1st John 3:14-15 THE LOVE LIFE

I. Introduction

A. Thus far in our study, our progress has brought us in touch with two great spiritual factors

1. Namely, life and light

2. We now advance to the third factor - LOVE

B. We are told here that love proves life

1. The test of the genuineness of our life is not our profession or our religious activity

2. The test of life is in our love for each other

C. This love proves some very definite things

II. Love Proves our Likeness to Christ (3;14-15)

A. How is it possible for a person to know he is a Christian?

1. Do we know it because we are fundamentalists?

a. no - this is not the test

b. one can boast about possessing the fundamentals of the faith

c. it is to often true that in evangelical circles those who profess to know the most about the truth

d. exhibit least this greatest of all criterion of faith - which is love

2. We expect Christians to answer with chapter and verse but we seldom look for or expect God's evidence which is love (3:14)

a. that verse is the proof of life

B. In the context it speaks of murder as applying to a Christian. How is it possible for a Christian to murder anyone?

1. Hatred in the realm of the spiritual world is the equivalent of murder in the physical world.

a. the one is wishful destruction of a soul the other is the violent destruction of a life

b. when we hate a person, the motive is the same as wishing him destroyed

c. hatred in the heart is the same sin that becomes hatred of the hand - murder

2. Keep in mind that it is not beyond a Christian to have a lapse in love and express a momentary feeling of bitterness or hatred.

a. but in a genuine Christian, such a feeling is quickly dealt with

III. Love Proves our Likeness to God (3:16-17)

A. We arrive at a significant and strategic place

1. We have come to the Bible's second John 3:16

2. Interestingly enough they both speak of love

a. the Gospel 3:16 speaks of God's love

b. the Epistle 3:16 speaks of man's love

3.The Gospel 3:16 says that the gift of God's Son is the proof of His love for the world

a. the Epistle 3:16 speaks of the Christian's gift of Himself to others as the proof of his love to the brothers

b. in the one case, Christ, as God, laid down His life for us

c. in the other case the Christian, as Christ, lays down his life for the brethren

d. both equally belong to Christian experience

B. Because His love gave - our love should give

1. Giving is the only evidence we possess that God has loved us. (3:16-4:9)

2. It is the only evidence that we can exhibit that we love others

C. How does one perceive the love of a husband or wife

1. Is it by the sweet words that flowed so freely during the courtship? NO

2. It is evidenced by what is given by an exchange of lives and deeds

3. He gives himself - she gives of herself

a. in this-love, is not only revealed but sustained

D. Love, however, is not only sacrifice it is a satisfaction

1. It's blessings accrue to the giver as well as the receiver

2. It is a truism in life - no one can sincerely help another without helping himself

a. unless there is such a love in us we become very selfish and self centered.

b. someone once remarked - a man wrapped up in himself makes a very small package

3. To many people, religion is a dam in which they impound all the benefits of grace for themselves

a. whereas God intends that we should be a channel through which those blessings reach others

IV. Love Proves our Likeness to the Truth (3:18-24)

A. Love provides a certain ground of Christian assurance

1. IT is a love expressed in a practical way (3:18)

2. Love provides certain benefits to its servants

B. Love provides the Assurance of Truth (19)

1. This assurance of truth comes when our love is indeed and in truth (3:18)

a. if faith works by love it lives

b. lest someone presumes to think that loving people and doing kindness brings salvation let me correct that right now

2. The cause of salvation is grace

a. the means of salvation is faith

b. the evidence of salvation is love

3. We cannot do anything to become a Christian but afterward we can do the things that become a Christian

C. Love Provides the Assurance of an Undoncemning Heart (20-21)

1. This is the assurance of our inner witness

a. within ourselves we know whether we have lived selfishly or not

b. we know whether we have exhibited love or not

c. if our heart doesn't condemn us neither does God

2. If on the other hand our conscience accuses us of lovelessness remember, God knows what we would like to forget

3. The peace of a clear conscience is the reward of love

D. Love Provides the Assurances of Answered Prayer (23-24)

1. Our prayer life is governed by our world life

a. what we do off our knees is as important as what we say on our knees

b. our living has a direct bearing on our praying

2. God does not automatically promise to give us our request

a. notice that there is a condition attached

b. because we keep his commandments and please Him

c. because we keep something we receive something

d. because we please Him - He pleases us

3. Prayer - real prayer - is based on faith in God and love toward each other

E. John adds this significant word - He that keepeth His commandments dwelleth in God and God in him

1. Loving God means loving our brothers - remember this is the great commandment

2. Jesus said - the greatest commandment is to love God and your neighbor as yourself

3. Love is the characteristic of the new life

a. it is meant to be life's normal expression

b. when a Christian lives in the full vigor of his faith he will exhibit these qualities of the new life