God's own love is poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit so that we might show the same self-sacrificing love to one another.
Scripture: 1 John 3:10-18
- The conflict between the Seed of the woman and the seed of the Serpent continues to this day.
- Sin is breaking God’s laws; lawlessness, on the other hand, is total rejection of God’s law.
- Our culture seeks to destroy any definition of sin and thereby to eliminate conflict and division.
- True unity is found only in Christ where we are received as repentant sinners.
- John reminds us that the gospel calls us to love one another.
- The basis of our love is God’s own love among the persons of the Trinity; it is not grounded in merely human love.
- If we do not show practical love, it brings into question whether God’s love abides in us.
- The letter of 1 John is an application of the gospel of John chapters 13-17.
- The love we have for one another is God’s own love which is poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit. This love motivates us to lay down our lives for one another.
- God in Christ laid down His life for us that we might be called children of God by adoption.
- Not everybody is a child of God; only those who have the love of God poured into their hearts.
- Looking to Christ, we must have open hearts toward our brothers and sisters in Christ.
- Cain was guilty of his own sin and envious of his brother’s righteousness.
- We should celebrate with joy the evidence of God’s grace in the lives of others.
- God invites Cain to repent and warns him of the danger of sin. Hatred and envy blind us to God’s grace in our lives.
- Cain butchered his brother; the world wants to sacrifice Christians, to butcher them.
- We are not surprised that the world hates us because as children of the light we expose their works of darkness and the world feels condemned.
- When we share the gospel it is a witness to the world and a witness against the world. So we will provoke the world’s hostility (John 16:2-3).
- Paul was killing Christians because he thought he was doing a service to God.
- In our age, the “believe in love” religion seeks to resolve all problems by rejecting right and wrong; thus Christians are seen as evil for declaring right and wrong.
- To the world it is impiety to believe that Jesus is the only way, to believe abortion is murder, or to believe in biblical marriage.
- Jesus says the fact that we are hated by the world for His sake is a blessing and a source of assurance (Lk. 21:17-18).
- We know we have passed from death into life if we love the brothers.
- Our self-sacrificing love for one another will witness to the world that we are God’s children.
- If God’s love is in us it expresses itself in self-sacrificing love for our brothers.
- Paul fleshes out what Christian love for the brothers looks like in Phil. 2:1-4; Col. 3: 12-13; Eph. 4:30-32.
- John requires practical love as an evidence of God’s love toward us. We need to be attentive to the needs of others.
- How can we discern whether God’s very love abides in us?
- How do we deal with our own guilt (cf. Cain)?
- How should we respond to the evidence of God’s grace in others?
- What does it looks like to demonstrate meekness and humility in our interactions and relationships in the church?
- Is your heart attached to the goods of the world? Or are you open to the needs of your brothers and sisters?
- Are you aware of the interests of others in the church? Are they a priority for you?
- What does it mean to live a life of service?