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I John 3: 10-18

If I were to ask you what the ‘STEPS TO SALVATION” are…you would probably say, “Hear, Believe, Confess, Repent, Be Baptized, and walk in the light.

However, in this passage that we are going to cover John indicates that there is one more item required for salvation…that Hear, Believe, Confess, Repent, Baptism and walk in the light are not enough.

Now, keep in mind that John is writing this due to the influence of the Gnostics…and what John is doing is he is writing to tell these Christians not to give in to the Gnostic teachings…

In fact, look at verse 10: By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice (present tense) righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.

But what I really want you to notice is the last phrase of Vs. 10…because John moves into another facet that excludes the Gnostics from fellowship with God…but not only the Gnostics but anyone who does not have what John mentions here. Look at the end of vs. 10 again:

…anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother. 11 For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another; (reciprocating action)

The Gnostics didn’t have a love for their brothers…they were Elitists…they thought that they were enlightened…they were smarter than others…and in their great wisdom they looked down on those who weren’t as smart at they were.

And, it must be the right kind of love!  Look at vs. 11.

John says that we “should love one anothernot as Cain, who was of the evil one.”

John says, “We are not to love like Cain, who was of the evil one!”

John says, “Don’t love like Cain, who was of the evil one…”

Look at verse 12: And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds (speaks of a practice) were evil and his brother’s were righteous.

What about Abel’s walk and status? He was righteous as God is righteous.

Now look at verse 13: “Do not marvel, brethren, if the world hates (detests, hateful)  you.”

Now, if the world loves us what does that mean?

Now look at verse 14: “We know that we have passed out of death into life…he is going to tell us how we know…

“We know that we have passed out of death into life….because we love (present indicative) the brethren. He who does not love abides (present indicative) in death.

Now, look at verse 15:  Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer;

And look at what John says next: …and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

Vs. 16:  We know love (agape) by this, that He laid down His life for us (the church).

John says, “He laid down His life for us.”

; and we ought (Ophelay – speaks of a moral obligation: we are indebted, bound) to lay down our lives for the brethren.

Vs. 17: But whoever has the world’s goods (the means of livelihood – food, clothing, shelter) and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart (shows no compassion) against  him, how does the love of God abide in him?

This is a day to day assignment…love is not an isolated act.

18 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.

He says we are to love “in deed and truth.”

What are the steps to salvation: Hear, Believe, Confess, Repent, Baptized, Love, and walk in the light.

These Gnostics said they had fellowship with God even though they hated each other…and John says, “If there is no love for one another…there is no fellowship.”

If you look at our culture and society it is evident that most people do not know what real love is.