Abiding in God’s Love
1 John 4:13-21

Abiding in God’s Love

1 John 4:13-21

Big Idea:

God’s love is generous and transformative. We must receive His love before we are transformed by it.

Introduction:

In a world emphasizing love but not able to define, show, or receive it.

1 John 4:13-21

13 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because 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. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world.18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 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. 21 And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.

Big Idea:

God’s love is generous and transformative. We must receive His love before we are transformed by it.

Outline

  1. The Evidence of our Abiding (13-16)
  2. God’s love perfected in us (17-21)
  • The Evidence of our Abiding (13-16)

(The Spirit-Our Confession/Testimony-Being Convinced of God’s Love)

Vs.13- 13 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 

  • By this-Uses it twice to start a line of reasoning
  • We know that- Again bringing up his theme of assurance of salvation
    • 1 John 5:13-I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.
  • We abide in Him and He in us- Mutual Indwelling. Closest relationship you can get. It makes me think of Sam and Frodo in the Lord of the rings. A refusal to abandon us, but to remain in our lives through everything.

A.)The Spirit

  • A Gift to us- God’s generosity. Gives.
  • His Spirit- Shares the same attitude, attributes, and ambition.
  • Ephesians 1:13-14-In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
  • John 14:16-17 & 26 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you…..26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you

B.) Confessing and Testifying

Vs.14-15 “And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.

  • Moments in life you’ll never forget-9/11, Marriage, Birth of Child etc. For John is was Jesus (Baptism, Transfiguration, Resurrection).
    • Mark 10:45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
  • The Father sent his Son- What incredible love.
    • Savior of the World: Whoever
      • Prideful know it all—The abused victim—The person full of doubt—The Poor—The Rich—The Middle class—The Republican—The Democrat—The person with same sex attraction—the couple struggling to walk in purity-The Person full of anxiety and worry…..WHOEVER! We come to Christ and he reforms and transforms us.
  • Seeing and experiencing leads to testifying! It leads to confession.
    • Mt. 12:34b-“For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”

C.) Being Convinced of God’s Love

Vs.16-“So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him”

  • Christianity states we are sinners, rebels and enemies against God. When you begin to see your sin and brokenness more clearly it makes you wonder if anyone could really see all that’s in there and truly love you. One of the signs we’ve been born again is that we have a confidence in God’s love towards us. We have a bigger view of God than we do of ourselves. His grace is stronger than our sin.
    • So we have come to know-Perfect tense (Completed action with implications that continue)….Receiving and believing the gospel is this past action that convinces us of God’s love for us. We continue to grow in it.
    • Redeeming Love Story– Angel and Michael Hosea
  • Abiding in Love– We should seek to genuinely like others, but abiding in love is a statement of obedience to God’s will.
    • John 15:10If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.
      • Love is informed and guided by TRUTH, not mere acceptance and sentimentality. Our love for others will be guided by what we believe is truly good and vital for them.
        • 10 Commandments: Help others to worship God alone-Help and encourage them to find content in God’s provision-Seek to help promote lifestyles of faithfulness both sexually and in your commitments….
  1. God’s Love Perfected in us: Confidence before God, Casts out fear, creates love for our brothers (17-21)

Vs.17-18 “17 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.

  • Love being completed in us-God’s love is still at work in and through us. These are some of the implications in our lives of God’s love working or being completed/perfected in us. 
  • Casts out Fear and Brings Confidence before God 
  • God is terrifying and to be feared!
    • Mt. 10:28– “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, fear the one who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell
    • We have no confidence to approach Him on our own!
  • Why does the Bible tell us to Fear God?
  1. Fear because of Punishment-
  2. Reverence and Respect-
    1. Ps.112:1-Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in his commandments!
  • Christians no longer fear God out of punishment but have a deep Reverence and Awe of His power and love in our lives.
    • Love casts out fear…..love took punishment so we wouldn’t have to! Love brings confidence when we have uneasiness.

19 We love because he first loved us. 20 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. 21 And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother

  • Creates Love for others 
  • He is the source of love– Our ability to love is directly correlated to our receiving love from Him. We lack the strength and direction for true love. Receiving Christ’s love empowers and informs our love for others.
    • Like a well, we must go to him to be filled consistently.

God’s Love

  • Gives His Spirit
  • Sends His Son to be Savior of the World
  • Makes His Home within us
  • Is Patient to convince us of His love
  • Brings Confidence towards God, especially with regards to our judgment
  • Casts out Fear
  • Is the Origin and Source of our love
  • Causes us to love our brothers (others)
  • Leads us to be genuine and true
  • Is it easier to love God or people? Often we would answer God, He’s not sinful and doesn’t act as people do….John says it’s the opposite. If you can’t love people whom you can see and physically interact with you’re not loving God whom you can’t see.
    • Remember-One of the signs of God’s love being completed in us is through our love towards others!

What does it mean to love my neighbor as myself? (C.S. Lewis-Mere Christianity)

It doesn’t mean to like them, for sometime we don’t like ourselves! It means to desire their good. To want what is in their best interests. We have people we like and don’t like, much like food or TV. We can’t necessarily help that. We should cultivate and seek to like more and more people. The principle aspect about love isn’t just an emotion! It’s a commitment of the will to another persons good. If God chooses to bring emotional fulfillment than we rejoice, but we don’t wait until feeling’s of love and care fall upon before we act for what is good and right for others! The Non-Christian likes people and therefore treats them with love. The Christian desiring to treat everyone with love will presently find they like more and more people, even people we couldn’t imagine liking when we started the venture.

“On the whole, God’s love for us is a much safer subject to think about than our love for Him. Nobody can always have devout feelings; and even if we could, feelings are not what God principally cares about. Christian love, either towards God or towards man, is an affair of the will. If we are trying to do his will we are obeying the commandment, “Thou shalt love the Lord they God.” He will give us feelings of love if He pleases. We cannot create them for ourselves, and we must not demand them as a right. But the great things to remember is that, though our feelings come and go, His love for us does not. It is not wearied by our sins, or our indifference; and, therefore, it is quite relentless in its determination that we shall be cured of those sins, at whatever cost to us, at whatever cost to Him.”