1 John 2:7-11 - Loving One's Neighbor

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Introduction: 2:7-11

Can you tell the difference?

Þ      I really love cheesecake… I love the way that new song sounds… I love vanilla nut coffee… I love my wife so much!

Þ      Words, like coins, can be in circulation for so long that they start wearing out.

Three Reason why Christians should Love One Another:

1.       God has commanded us to love (1 John 2:7-11)

2.       We have been born of God and God’s love lives in us (1 John 3:10-24)

3.       God first revealed His love to us (1 John 4:7-21).  “We love. . . because He first loved us.”

The Test: The Supreme Commandment—Love (v.7-8)

It is An Old Commandment: Already in the Scripture (v.7)

                This seems to be a contradiction.

                Love itself is not new nor is the commandment that men love God & each other.

1.       Jesus Himself combined the two O.T. commandments to love (Leviticus 19:18; Deut. 6:5) & said (Mark 12:28-34).

2.       “Which you have heard from the beginning” refers to the beginning of their Christians lives – (v.24; 3:11; 2John 6).

a.       This is in our hearts from the beginning of our faith in Jesus Christ.

b.       If this were not so, John could not have written, “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren (1 John 3:14).

c.        When a sinner trusts Christ, he receives a new life & a new nature, the Holy Spirit comes in him.

3.       God does not have to give a new believer a long lecture about love.

a.       The love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:5)

b.       But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another; (1 Thessalonians 4:9).

4.       The new believer now discovers he hates what he used to love, & loves what he used to hate!

What then makes this commandment a new commandment?

It is a New Commandment That is in Christ and in His Disciples (v.8a)

The Greeks have two different words for “new”

1.       new in time (recent)

2.       new in quality (fresh; new in character)

a)       because of Jesus “love one another” has taken on a whole new meaning.


What is so new about love?  Jesus Christ! 

It is New in Emphasis – Jesus gave love a new meaning.                                                

Jesus Christ…

Ø       Loved not only friends, but also enemies.

Ø       Loved not only good people, but also bad people.

Ø       Loved not only the righteous, but also the sinner.

Ø       Loved not only the acceptable, but also the rejected.

Ø       Loved not only the clean, but the dirty.

Jesus stated this fact in Matthew 5:43-48 cf. Luke 6:27-36

1.       They misinterpreted the law (v.43). 

a.       “Neighbor” meant people of their own community, religion or nation.

1)       Who is your neighbor?  Anybody who is in need Luke 10:30-37.

2)       Everybody is in need of forgiveness from God, therefore, we must love everybody.

3)       In doing this, we will demonstrate God’s love for others to win them to Christ.

b.       They inferred they were to hate their enemies.  This is no where in scripture.

2.       The real meaning of the law to “love” (v.44).

a.       Love your enemies (Luke 6:27-36)

1)       This is against human nature.

2)       We must demonstrate mercy & compassion

b.       Bless those who curse you. 

1)       Speak softly to the curser, use kind and friendly words (Proverbs 15:1)

2)       Do not render railing for railing (1 Peter 3:8-12).

c.        Do good to those who hated you

1)       The greatest proof of love is doing good to those who hate you.

a)       Romans 12:20

b)       1 Thessalonians 5:15

d.       Pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you

1)       Pray that God would forgive them

a)       Jesus demonstrated this on the cross (Luke 23:34)… the result was a saved soul (Luke 23:39-43)

2)       For peace between you & that person

3)       That persons salvation

                                                Prayer for the persecutor will greatly benefit the believer.

                                                It will keep the believer from becoming bitter, hostile, or reactionary.

e.        That you may be sons of your Father in heaven

1)       We must love as God loves

2)       If we do not love, then we do not know God, for God is love.

This was a totally new concept to man, for man has always felt free to mistreat other people, especially those who have mistreated them.

3.       Jesus Christ says an astounding thing (John 13:34-35):

        The only way people can tell that we are His disciples is by our love for one another.

a.       Our discipleship and our knowledge of God can be measured by whether or not we love our brothers and sisters in the Lord.

b.       This is exactly what John says in 1 John 2:8: “the new commandment...is true in Him [Christ] and in you [true believers].”

c.        The person who truly follows God has the love of God in him.

d.       The love of God dwells not only in Christ but in the believer also.

4.       In His life, teachings, & in His death, Jesus is the perfect example.

a.       In Christ we have a new illustration of the old truth that God is love.

b.       What is true in Christ ought to be true in each believer, “As He is, so are we in this world” (1 John 4:17).

Note another fact about the new commandment of Love:

It is Now Made Known by the True Light that Shines and Erases Darkness (v.8b)

1.       The darkness refers to man’s old idea of love hating his enemies.

                Those who walk in darkness practice hatred


a.       Man thinks that he can react against anyone who mistreats him.

b.       But Jesus Christ, who is the light of the world, has now shone forth the truth.

c.        Man is to love his neighbor no matter what the neighbor does.

d.       In fact, man is to love all men no matter who they are or what they have done.

1)       God is love; therefore man is to be as God: man is to love.

2)       It is by his love that man knows whether or not he knows God.

3)       No man knows God unless he loves as Christ loves, loves even his enemies.


 "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life." (John 8:12 NKJV)


 "A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. (John 12:35 NKJV)


For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6 NKJV)

2.       There is conflict in this world between “the forces of light” & “the forces of darkness.”

a.       Satan is the prince of darkness, extending his kingdom by means of lies & hatred.

b.       Christ is the Sun of Righteousness, extending His Kingdom by mean of truth & Love

c.        The kingdoms of Christ & Satan are in conflict today


But the path of the just is like the shining sun, That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day. (Proverbs 4:18 NKJV)

The Professing Man (v.9)

Professes to Know God but Hates His Brother.

1.       He says, “Oh, I don’t hate my brother. I just don’t like him.

a.       Whatever the reason, it is not love. Love is love; it is not mistreatment or hate.

b.       We must love our neighbors, even those who are our enemies, if we are to become children of God and followers of Him.

1)       No man walks in the light of God, no man knows God, unless he loves his neighbor—even the neighbors who stand against him.

2)       If we hate our neighbors—criticize, backbite, and mistreat them—we are not living in the light, not living in Christ. We are making a false profession.

3)       We do not know God, not really, no matter what we claim.

4)       We are living in the darkness of this world—living like most people in the world live—hating some of our brothers.

"But if your eye is bad, [focused upon hatred] your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! (Matthew 6:23 NKJV)


"And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. (John 3:19 NKJV)

If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. (1 John 1:6 NKJV)


He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. (1 John 2:9 NKJV)


Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. (1 John 3:15)


If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? (1 John 4:20 NKJV)

2.       Jesus deals with this matter in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:21-26)

a.       Holding on to an unforgiving, unloving spirit, we harm ourselves most.

b.       Hatred is blinding people today!

3.       Christian love is practical: it applies in our everyday affairs in life.

Consider the “one another” Statements:

a.       What one another’s feet (John 13:14)

b.       Prefer one another (Romans 12:10)

c.        Be of the same mind one to another (Romans 12:16)

d.       Do not judge one another (Romans 14:13)

e.        Receive one another (Romans 15:7)

f.        Admonish one another (Romans 15:14)

g.        Edify [build up] one another (1 Thess. 5:110

h.       Bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2)

i.         Confess your faults to one another (James 5:16)

j.         Use hospitality to one another (1 Peter 4:9)

To love other Christians means to treat them the way God treats them—and the way God treats us

The Obedient Man: Loves His Brother (v.10)

Abides in the Light (v.10a)

1.       He is a man who abides in the light, that is, in Christ.

2.       The obedient man lives and walks in Jesus Christ. He walks in love just as Jesus Christ walked in love.

3.       What does it mean to walk in love? Scripture spells out some very practical acts.

a.       Love suffers long (endures long, is patient).

b.       Love is kind.

c.        Love does not envy (is not jealous).

d.       Love does not parade itself (brags not, boasts not).

e.        Love is not puffed up (is not vainglorious, arrogant, prideful).

f.        Love does not behave rudely (unbecomingly, rudely, indecently, unmannerly).

g.        Love does not seek its own (is not selfish, self-seeking, insisting on one’s rights and way).

h.       Love is not easily provoked (is not touchy, angry, fretful, resentful).

i.         Love thinks no evil (harbors no evil thought, takes no account of a wrong done it).

j.         Love does not rejoice in iniquity (in wrong, sin, evil, injustice), but rejoices in the truth (in justice, in righteousness).

k.       Love bears all things.

l.         Love believes all things (exercises faith in everything, under all circumstances).

m.     Love endures all things (never weakens; has the power to endure).

Does Not Stumble (v.10b)

1.       There is no cause for stumbling in him.

a.       God is love; therefore the more we love God, the closer and closer we draw to Him.

b.       And the closer we get to Him, the more we learn to trust His care, provision, protection, and power.

c.        When God is taking care of us, there is absolutely nothing that can touch us ( Romans 8:35-39).

2.       He does not become a stumbling block to others.

a.       The best way to help other Christians not to stumble is to love them.

The Bitter and Hating Man (v.11)

Is in Darkness and Walks in Darkness (v.11a)

1.       He is not in the light, in Christ. Therefore, he does not know God.

a.       He is wrapped up and focused only upon the world.

b.       He cares little about other people except perhaps family and close friends. He lives mainly for the pleasures and passions of the world.

c.        Therefore, how he treats his neighbor matters little, just so he gets what he wants.

Has no Direction and is Blind (v.11b) cf. (2 Cor. 4:4; Eph. 4:18)

1.       He does not look beyond this life and he is blind to it.

a.       He sees little if any meaning to life other than getting all he can of its comfort, pleasures, and possessions.

b.       Therefore, to hate his neighbor means nothing to him if his neighbor gets in the way.

Note: when a man hates or is bitter against another person,

he often focuses upon getting back at the person and loses sight of what he should be doing. He just cannot see the truth.

2.       Just as the fruits & flowers need sunshine [light] to grow, so do Christians need love if they are going to grow.

3.       To “love one another” becomes a “new commandment” as we practice God’s love in daily life.

Results & Effects of Hate.

1.       Bars one from eternal life.   1 John 3:15

2.       Blinds and erases purpose.   1 John 2:9-11

3.       Blinds and puts one in darkness.   1 John 2:9-11

4.       Marks one as a child of Satan.   1 John 3:10

5.       Proves one does not know God.   1 John 2:9-11;  1 John 4:19-21

6.       Proves one does not love God.   1 John 4:19-21

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