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Assess Your Love Quotient. 1 John 2:7-11

22/02/2014

AssessYour Love Quotient

Text: 1 John 2:7-11.

One of the most frequently used and misused words is the word LOVE.  We are all convinced that God is love.  We read that in our Bibles and it is true. But when we speak of love, what are we thinking about?  Its a special kind of giving, self-sacrificial love that John is talking about in this passage.

1. The Law and Love7Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning. 8Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him.

This love is….

An old commandment, yet new.  John tells us that this is an old commandment, and a new commandment.  It is in fact both.  It is an old commandment, because it is encapsulated in the Ten Commandments, especially in ‘the second table of the law.’     But the question for us is how do we regard our neighbours?

1.        As not worthy of our notice?  People who have nothing to do with us.   

2.        With contempt?  Treat them as fools?  

3.        As a nuisance?  

4.        As an enemy?   

5.        As the Lord regards them – with pity and love?

The old commandment is just the same for us as it has ever been; our duty is to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, and them to love our neighbour as ourselves.

* The foundation of love.  This commandment was given ‘from the beginning’.  

* In Christ and in us.  It is ‘true in him’. It finds is perfect expression in Jesus- he is as we have seen, the supreme example of love.  Yet this is not just true of him.   Matthew 13:43   

* A black and white issue.  Look how stark this is.  John is not leaving us with any opportunity for doubt or dispute  or ambiguity.  It’s is a black and white issue, light/darkness, love/hate.   Matt 5:43

* Darkness is gone!  There is a reference to the effect of Christ’s love for us here.  We are said to have passed from darkness to light, from death to life.    

So, we are to show the love of Jesus to the world, as a reflection of the love that God demonstrated for us in sending his son to the Cross for our sins.  John 13:34.  

 

2. The Life and Love.

Just when we thought that we had passed the test of salvation, by examining our lives and seeing if there is a desire to obey the Lord, and to confess and repent John suddenly introduces a new help for self examination – the test of love for our brothers and sisters will help us to see whether God has done a work of grace in our lives.    John says…

1.       Hate indicates a heart filled with sin and darkness9

i.         The tense of the Greek is really important if we want to understand what John is saying here.  The word used is μισων MISOWN. It’s a verb, a ‘doing word’ – practical hatred – A hard, hate-filled heart, a predisposition to hate.  How could such a heart ever claim to be regenerate?  Matthew 5:21

ii.        But what if we don’t actually hate our brother – what if we just don’t like somebody.   Even if we dont like some people, we still must love them, for remember that Jesus loved us when were still unlovable.  This attitude of hatred has two results:

1.        We are losthe is straying and does not perceive or know where he is going

2.        We stumble about in spiritual blindness.   Hatred makes us spiritually blind.  How many churches have been destroyed by animosity, by conflict and infighting.

2.       Love indicates a heart filled with God’s light. 10He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. 

i.         Again the Greek is vital, for the word LOVE is the exact opposite of hate.  The verb is αγαπων and it means to have a PRESENT HABITUAL love – to have a continuous predisposition to love other believers.

ii.        Actually, our attitude to others seems to have a serious effect on ourselves.  John tells us that there are two results of a loving heart as well.  (Again note the stark contrasts being drawn).

*        We live in the light.  (the holy light of God)

*       There is no cause for stumbling.  If we abide in the light there will be no cause for stumbling in us.  But does that mean us stumbling, or a cause of stumbling to others?   Love certainly helps US to make progress in the Christian life and lack of love hinders that progress, makes us stumble.

Christians are to LOVE EACH OTHER with the love that Christ loved us. 

 So in this passage we see two basic truths. 

* We are to show the love of Jesus to the whole world. 

* Being a loving person doesn’t save us, but our love for our brethren is a good indication whether God’s grace has been at work in our lives.

From → 1st John

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