1 John 5:1-3 Loving Christians: What, When, How?

by | Oct 5, 2023 | 1 John, New Testament

I. Loving My Brother/Sister

A. Who is My Brother? V. 1

1. 5:1 answers a question that might arise from 4:20, 21
2. My “brothers and sisters” and those that believe that Jesus is the Christ.

a. Christ- Messiah, savior, the One sent from God who brings salvation
b. Not just a mental assent re. Jesus, but a trust & dependence in all things.

3. That person is born of God. They are born again. They are a Christian.
4. If you love God the Father, then you will love His children.
5. If that love does not exist in any form, then you are…

a. A liar and not a Christian.
b. A Christian that needs a change of understanding and/or attitude.

6. Loving the brethren has nothing do to with human commonality but has everything to do with being children of God and having the shared life of Jesus Christ mutually within us.

a. It’s easy to love people with common interests, goals, likes & dislikes
b. Two people who share Christ have a deeper bond than any human bond.
c. Organic oneness

7. We may disagree on baptism, eschatology, communion, spiritual gifts, miracles, politics, worship styles, and much more. Love isn’t built on agreeing on those things. It is found in a common life shared with Jesus.
8. Not to say we don’t love unbelievers, we do. But love starts in the family.

a. Ideally, human love is first experienced in the human family.
b. Ideally, Christian love is first experienced & given in the Christian family.
c. As we experience God’s love, we are better suited to love the world.

II. Loving The Brethren: What & When

A. What Does It Mean To Love the Brethren?

1. Not just tolerate, be nice, be cordial, smile, or shake a hand, or meet a need.

a. That can be done only as duty, or only as a response.
b. Passive toleration is not the same as proactive concern.

2. Consider a parents love for their child. Not just the above, but…

a. The child needs proactive affirmation, healing, support.
b. More than just food, clothing, medicine, or a college fund.
c. Loving parents nurture the child’s mind & soul, and meet their needs
d. Speaks into the child’s life about God, love, faith.
e. This all happens w/o the child asking for it; starts at birth.
f. Child doesn’t appreciate until many years later in life.

B. When Am I Loving With God’s Love? How Will I Know?

1. God has a standard of what he calls love, as does the world.
2. Difference found in V. 2:2b: when we love God and keep His commandments.
3. Before you can love Christians according to God’s standard, you first need to love God. Loving God’s people flows out of first loving God.
4. You can’t rightly love Christians until you 1st rightly love the God of Christians.
5. Then ask yourself: How will I know when I am rightly loving God?

a. ANSWER: When you keep His commandments.
b. Turn to Exodus 20
c. As I desire to obey God, I can expect that my heart will be more aligned with His heart, resulting in a godly love for the brethren, and not a selfish love dressed up with a spiritual face.

6. The world, our flesh, and the devil give us a different definition for love.

a. The world promotes self gratification
b. Our flesh is first & foremost concerned for self, not others.
c. The devil tells us that we can love & ignore God and His word re. love

7. When a person is obeying God’s word, they will rightly love their brothers.

a. A covetous person cannot rightly love, b/c they use people.
b. An immoral person cannot rightly love, b/c they use people.
c. A proud person cannot rightly love, b/c they use people.
d. Conversely, a godly person obeys God, and might deny a friend an ungodly desire, but that is to love in a godly fashion.

i. They won’t lie for them, be immoral with them, etc.
ii. That may disappoint the friend, but it is loving in a godly way.

e. A person who loves God is dying to self; therefore, self doesn’t get in the way of agape love.

8. 2 Corinthians 8:9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you thru His poverty might become rich.

a. Jesus obeyed the will of His Father in all things.
b. The result was Him dying for us. His obedience resulted in godly love.

C. On Obeying God

Rightly loving Christians cannot happen unless I am obeying God.
The degree of my obedience will determine the depth, maturity, & insight of love.

1. Do I even care about trying to obey God? Is it important to me?
2. Do I obey God in any area of my Christian life? Is my obedience observable?
3. Is there an increasing degree of obedience, concern & desire to obey God?
4. If the desire to obey is increasing, and if obedience is increasing, then you should notice that you actually love other Christians more than in the past. This is the spiritual flow and chronology of love.

a. Loving God and obeying Him leads to…
b. Loving His people.

5. To state this truth in the negative: You cannot say that you love God’s people as you should if you are habitually disobeying God. You are deceived and wrong, and cannot see that you do not love God’s people as you should. You might be nice, funny, cordial, and do nice things, but you do not love as God loves.
6. V. 3- And His commands are not burdensome. It takes effort. Sin is burdensome