HOW IS YOUR LOVE LIFE
HOW IS YOUR LOVE LIFE?
1 JOHN 4: 7-14
I don’t mean to embarrass anyone but let me ask all of you, “How is your love life?”
- And you may be thinking, “Wow preacher, you are getting pretty personal!”
Well, you are right, this is pretty personal. But the truth is, it is not me that is asking; God is the One that is concerned.
- In fact, I don’t know if you noticed it, but in the 8 verses that were read, the word “love” is found 13 times, and if you go from verse 14 through verse 21 “love” is mentioned 14 more times.
- So here in 14 verses, the word “love” appears 27 times.
- And the purpose of these verses is to teach you about love, and about how much you and I are loved, and how we are to respond to His love for us.
- And because our “love life” has eternal consequences, if our love life isn’t good, it is very important that you and I change it.
- So, God asks over and over again in these verses, “How is your love life?”
Now, as we through this passage and answer that question we need to understand what God means when He speaks of “love.”
- In the Greek there are 4 words that are translated “love.”
- There is the Greek word “eros”; we get our word “erotic” from this word; this is the sensual, sexual love.
- Then there is the word “storge”; this speaks of family love; love parents have for children; children for parents; brothers for sisters, and so on.
- Then there is the word “phileo”; we get our word “Philadelphia” from this word; it speaks of friendship; love given to all kinds of people; brotherly love.
- Then there is the word “agape”; this is the word used by John in these verses. It is a love that does not desire to get but to give; and it is not attracted by some lovable quality but is poured out even on those who are worthless and degraded.
- It is unconditional love. It is sacrificial.
- It means “to seek the highest good of another regardless of what it costs me; whether they deserve it, appreciate it, accept it, or not.
- If you want an example of this kind of love, look at the cross!
- These other kinds of love can and do often fail, but “agape” love, like the apostle Paul says in 1 Cor. 13:7, “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things, and never fails.”
And that is the kind of love that we are to have. So, once again God asks, “How is your love life?”
Look at Vs. 7 Beloved, let us love one another (reciprocating action – back and forth; seek the highest good of each other even when we don’t deserve it or appreciate it. It is loving each other even at times when we may not be very lovable),
…for love is from God;
- The kind of love that John is talking about has its roots only in God…and our love is reflexive.
- God’s love is original and we love because of the love that He has for us.
…and everyone who loves is born (is begotten…this is a perfect tense verb) of God and knows God.
- If our “love life” continues to be what it should be we have a present standing new birth in Christ.
But, vs. 8 The one who does not love (Love has action. It is not just something you say. It is easy to say, “I love you.” But “agape” love can be seen in what you do.) does not know God, for God is love.
- Everything that God does has love as its platform.
- And notice that John says that “the one who does not love does not know God.”
- An individual can claim to know God and have fellowship with Him. But if you do not love your brother or sister there is no fellowship.
- Therefore, love is as essential for salvation as faith, confession, repentance and baptism is.
- So, again, how is your love life?
Vs. 9: By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten (one and only) Son into the world so that we might live through Him.
- The phrase “in us” speaks of an investment…and what this means is God has invested a cross full of love in us!
- And notice where it says “that we might live through Him”…without His Son we would be dead…if we are going to live He would have to die.
10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us (We didn’t start it…it started with God…He sent His Son on a death mission) and sent His Son to be the propitiation (satisfaction…God is going to be satisfied…He sends His Son on the death mission and then He carries out the penalty…and He does this…) for our sins.
Now, we talk about how much Christ loves us in that He died on the cross for us. But, which is the most difficult: to die for others; or to send your son to die for others?
- God’s assignment to send Christ was more difficult than if He would have come Himself.
- God’s love goes beyond comprehension.
11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought (speaks of a moral obligation) to love one another.
- Because God sent His Son on a death mission and then He carried out the death penalty…then we have a moral obligation to love one another.
- If I am going to take advantage of the love that God has extended to me through His Son, how can I dare refuse to love my brother or sister in Christ.
- I have a moral obligation to love them.
Vs. 12: No one has beheld God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.
- No one has seen God…the only way that people can see God is by the way we as God’s people love each other.
- He is invisible but His love isn’t.
- His love was seen on Calvary…and it should be seen in us?
- God has invested His love in us and we should then produce a love for each other as our response to His investment.
Vs. 13: By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.
- We have a greater Spirit than the Gnostics and the world…His Spirit promotes love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
- The spirit they had promoted self…jealousy…strife…greed…immorality…and division.
Vs. 14: And we (the apostles) have beheld and bear witness that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus (Savior) is the Son of God (Deity), God abides in him, and he in God.
- Deny His humanity…His Deity…Deny Him as Savior…and you deny the manifested love of God.
- We are talking about a real Jesus…the Gnostics denied that He was real.
Vs. 16: And we have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us(Calvary is convincing…love is self-verifying…Calvary is the verification of God’s love). God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
- Fellowship is rooted in love and again, God is asking, “How is your love life?”
17 By this, love is perfected with us, that we may have confidence (Gnostic doesn’t have confidence) in the day of judgment (He is coming); because as He is (God’s love is redemptive…He is in the world in a redemptive way), so also are we in this world (We are to be in this world in a redemptive way as well).
18 There is no fear in love (He is speaking of the Gnostic here); but perfect love casts out fear (If we have love we can walk into the presence of the judge of the universe without fear), because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.
- The man who does not see Calvary and who does not know God and His love has no boldness before God.
19 We love, because He first loved us.
- You cannot love the way God wants you to love without a trip to Calvary.
20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.
- You are to love Him whom you have not seen through the one you have seen.
- This kind of love is expected…but not only is it expected but look at verse 21.
21 And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.
So, once again, God through the apostle John is asking, “How is your love life?”
- If our love life is good, we have an ongoing standing new birth in Christ.
- But if our love life isn’t good, if we don’t love, we don’t have fellowship with God; no salvation.
And as far as we are concerned, we each one have a moral obligation to love each other; and it is important that our love life is good because people see God and His love through us.
And our “love life” confirms that we abide in God and that He abides in us; and our love give us confidence to stand before God without fear.
- And a “good love life” proves us to be faithful…so, “How is our love life?”
- If your love life is not what it should be, it may be that we need to revisit Calvary and the love that was manifested there.
- Let’s do that: #332 “Lead Me To Calvary”
Now, look at vs. 7 again. John says that we are to “love one another.”
- Don’t make this hard for your brothers and sisters to do.
- Make every effort to be lovable.
- Over the years I have encountered several brothers or sisters in Christ who have made it difficult to love them.
- If you or I are rude, crude, thoughtless, unkind, harsh, difficult and disagreeable we may not have the love of God with in us.
- Make every effort to love your brothers and sisters just as God loves you…and as much as it depends on you, make it easy for your brothers and sisters to love you in return.
© Sunset Ridge Church of Christ 2023