Love and Assurance
1 John 3:11-24

Love and Assurance

1 John 3:11-24

Big Idea:

Love is the evidence and essence of the Christian Faith. We showcase this love by laying our lives down for others.

1 John 3:11-24

11 For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 12 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. 13 Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. 15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

19 By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him;20 for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. 21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 22 and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. 24 Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.

Big Idea

Love is the evidence and essence of the Christian Faith. We showcase this love by laying our lives down for others.

Outline

The Evidence of Love (11-15)-The Essence of Love (16-18)-The Hearts Assurance (19-24)

The Evidence of Life: Love (11-15)

  1. Just as breathing is the evidence of new physical life so love is the evidence of new Spiritual life.
    1. Vs.11 It’s the beginning of the Christian faith
    2. John 15:35 “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
    3. Definition of love: a passionate commitment to the ultimate good of another.
  1. The opposite of Love: Hatred for your brother
    1. The Story of Cain and Abel (Genesis 4)
    2. It’s an illustration of the world and its treatment of Christians (What do you expect?)
      1. Story of Noah- World mocked and thought he was crazy for obeying God
      2. Story of Joseph- Stood on purity and was thrown in prison
      3. Story of Daniel- Refused to stop praying and was thrown into the lions den.
      4. John the Baptist- Stood against political corruption and immorality, was beheaded.
      5. Jesus- Came as the light of the world but was rejected by both the world and Religion. Sentenced to death for speaking and living the truth by the World’s powers because they felt threatened.
        1. John 15:18 “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you
    3. Hatred is murder! It reveals our Spiritual condition. We cannot hate and love at the same time: mutually exclusive.

Question:

Are your relationships marked by love, encouragement, truth telling or bitterness, criticism, hatred…the need to tear down another to feel good about yourself?

The Essence of Love (16-18)

  1. Christ the Example (God’s love defines and empowers our love for others!) (16)
    1. Shows us through laying his life down for us. Doesn’t ask us to do anything he hasn’t done for us.
      1. 16-“By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.
      2. Christ laid down his life of his own accord. John 10:18- No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”
        1. Laid down his life: Limited himself (Physically-Time)—Emptied Himself (Became poor)—Became a servant—Died in our place
        2. A person’s life is his most precious possession. Consequently, to rob him of it is the greatest sin we can commit against him, while to give one’s own life on his behalf is the greatest possible expression of love for him (cf. John 15:13; Rom. 5:6–10). This, then, is the ultimate contrast: Cain’s hatred issued in murder, Christ’s love in self-sacrifice. Indeed, true love, agapē, is self-sacrifice. ‘Love is the giving impulse’ (Law).
  1. Self-sacrifice, the essence of love (17)
    1. Self-Preservation the essence of indifference and hate!
    2. We ought to lay down our lives for our brothers
      1. At least loving and helping those whom we see and are able to.
    3. Seen through actions not just words (18)
      1. James 2:14-17-“ 14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”
      2. ‘It is easier to be enthusiastic about Humanity with a capital “H” than it is to love individual men and women, especially those who are uninteresting, exasperating, depraved, or otherwise unattractive. Loving everybody in general may be an excuse for loving nobody in particular’ (Lewis). So John writes that if anyone has material possessions (Gk. bion) and sees his brother in need, he is in debt to him. Two factors place him, as they placed the Good Samaritan, in a position of inescapable responsibility. First, he must see a brother’s need, ‘not merely cast a passing glance, but see, long enough to appreciate and understand the circumstances of the case’ (Brooke). Secondly, he must be in a position to meet his need.
      3. And the essence of such divine love, whether in Christ or in us, is costly self-giving, the giving of our bios (17), our possessions, if not of our physical psychē (16), life itself.

The Hearts Assurance (19-24)

  1. A Heart that Condemns (19-20)
    1. Belief: Do I really believe rightly about Jesus? Obedience: Am I really obeying God as I ought? Love: Is my love for others what it should be? Sometimes I doubt; sometimes I disobey; sometimes hate comes, seemingly out of nowhere, and these things bother me. That is bad, right? No, it is actually good. Those who do not know Christ ask none of these questions! Such issues do not bother those with hard hearts. But they can trouble the Christian…..Akin, Daniel L..
  1. An Uncondemned Heart (21-24)
      1. 1 Cor. 4:2-4- “Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me.
    1. Confident Expectation in Prayer (21-22)
    2. Abiding in Him (23)
      1. Obedience to His commands
        1. Belief in Christ
        2. Love one another
      2. The Spirit’s work in our lives (24)