Imagine you were on trial to determine whether you were a Christian and the only evidence allowed was "the love you showed other Christians".
1 John 4:7-8 NKJV Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
The call to love one another saturates the pages of the New Testament.
"The love of God displayed in His people is the strongest apologetic that God has in the world." —F.F. Bruce
- Love for our flesh and blood brothers and sisters should flow naturally through us.
- Love for our spiritual brothers and sisters should flow supernaturally through us.
Three key points from the text:
1. Jesus came so we could live like Him.
1 John 4:9 NKJV In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.
2. Jesus came so we could be like Him.
1 John 4:10 NKJV In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
propitiation (hilasmos) =
atonement, an expiator (appeasement)
3. Jesus came so we could love like Him.
1 John 4:11-13 NKJV Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.
We are never more like Jesus than when we love people who don't deserve it!
This message has an accompanying Breakout Group lesson: