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The Life and Letters of John: Love One Another- For God is Love

The life & letters of John

Love One Another – For God Is Love

1 John 2.7-11 & 3.11-18 & 4.7-21

It was June 25th... 1967.... The first world-wide TV Special... 

The two hour program... Our World broadcast... Was produced by the BBC and was delivered by satellite to 25 countries... 400 million people.

For the occasion... The Beatles were asked to come up with a simple song...

• That everyone could understand... 

• That would draw people closer together... 

• And would promote peace... 

To a restless war-torn world.

John Lennon and Paul McCartney both wrote songs... John Lennon's was chosen.

An almost four minute song in an unusual 7/4 time... Where the chorus was only one note.

All you need is love 

All you need is love... Love... Love

Love is all you need.

Interesting that Lennon's handwritten lyrics sold in the summer of 2005 for a million pounds.

Lennon had left them in the BBC Studios... On a scrap of paper that was picked up by a studio employee.

All you need is love 

Love is all you need.

The Apostle John says... This has been God's cry from the beginning... A God who is LOVE... Asked us... as His children... To be His people and person of love.

Paul contends that there are three things most important in our relationship with God... Faith... Hope... Love... And the greatest of these is love.

Just how important is this LOVE?... Paul tells us... Listen... 

• If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels... but have not love... I am only a 

resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 

• If I have the gift of prophecy and can understand all mysteries... Have all knowledge... 

If I have a faith that can move mountains... but have not love... I am nothing.

• If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames in martyrdom... 

but have not love... I gain nothing.

The word love...... Dominates the Book of First John... Some form of the word appears 40 times... Some 33 times in the verses noted for our text for this morning.

Some say John is the Biblical Expert on the subject.

So... Let's see what we can learn... 

About this love we're to have one toward another...

First... We learn that LOVE has always been God's desire for His People.

John tells us this is not a new command... But an old one... Going back to the beginning.

• He indicates that Cain murdered his brother for a lack of love.

Now it's easy for us to say... Well... I've never murdered anyone... True!... Until we 

remember the words of Jesus... Telling us that hate is mental murder.

Truth is... We're all guilty... Amen?

• Love is the subject of the last six of the Ten Commandments... Where we find how 

we're to treat one another.

• Leviticus 19.18 reads... Don't seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your 

people... But love your neighbor as yourself. 

• Micah 6.8 adds... He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what the Lord requires 

of you? To Act Justly and to love Mercy & Kindness and to walk humbly with your God.

• From the lips of Jesus... Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your 

soul and with all your strength and with all your mind... and, Love your neighbor as 

yourself.

In our text... John reasons that... We are to love because God loves.

God is Love... It's a part of His DNA... Love is God's dominate gene!

When we're truly... Born again... Born from above... Born of God... We will love as God loves. 

The New Birth... Being born of God... Ushers us into God's family of lovers.

Indeed... The New Birth places... God's DNA... His Spirit... In us... Producing Love!

We know that because Paul says... Love is a Fruit of the Spirit... A result of God living in us.

Church it's just this simple... If God lives in us... If we have the Spirit of Jesus living in us... We will love as they love.

John goes on to say that such love is a life long maturing process... He says... I write to you... As children... As young men... And as fathers.

Here it is... Our love of others is a measure of our Christian Maturity... How are we doing? 

Secondly... This New Command is modeled by Jesus.

If we want to know what agape love looks like... Don't consult a dictionary... But look at God... See His Son Jesus.

God so loved the world that He gave His One and Only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life... God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.

1 John 3.16 reads... This is how we know what love is… Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.

Do we want to know what genuine God based love looks like... Look at Jesus!

Romans 5.8 says... While we were undeserving God demonstrated His love for us in this... While we were still... Sinners... Ungodly... Aliens... Unlovable... Christ died for us.

This command is new because Jesus modeled it to a depth and extent that no-one had previously!... Perfect love!!

You see... It's one thing to study love... Learn about love... Another to see it exemplified.

Jesus came to show us... how to love!... What love looks like!... Let us love as He loved... Amen?

We learn that love is not a feeling... but a behavior.

1 John 4.9... 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.

God is love... But God is not just a talking God... He so loved that He gave His Only Son.

While we were yet undeserving... Christ died for us.

3.17 & 18 of our text reads... Let us not love with words or tongue... but with actions and in truth... If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?

James gives us the same message... Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him... Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed... But does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 

It was Jesus who said... So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you.

Twice in John chapter fourteen... We find Jesus saying... If you love Me you will keep My commandments... Genuine Love demands a behavior.

Genuine Biblical Love is not about our words... But is about our Behavior!

The narrative of the Good Samaritan connects love with behavior... 

• He had compassion on him...

• Bound up his wounds...

• Pouring in oil & wine... 

• Sat him on his own animal...

• Took him to the inn saying care for him and place his care on my tab. 

The Great Sheep and Goat Judgment also speaks of love as a behavior... 

I was hungry and you gave me something to eat...

• I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink...

• I was a stranger and you invited me in... 

• I needed clothes and you clothed me...

• I was sick and you Looked after me...

• I was in prison and you came to visit me... 

As often as you did it to the least of these My brothers... You did it to Me.

Words are important... My saying I love you is one thing... But it is… Useless… Meaningless… Unless I'm willing to prove my love with a behavior.

Listen to this...

• A man's wife is driving a broken-down twenty-five-year-old car... But he fishes from a

new 60 thousand dollar bass boat... Does he love her or himself?

• A husband says I love my wife... But is seldom at home... Has girlfriends on the side... 

Spends his money at the bar... Watches a lot of porn... Does he really love her?... Really?

What proves our love... Words or deeds?... Words or behavior?

The bottom line in our love behavior is this... We meet folk everyday who will never read the Bible... But they are reading us in how we love others... 

We are writing a Gospel... A chapter each day...

By our deeds... 

And the words we say.

Others read what we say and do

Whether faithless or true

So... What is the Gospel according to you?

This brings us to the point that… agape Love is proof of discipleship. 

Agape is a... Willful... Decisive... Unconditional... Sacrificial... Benevolence toward others that's never dependent... Never based... Upon how the recipient feels or behaves toward us.

Agape is placing the interest of others before our own.

Agape is the love God has for us... An undeserving love!! 

Listen... If we love God... We will love all those whom God loves... Can I say that again?... If we truly love God... If His Spirit is in us... We will love all those He loves.

John writes in 4.7 & 8... Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love... Does not know God... For God is love.

The word Knows here is our word ginosko... A word that speaks of a relationship.

Here it is church... The Bible teaches that... 

• If we have a relationship with God and His Son... 

• If the Spirit of the Godhead lives in us... 

We will love others... And that love will be evident in our behavior.

It was Jesus who said... Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples... if you love one another.

Again... Paul's comments from the first three verses of First Corinthians thirteen are so appropriate here... He contends that…

• Our Doctrine can be right...

• Our Biblical Knowledge awesome...

• Our Faith strong enough to move mountains...

• Our Giving generous... Even to the point of martyrdom...

But if we don't love others... All others... Including our enemies... It all counts for nothing.

I saw this quote last week that's so right on... When doctrine trumps our love... Something is wrong with our doctrine!

Paul would agree... Don't you think!!

It was Jesus who said... I tell you... Love your enemies and pray for those who hate you and would harm you if they could.

Jesus is saying... Our love must be seen in our behavior... 

• We must stop our judgmental criticism of others... 

• Our gossip and badmouthing... 

Paul writes... If you keep on biting and devouring each other... Watch out or you will destroy one other.

Listen church... It's not likely that the Bella Vista Church of Christ will be weakened or inhibited by her outside enemies... But from the inside by our own lack of love. 

Indeed... Love is proof of genuine discipleship!... Everyone will know if we are His disciple by how we treat others.

Well... For the lesson to be meaningful... we must test our love.

John closes with this thought... If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen... He has given us this command... Whoever loves God must also love his brother.

How do we know if we... Love... Agape... One another?... Easy... Paul gives us the Litmus Test in First Corinthians 13... 

• Are we Patient?... 

• Kind?... 

• Envious?...

• Proud & Boastful?...

• Rude?...

• Arrogant... Narcissistic... Self-seeking?...

• Are we easily angered?...

• Do we remember every hurtful wrong done to us?...

• Do we delight in rehearsing evil thoughts about others?...

• Or do we rejoice in truth?...

• Are we protecting the reputation of others?...

• Are we trusting of others?... Hoping the best for them?...

• Do we persevere in relational trials?

Indeed!!... Such Love... Agape... Never fails. 

So the question becomes... Are you a part of God's family of lovers... Have You been... Born Again?... Born From Above?... Born of God?

You can be by... Faith in God... A changed lifestyle... By confession of Jesus... And baptism for the forgiveness of sin and the gift of… God's DNA... His Spirit.

How about those of us who are His Children?... 

• Are we maturing in our agape love of others?... 

• Are we loving more deeply today than when we were first born again?

Our challenge is to love… More people… More deeply... More often.

Will we accept His invitation and challenge as we stand and sing together? 




Written By

Parker Willis

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