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07 July 5, 2015, 1 John 4;7-21, Why Do Christians Love

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07 July 5, 2015, 1 John 4;7-21, Why Do Christians Love

  1. 1. 1 John 4:7-21 “Why Do Christians Love?” July 5, 2015 First Baptist Church Jackson, Mississippi USA What’s the number one thing? http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-pg1qx2vn3NY/UctmXUiXnhI/AAAAAAAACvI/2BKEeDDr5p4/s1600/Glory1.jpg 1 Corinthians 10:31 NIV 31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. July Memory Verse: 1 John 1:7 NIV 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. Pray for2015 Committee on Committees Kendall Smith, Chairman Beth Aldridge David Gibbs Sherye Green Mike Lowe Chris Maddux Jim Merritt, Jr. Elizabeth Rich Eddy Waller
  2. 2. Lesson References • Focus on the Bible: 1.2.3 John by Michael Eaton, Christian Focus Publications, 1996. • The MacArthur Study Bible, John MacArthur, Word Publishing, 1997. • First John 4 by Dr. Bob Utley, Available on YouTube Introduction to 1 John 4 • Context of John’s Letter – Author is John the Disciple – Written to all churches in Asia Minor in 95 AD – Written to help believers know who is speaking the truth in the churches – Many false teachers in churches – 1 John could have been the cover letter for the Gospel of John False Teachings • Gnostics – claimed to have “special knowledge from God” 1. We are saved (fellowship) by what we know- “special knowledge” • Did not believe in humanity of Jesus as God • Did not believe that they could sin in the body 2. We are saved (fellowship) by how we live • Denying myself physical desires – food, clothing, etc. What is ‘fellowship’ in 1 John? • Fellowship (Greek koinonia) is the spiritual union of the believer with Christ as well as communion with the Father and fellow believers. – A personal relationship with God through Jesus – Experience the presence of the Father and Jesus through the Holy Spirit – Fellowship is also with other believers John’s 3 Tests of Genuine Fellowship 1. Doctrinal Test (1 John 1:1-2:2) - A proper view of Christ - A proper view of sin 2. Lifestyle Test (1 John 2:3-3:3) - Obedience to commandments - Walking in the light; walk like Jesus 3. Social Test: (1 John 3:4-4:21) - Loving other people - How you treat other believers
  3. 3. What is Christian love? • A new commandment “Love one another” in John 13:34 • 1 Corinthians 13 tells us how love acts, “Love is………….” • Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22 • Translated as “Charity” in KJV • Greek words: Agape, Eros, Philia The Different Kinds of Love (Greek) • Eros – Describes the love of pleasure • Philia – Describes the love of attraction such as in a close friendship • Agape – Describes the love of God – Love which gives and sacrifices for the highest good of another person – Utterly unselfish – This the definition of love John uses in his writings Comparing Love Worldly Love Biblical (Agape) Love • Based on an experience • Defined by feelings • Cannot be controlled • Depends on the other person • Self-affirming • Meets other desires • Based on a decision • Compatible with feelings • Can be controlled • Depends on God and me • Self-sacrificial • Meets others needs FOCUS OF LESSON TODAY • John’s discussion of “Why Christian Love” – 1 John 4:7-21 • Are Christians supposed to love non-believers differently? • Steps on how to love unlovable Christians 5 Reasons Why Christians Love 1 John 4: 7-21 1. Because God is the essence of love 2. To follow the supreme example of God’s sacrificial love in sending His Son for us 3. Because love is the heart of Christian witness 4. Because love is the Christian’s assurance 5. Because love is the Christian’s confidence in judgment
  4. 4. 1 John 4:7-8 7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. – Christian’s love because God is the essence of love. – Gnostics believed that God was immaterial spirit and light, but never defined the source of love as coming from His inmost being. God is the essence of love • Love is inherent (permanent attribute) in all He is and does • Even God’s judgment and wrath are perfectly harmonized with His love 1 Corinthians 13:13 13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. – The objects of faith and hope will be fulfilled and perfectly realized in heaven, but love is everlasting. – Heaven will be the place for the expression of nothing but perfect love toward God and each other. John’s definition of God 1. God is light. 1 John 1:5 5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 2. God is love. 1 John 4:8 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 3. God is spirit. John 4:24 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth." 1 John 4:9 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. – Christians love in order to follow the supreme example of God’s sacrificial love in sending His Son for us. – The judgment of sin was on the cross. – God poured out His wrath on His beloved Son.
  5. 5. God’s love • Love is an action, not only an emotion. John 3:16 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. – “only begotten” = unique, one of a kind 1 John 4:10 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice (propitiation) for our sins. – Christianity is not us pursuing God, it is God pursuing us! – “propitiation” - a sacrifice that turns away anger • The “mercy seat” of the Ark of the Covenant • Sprinkle blood on the mercy seat to cover the covenant inside the ark 1 John 4:11 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. – God sending His Son gives Christians obligation to follow this pattern of sacrificial love. – Christian love must be self-sacrificing like God’s love. 1 John 4:12 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. – Nobody can see God loving since His love is invisible. – Jesus is no longer in the world to manifest the love of God. – The only demonstration of God’s love in this age is the church.
  6. 6. 1 John 4:12 Summary • Christians love because love is the heart of Christian witness. • Summary of lesson so far: – Love originated in God, – Love was manifested in His Son, and – Love is demonstrated in His people. 5 Reasons Why Christians Love 1 John 4: 7-21 1. Because God is the essence of love (v. 7-8) 2. To follow the supreme example of God’s sacrificial love in sending His Son for us (v 9-11) 3. Because love is the heart of Christian witness (v.12) 4. Because love is the Christian’s assurance 5. Because love is the Christian’s confidence in judgment 1 John 4:13-14 13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. – Christians love because love motivated by the Spirit is the Christian’s assurance. – A lifestyle of love in action is demonstrable proof of salvation. – “They will know we are Christians by our love….” 1 John 4:15-16 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. – Another mention of the doctrinal test of genuine fellowship • A correct view of Christ – Fully God & Fully Man • A spirit-filled life 1 John 4:17 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. – Christians love because love is the Christians confidence in judgment. – Perfected (complete) love is mature love, not sinless perfection. – We do not generate love, we can only reflect what God has already done for us in Christ.
  7. 7. 1 John 4:18-19 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 19 We love because he first loved us. – Christians do not fear God anymore, because the blood of Jesus covers all our sins (past, present & future). – Love casts out fear, and also hate. Fear entered the world through sin Genesis 3:8-10 8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, "Where are you?" 10 He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid." There is no fear in love Romans 8:14-16 14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. – The Holy Spirit provides us with “assurance” of our salvation. 1 John 4: 20-21 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. – Loving one another is not optional. – Loving one another means loving every believer. – ‘Love’ in each usage is ‘Agape’ in Greek. Question? Since 1 John was written to believers and we are commanded to love (agape) our brothers and sisters in Christ, how then are we to treat non-believers (enemy)? Jesus answers this question in Matthew 5:44 and Luke 6:27……..
  8. 8. Jesus’ answer about our enemies Matthew 5:43-45 43 "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Luke recorded Jesus’ answer Luke 6:27-31 27 "But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Another Question? Is the type of love we are supposed to have for our brothers (fellow believers) different than the love we are to have for our enemies and non-believers? – Answer: Jesus said to ‘agape love’ every person, whether they are a believer or an enemy. I need help loving some fellow believers! We are “one in the spirit”, but there are some people that I just don’t like and cannot love! – Different personalities – All have different likes and dislikes – Can you love another believer and “not like” them? – Agape love is that love which gives and sacrifices for the highest good of another person. Steps to loving someone you don’t love 1. I must confess my lack of love as a sin. - Acknowledge my sin and confess it to God. - The blood of Jesus covers my confessed sin. - Exercise your will and choose to be delivered from the sin of unlove. 2. Choose to love that person - I cannot control my feelings, but I can control my will. - I cannot make myself have a feeling of love toward someone, but I can choose to love that person. - If I make that choice and hold to it, my feelings in time will follow the choice of my will. - I am controlled by the decision of my will and not by my feelings.
  9. 9. Steps to loving someone you don’t love (Continued) 3. Trust God to do what I cannot do. - The Holy Spirit within you can enable you to love someone you are unable to love in your own power. - You cannot do this under your own power, no matter how hard you try! 4. Pray that person into your heart. - Pray for that person. - Ask God to bless that person with those same blessings you pray for yourself. 5. Plan positive behavior. - Choose to express Christ’s life and His love to someone even though you do not feel like it. - You do not have to have a feeling of love to act in love. Quote from C. S Lewis on loving others “The rule for all of us is perfectly simple. Do not waste time bothering whether you love your neighbor; act as if you did. As soon as we do this, we learn one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love them.” Closing Thought How can people “see” the love of an unseen God? – There is only one way – they must see Him in His people. – People see the love of God through Jesus’ followers 1 John 4:12 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. The Plan of Hope & Salvation John 3:16 NKJV 16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 14:6 NKJV 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Romans 3:23 NKJV 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
  10. 10. Romans 6:23a NKJV 23a For the wages of sin is death,  Death in this life (the first death) is 100%.  Even Jesus, the only one who doesn’t deserve death, died in this life to pay the penalty for our sins.  The death referred to in Romans 6:23a is the second death explained in Revelation 21:8. Revelation 21:8 NKJV 8 “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” Romans 5:8 NKJV 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 6:23b NKJV 23b but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Revelation 21:7 NKJV 7 “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.”  Romans 10:9-10 explains to us how to accept Jesus as our Savior. Romans 10:9-10 NKJV 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:13 NKJV 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” If you have questions or would like to know more, Please, contact First Baptist Church Jackson at 601-949-1900 or http://firstbaptistjackson.org/contact/

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