LOVE ONE ANOTHER
LOVE ONE ANOTHER
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.
- And the fact is, even if you have what John mentions here…it must be the right kind.
- Let’s begin in verse 10.
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…
- The Gnostics had come along and they said, “Even though we live a lawless life…even though we practice sin…we still have fellowship with God.”
- And John says, “No you don’t!”
- You can not practice sin and have a righteous standing with God.
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.
- These Gnostics were practicing sin and claiming to have fellowship with God but John says the only fellowship they have is with the devil.
- So you cannot live a life of sin…you cannot practices lawlessness and have a right standing with God.
- Your practices identifies your fellowship.
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)
- This was a foundational truth…they heard this from the very beginning…in fact, they couldn’t hear about Christ without hearing about love…and the love He had for others.
- If they wanted to be right with God they had to love one another.
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 their self-proclaimed intellect bred jealousy and envy…and as a result they sometimes despised each other…and yet they claimed to have fellowship with God.
- John says here it does work that way…if there is no love for your brothers there is no fellowship with God.
And, it must be the right kind of love! Look at vs. 11.
John says that we “should love one another…not as Cain, who was of the evil one.”
- If you are going to have fellowship with God you have to have the right kind of love.
- What kind of love did Cain have?
John says, “We are not to love like Cain, who was of the evil one!”
- Now, look at vs. 8: “The one who practices sin is of the devil.”
- Cain’s killing of Abel wasn’t the result of an isolated instant of rage…it was the result of a lifestyle…a practice.
- Cain was a self-lover…He loved himself so much that he killed Abel.
- Cain was always an egotist…Cain was always self-seeking.
- Cain didn’t care what happened as long as Cain was satisfied.
John says, “Don’t love like Cain, who was of the evil one…”
- Don’t have a selfish, self-seeking love.
- That kind of love is from 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.
- Cain killing his brother wasn’t the result of an instant of anger…
- Cain was a self-lover…and he killed Cain as a result of his lifestyle…a “think only of self” lifestyle.
What about Abel’s walk and status? He was righteous as God is righteous.
- If you are going to have fellowship with God you must have the right kind of love!
- You cannot have a love that thinks only of self.
Now look at verse 13: “Do not marvel, brethren, if the world hates (detests, hateful) you.”
- Just like Cain…who was of the evil one…hated Abel who was righteous…people in the world are going to hate us too.
- And if they hate you…according to vs. 12…who are they of? The evil one.
- From Genesis 3:15 on…there has always been animosity between good and evil…so if they hate you don’t be surprised…don’t marvel at it.
Now, if the world loves us what does that mean?
- It means we are not doing what we should be doing.
- IF we do nothing we are no threat…so there is no reason to hate us.
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…
- People often ask “How can I know that I am right with God?” Here it is:
“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.
- You cannot get the “new birth” on a platform of sin and lawlessness.
- You cannot get the “new birth” on a platform of hate.
- There has to be love…an ongoing love for the brethren.
Now, look at verse 15: Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer;
- You don’t have to commit the physical act…all you have to do is hate.
And look at what John says next: …and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
- These Gnostics despised one another and they still claimed to be right with God…John says we as Christians know better…don’t be fooled by their false teachings.
Vs. 16: We know love (agape) by this, that He laid down His life for us (the church).
- The only way you can know “agape” love is by looking at the cross.
- It has never be expressed or defined prior to the cross.
John says, “He laid down His life for us.”
- It was a deliberate act…it was His choice.
; and we ought (Ophelay – speaks of a moral obligation: we are indebted, bound) to lay down our lives for the brethren.
- How did the Christians lay down their lives for others?
- Romans would kill Christians if they caught them…some laid down their lives to keep Romans from finding their 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?
- The answer is simple…it doesn’t.
- Now, if God’s love doesn’t abide then what does?
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.
- You cannot simply carry out this assignment verbally.
- There is no “I love you brother but….”
- It is “I love you brother therefore…”
He says we are to love “in deed and truth.”
- Love manifests itself in action…and it is not hypocritical.
- Anyone can say, “I love you”…even the Gnostics…but real love requires more than that.
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.
- It is up to us, his church, to manifest the love that Christ has for them, to them so they can have fellowship with God too.
© Sunset Ridge Church of Christ 2023