1 John 5:1-3

Wednesday Evening Bible Study

April 8, 1998

Introduction

Last week we were talking about the extreme importance in learning to really love one another with Godís agape love.

I think the main verse that summed it up was Ė

(1 John 4:12 KJV) No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

The chapter ended with Ė

(1 John 4:20-21 KJV) If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? {21} And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

The question that would seem most likely to follow is, "just who is my brother"?

I think the next verse answers that question.

:1-3 Loving obedience

:1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God

believeth Ė present tense.

born of God Ė perfect (past) tense.

The idea that John is expressing here is that the way you can tell who has been born of God is the one who is continually, presently believing that Jesus is the Christ.

Who is your brother? Someone who has the same Father as you. Someone who is born of God like you.

:1 and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.

If you love Dad, then youíll love His kids.

Itís talking about loving one another.

This was how the last chapter ended, how inconsistent it is to say you love God, when you donít love your brother.

(1 John 4:20-21 KJV) If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? {21} And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

Another quick review, weíre talking about agape love.

Itís not the warm fuzzies. Itís not a sexual love. Itís not loving someone who has earned your love.

(1 Cor 13:4-8 NLT) Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud {5} or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. {6} It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. {7} Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. {8} Love will last forever, but prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will all disappear.

:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.

when Ė hotan Ė when, whenever, as long as, as soon as

Another question is raised, "How do I know if Iím really loving Godís children correctly?"

There can be lots of reasons why we love people.

Because theyíve been nice to us, because theyíre attractive people, because theyíre popular people, because they pay attention to us, because theyíll do something for us if we pay attention to them, or because theyíre cool Ö

But God wants us to love people out of our love for Him, and our obedience to Him.

The real test is when you come up against someone who isnít nice, someone who isnít attractive, someone who isnít popular, someone who doesnít pay attention to us, someone who doesnít know how to pay attention to us, or someone who is extremely "uncool".

This is difficult in a small church like ours.

Itís one thing to talk to a mass of 2,000 people and tell them to love each other, but you really see whether or not itís happening when you see it in a small group, like ours.

In a small church like ours, itís not so easy to avoid people who rub you wrong, not without leaving the church.

But this is the real test of agape, when youíre face to face with that person.

Lesson:

Loving others out of obedience to God.

Keep in mind of our definition of agape love.

Loving others out of obedience to God doesnít mean tolerating them with your teeth clenched.

It means being patient with them. It means doing good things for them. It means being polite to them. It means being happy for them when they get promoted and you donít.

Itís very practical Ė

Itís not just to love with words, but in actions as well Ė

(1 John 3:18 KJV) My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

D.L. Moody often said, "Every Bible should be bound in shoe leather."

Illustration

A woman visited a newspaper editorís office, hoping to sell him some poems she had written. "What are your poems about?" the editor asked. "Theyíre about love!" gushed the poetess. The editor settled back in his chair and said, "Well, read me a poem. The world could certainly use a lot more love!" The poem she read was filled with moons and Junes and other sticky sentiments, and it was more than the editor could take. "Iím sorry," he said, "but you just donít know what love is all about! Itís not moonlight and roses. Itís sitting up all night at a sickbed, or working extra hours so the kids can have new shoes. The world doesnít need your brand of poetical love. It needs some good old-fashioned practical love."

:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments

Loving God isnít proven with the words you say, but the actions you do.

(John 14:15 KJV) If ye love me, keep my commandments.

(John 14:23 KJV) Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

This is how we know that our love for God is real, if we are obeying Him.

Illustration

If a man says he loves his wife, but has a girlfriend on the side, is that love? Even if he says to his wife, "Honey, I love you so much, but every time I see this girl, I just canít help myself Ö" Who are we kidding? He may have an emotional attachment to his wife, but he doesnít love her.

Obeying Him starts with learning to love others.

(John 13:34-35 KJV) A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. {35} By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

How can I know that my love for God isnít just cheap words?

Because I am loving His people.

:3 and his commandments are not grievous.

grievous Ė barus Ė heavy in weight; burdensome; severe, stern; violent, cruel, unsparing

(1 John 5:3 NASB) Ö His commandments are not burdensome.

(1 John 5:3 NLT) Loving God means keeping his commandments, and really, that isn't difficult.

Lesson:

Itís a supernatural love.

There are people with whom you are incompatible. Theyíre probably too much like you. Itís amazing how bad our sins look on other people.

It has to be Godís love in our lives to help us love others.

When we learn to walk in the Spirit, we have new desires, and we find that we start naturally obeying the things God wants for us Ė

(Rom 8:1-6 KJV) There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. {2} For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. {3} For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: {4} That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. {5} For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. {6} For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

This includes His command to love one another.

Illustration

The hand and the glove. Without a hand in it, a glove canít do much of anything. But when you put your hand in the glove, whatever your hand is able to do, the glove can do.

Does God know how to love His people? Then let Him fill you up and love them through you.

Yet often the problem is that there arenít many empty spaces in our lives for Him to fill.

Illustration

"Room For The Oil" by Shanna Martinez "Handrails"

Tears filled my eyes, my body trembled. My heart was heavy - longing. I looked up at the stars from the depths of my heart and I cried out to God, Lord! I Love you! I want more of You. Please give me more of You."

"There's no room left for me. Not understanding, I cried out again, pleading, "Lord, Please fill me." He gently said, "There's just no more room for me. You have all you can hold." My heart sank and I cried, "Lord, I don't understand, I NEED more of You, Please!"

Then the Lord showed me a big glass vase, a pile of handkerchiefs and a pitcher of oil. He said, "This vase is your heart and I am the Oil." He picked up a handful of handkerchiefs and put them into the vase. He said, "These are your family, these are your cares, your worries, the things that consume your heart and the things you tend to put before Me: family, home, income, entertainment, friends, bills, every anxiety, worry and fear.

Tears fell as I saw the vase FULL. Then the Lord picked up the Oil and poured it into the vase. As He put it down, I saw that the pitcher was Still Full. He said, "you see--- Your heart is already Full. There's so little room for Me. These are all the things that fill and weight your heart, leaving no room for me."

My sweet child, give me ALL your cares. That is Why I died. Give me ALL your heart and I will fill you with MYSELF. You want so much more of Me -- then leave room for Me" To be Full of God, is to Surrender ALL.