument in verse 11 by giving the negative that contrasts verse 10 and further explains verse 9. Those who hate their brothers live in a state of darkness where there is not just an absence of love, but an absence of God and they may love being there.

"And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God." (John 3:19-21, ESV)

2. In this darkness the individual is exiled from fellowship with the Father, his Son, Jesus Christ, and the believing community. And as we have have seen, whoever hates his brother continues a lifestyle of sin, and doesn't even know where he is going.

"No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother." (1 John 3:6-10, ESV)

3. Far from knowing God, those who hate their brothers walk around confused and lost, not knowing where they are going. Their behavior not only contradicts the claim to be a Christian; it actually confirms that they are lost.

"If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth." (1 John 1:6, ESV)

"Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him," (1 John 2:4, ESV)

4. Spiritual darkness is not a passive reality. It goes on the offensive. Darkness attacks those living in it so that they become increasingly trapped in this realm of confusion and blindness.

"We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous." (1 John 3:12, ESV)

"Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him." (1 John 3:15, ESV)

5. In a real sense what we do is what we become. How we live is who we are. The longer one remains in this realm of darkness, the more difficult it becomes to see the sin that is in one’s life, and the less likely one is to see his need to confess his sins so that fellowship with God can be restored. Habitual hatred leads to more hatred, and the possibility of loving becomes less and less likely.

" Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love." (1 John 4:7-8, ESV)

"If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother." (1 John 4:20-21, ESV)

6. Blinded [etuphlosen] is a form of the very verb used in 2 Cor. 4:4 of the god of this age to keep men from beholding the illumination of the gospel of the glory of Christ who is the image of God.

The first part of the verse repeats verse 9, but adds this vivid touch of the blinding power of darkness. In the Mammoth Cave of Kentucky the fish in Echo River have eye-sockets, but no eyes.

" Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God." (2 Corinthians 4:1-4, ESV)

7. This passage can be compared to 1 Cor 13 and the answer becomes evident. The world love masqerades and disguises. It loves those who pretend to be something they are not. However, the absence of love it the real proof that the person is living in darkness and pretending to be something they are not.

"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." (1 Corinthians 13:4-7, ESV)

8. What happens to a "professing Christian" who does not love the brethren? We have already seen the first tragic result: he lives in the darkness, though he probably thinks he is living in the light (1 John 2:9). He thinks he sees, but he is actually blinded by the darkness of hatred.

9. The contrast between “saying” and “doing” is one we have met before (1 John 1:6, 8, 10; 2:4, 6). It is easy to practice a Christianity of “words”—singing the right songs, using the right vocabulary, praying the right prayers—and, through it all, deceiving ourselves into thinking we are spiritual when in fact we are doomed unless we repent.

"If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth." (1 John 1:6, ESV)

"If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." (1 John 1:8, ESV)

"If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us." (1 John 1:10, ESV)

"Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him," (1 John 2:4, ESV)

"whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked." (1 John 2:6, ESV)

10. The second tragic result is that such a "professing Christian" becomes a cause of stumbling (cf. 1 John 2:10). It is bad enough when an unloving "professing Christian" hurts himself (1 John 2:9); but when he starts to hurt others the situation is far more serious. It is serious to walk in the darkness. An unloving "professing Christian" stumbles himself, and in addition he causes others to stumble.

11. The tragedy is that walking in darkness need not take place, for God’s true light is available and for those living in darkness, the door is open so that they may repent and come to the light today.

" Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”" (John 8:12, ESV)

"I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness." (John 12:46, ESV)

GracePointe Baptist Church

2209 N Post Road

Oklahoma City, OK 73141

Phone: (405) 769-5050

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