1 John 4.17-5.5The Fullness of love V.doc
Intro: In our study of 1st John we have seen that a major theme of this letter focuses on Christian love /defining mark of Christian life !
In Ch. 2 Love for our Christian Bros. Sis. Was seen as Proof that we
were walking in the Light ! Ch. 2:9-11
9 He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now .He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.
Aa) See that confession & conduct go hand in hand
In ch. 3 we learned that love for our bros. & sis. Was proof that we are
alive in God! 3: 14 "We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren.
And here in Ch. 4 love for our brethren is seen as evidence that we know God & are in God!
V.7,8 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.
V.12 If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.
D) The word perfected there means completed or has come to fullness !
Now in each Ch. John has made a pt. To explain that this love we are to
have originates in the Lord!
Not something we create , muster up , not something found in our natural man! Not something we can achieve in our flesh !
- This love is the natural by product of a person who is responding to Godís
love for them!
- Think about this was there any reason for the Lord to love you ? Did
you have it so together that the Lord said wow! Together guy!
- He could see what know one else could & guess what he wasnít impressed
w/ any of us ! Saw our hearts / deepest thoughts & desires
When I look at myself I wonder / " God I donít get it donít under-
stand why would you love me " Mystery
- But knowing that He does makes it a lot easier to love others !
- And When I realize He loves me when donít have it together / easier to love
those who donít have it together !
- And The perfect love that God has toward me draws me to Him
experience his love / abide in Him
- And the natural by product of that relationship will be that my life will
be marked by His love!
- the natural result of a person abiding in the Lord is His love is perfected / completed / comes to fullness
Now in the last part of Ch. 4 & 1st Prt. Of 5 John shares 4 ways the fullness
of Godís love impacts our lives & walks
1st Confidence instead of fear about Judgment V.17-18
- Two brand-new words come into Johnís vocabulary here: fear and torment. And this is written to believers!
- Is it possible that Christians can actually live in fear and torment? Answer.Yes 1) Unfortunately, many professed believers experience both fear and torment day after day. And the reason is that they are not growing in the love of God.
We have adopted the Greek word for fear into our English vocabulary: phobia.
- There are All sorts of fears people have today for instance, acrophobiaó"fear of heights," and hydrophobiaó"fear of water."
- John is writing here about the fear of judgment." There is a day of Judgement coming !/ appointed for a man once to die & then comes judgment "
If people are afraid, it is usually because of something in the past that haunts them, or something in the present that upsets them, or something in the future that they feel threatens them. Or it may be a combination of all three.
- A believer in Jesus Christ does not have to fear the past, present, or future,
- A Christian does not fear future judgment, because Christ has suffered his judgment for him on the cross.
(John 5:24,"Truly, truly I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life"
Rom. 8:1,"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus"
- For a Christian, judgment is not future; it is past. His sins have been judged already at the cross, and they will never be brought against him again.
- The Father cannot judge our sins again without judging His Son, for "as He is, so are we in this world."
- This means that the Father deals with us as He deals with His own beloved Son. How, then, can we ever be afraid?
We do not have to be afraid of the past, because "He first loved us." From the very first, our relationship to God was one of love.
John has already told us in V. 10 It was not that we loved Him, but that He loved us
Paul said in Rom. 5:10"For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life"
- If God loved us when we were outside the family, disobeying Him, how much more does He love us now that we are His children!
1) No need to fear the past !
We do not need to fear the present because V.18"perfect love cast out fear"
A) As we grow in the love of God, we cease to be fearful of what He will do.
- Of course there is a proper "fear of God," but it is not the kind of fear that produces torment.
- Reverence / a deep respect / an utter dread of doing any thing that would hurt Him ! ( Teenagers / Afraid hurt you / No hurt him )
- Paul said Rom. 8:1" For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons, by which we cry out, ĎAbba! Father!í",
- Then again in 2 Tim. 1:7 "For God hath not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind"
E) So Judgment is not something that believers/ those walking w/ the Lord need to fear !
Now when the Bible talks about Judgment there are two things we need to consider ! 2 Judgments
A) For the unbeliever: there is the great white throne judgment
where judged by works / did they receive Christ!
- Some have suggested that the events of a persons life will be presented like a movie on a Movie Screen - Every sin / Every time heard gospel
- The thought of such a day produces fear in the hearts of most People who donít know the Lord !
- Problem is most of them rarely think about it ! But there is a universal fear & torment of death
C) For the Christian Judgment of rewards / what you did service / works /
Your motives in ministry / will determine your reward !
- All of us who know the Lord should earnestly desire to hear those words
Well done my good & faithful servant enter into the Joy of Ö Lord
- Reminds me of the Story of a couple who spent 25 yrs working as Missionaries in Africa / returned home / same boat w/ Then Pres. Roosevelt
1)Returning from hunting trip / boat pulled into N.Y. the Pres. Was met by a bunch of fan fare / No one there to greet missionaries / Wife not home yet
- So there are going to be 2 Judgments / One for the unbeliever / found guilty / one for the Believer / rewards
- How does this relate or tie into what John is talking about here / talks about Christian Love !
Now listen closely here follow me Jesus gave us 2 commandments ÖÖ
Everything that we do in this life that is of any value is going to be
judged on that criteria
- How does it relate to loving God & loving others !
- Example : Blessed w/ many talented singers in our Church Family
When one of them Sings a solo / not judged on their performance /
- Lord is not looking down to see if John hit all the right notes / No He
is looking at his heart !
- Is that person singing that song to express your love to God & to bless His
Kids / His family / He says great! no matter how you do!
- Had a guy during a Good Friday ( forgot words ) but if his was heart right/ God awesome ! / Easter nailed it ( heart wrong - No reward !)
- That which is done w/ the right motives Bless God & bless His
E) I believe there will be some people we know because in public eye
who will have little reward because self promoters ( reward is here)
In fact there are those who There will also be those who are going to be surprised when they stand before the Lord because they think they are saved when really not !
- illustrated by Jesus in Parable of sheep & goats Matt. 25 :31-46
- Fear & torment will begin when they hear those words " Depart from
me you cursed into everlasting fire prepared for devil & his angels "
- Now what separated the sheep from the goats ? The very principle John
has been explaining Their love & care for others !
- To the sheep the ones abiding in the Lord / following the
shepherd they naturally reached out !
- It wasnít like they were consciously thinking " this is just like ministering to Jesus ( They missed that - Lord When Ö..)
- But because the love of God was in their hearts / they responded the way He would toward those in trouble / those in need !
- Towards the situations & the people the Lord brought into their
lives ; into their sphere of influence !
- Result heard 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
- So for the one who has experienced the fullness of Godís love for them
walking in that love for others ( boldness in the day of judgment - reward )
God wants His children to live in an atmosphere of love and confidence, not fear and torment.
A growing confidence in the presence of God is one of the first evidences that our love for God is maturing.
B) But confidence never stands alone; it always leads to other moral results.
2nd Impact on the lives of those experiencing the fullness of His love is
their lives are marked by a genuineness & honesty ! V. 19 - 5:1
- Love originates w/ the father / has its fountainhead its origin its source
in God the Father !Love does not begin in the heart of Man !
- The bible declares that the heart of man is filled w/ hate hostility, Prejudice,
evil & murder !
- But God is love & His love flowed out to man in the person of
His son Jesus Christ !
- Person touched by that love will genuinely love others ! The person who says He loves God & hates His Brother John is frank - He is a liar
- Canít love bro. Who have seen how can love God not seen !
We live in a culture , society that promotes selfishness / look out for #1
mentality is encouraged ! Be concerned 1st & foremost about self!
2 Friends John and Dave were hiking when they spotted a mountain lion staring at them. John froze in his tracks, but Dave sat down on a log, tore off his hiking boots, pulled a pair of running shoes from his backpack and hurriedly began to put them on./ John asked What doing Dave ? you can't outrun a mountain lion!"
Dave responded / I know I just have to outrun you."
Consider this Tragic Illustration !
In Colorado, several people begged a trucker to free the channel so that they could put through an emergency call, but he refused to cooperate. They wanted to direct a doctor to the scene of a serious accident. An automobile had driven into the rear of a flatbed trailer carrying metal tubing. A piece of pipe had gone through the car's windshield, pinning a woman in the wreckage. The trucker continued to tie up the channel, frustrating all attempts to obtain help.
Finally he came upon the scene of the accident himself. To his utter dismay, he discovered that the critically injured person was his own wife! When a doctor did arrive, he said that if he had been notified even 10 minutes earlier, the woman probably would have survived
It is easy to get sucked into that mindset / yet we are encouraged to be
concerned not just w/ affairs of our own life also others!
- Not just tolerate others but be genuinely concerned w/ them !
- Person who is experiencing the fullness of love there will be a
genuineness about them !
- When they say Iíll pray for you / you know they will ! Say I love
you / you know it is true! ( Know you can count on them !)
3rd Mark or impact of those experiencing the fullness of Love / Joyful
Obedience V. 2-3
- 2 commands: Love God & love others - not burdensome. Why?
- Response of love! Not a burden! Blessing of being saved !
- flowers for wife - take out nice dinner - just spend time with! Responding to her love Not an act - not a put on!
- Jacob 7 years Rachel - it was like one week
- The Lordís commandments are not burdensome When they are being done in response to His love for you
- When I realize how rotten I was; still loved me - when Iím reminded of how I can have a bad attitude at times & He - still loves me!
E) It is easy to respond that way to others! Love, forgive - been loved so much - forgiven of so much!
Itís when we forget about how much grace we have received and we start thinking: Iím pretty neat person
- Then - loving - caring becomes a burden!
- Understanding that my service is a response to Godís love for me is the difference between religion & relationship!
- Religion says I must do this - experience Godís favor! Spend Sat. knocking on doors
- Not because I genuinely care for these people but because religious duty - part of program thatís religion
D) Bible teaches opposite: Because I have received Godís grace & favor - received so much love I want to share it! Tell the world!
- Person experiencing the fullness of love has a life marked by joyful obedience
4th & finally: Person lives in Victory! V.4,5
Victory that has overcome the world? Our Faith!
- Catch context - been talking about Godís love for us - not we 1st loved Him - He 1st loved us!
- Do you believe God loves you?
Listen these verses - how affect your heart!
Heb 13:5,6 said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."
So we may boldly say: "The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. WhatÖme?
John 16:33 "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
3) Phil 1:6 He who has begun a good thing willÖÖÖÖÖ
Romans 8:31-32 ; 37-39 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
How does that make you feel? How affect you? - Me - All confidence in world - go for it - step out
1) Example of When we believe the Lord is w/ us we can have great confidence
On my 3rd trip to Yugo - conference - Height of war!
- American Embassy was closed - Americans were encouraged to leave
- Prayed - Lord what do? Leadership - felt supposed to go. God was going to do something
B) Two days before leave - pastor - I was supposed to go with back out! His leadership - said he was nuts! Who was right?
- The big faith builder for me was my wife - understand - 1st trip over - donítí want you go, but If you think Lord does - go!
- Came back - 18 days - hard - donít ever go again
2 weeks later I had to go back - no choice!
- So now - war, closed Embassy - Pastor cancels - could be very dangerous
- I know God wants you to go! / Took 2 ways - maybe she didnít want me to come back - or heard from God
- I believed latter - went over there w/ such confidence God was going to do great things - and He did! amazing!
Guys in all things we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us!
- What challenge lies ahead for you - what trial are you currently in
- We are more than conquerors through Him who loves us
- Been said we walk from victory - not to victory / - Jesus has overcome!
- He is our overcomer - our victory is in Him & His love for us !
Repeat v.4 -
In the 3rd century, Cyprian, the Bishop of Carthage, wrote to his friend Donatus: "It is a bad world, Donatus, an incredibly bad world. But I have discovered in the midst of it a quiet and good people who have learned the great secret of life. They have found a joy & wisdom which is a thousand times better than any of the pleasures of our sinful life. They are despised & persecuted, but they care not. They are masters of their souls. They have overcome the world. These people, Donatus, are Christians... and I am one of them."