1 John 3:13-18 - How We Should Love One Another
The Hatred Of The World.
The Hatred of the World to God’s Children (v.13)
1. Do Not Marvel that the World Hates You.
a) If We Love Christ, then the World Will Persecute Us.
Have You Suffered Rejection Because of Your Faith?
Cain hated Abel and murdered him. Why did Cain do that? “Because his deeds were evil, and his brother’s were righteous” (v. 12).
1. Have you experienced animosity, hostility, rejection, bitterness, prejudice, or outright persecution from representing and advocating what is right? If so, that’s a sign that you belong to One who suffered the same way for the same reason.
2. The fact is, to the worldly, you as a Christian “have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things” (1 Cor. 4:13).
a. You’re a threat to their belief that this world is all that’s worth living for. “They are surprised that you do not run with them into the same excess of dissipation, and they malign you” (1 Peter 4:4).
If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. (John 15:19 NKJV)
3. However, Scripture says, “[Be] in no way alarmed by your opponents—which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you” (Phil. 1:28).
a. When suffering on account of your faith, don’t say, “Can I really be a Christian? Things are going so badly—I wonder if God cares.” Rather, if the world is persecuting you, say, “Isn’t this truly wonderful! It’s pretty clear who I am.”
Blessed are you when men hate you, And when they exclude you, And revile you, and cast out your name as evil, For the Son of Man's sake. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets. (Luke 6:22-23 NKJV)
4. Now, if you’re hated because you’re obnoxious, there’s no virtue in that! “But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God” (1 Peter 2:20).
b) The World Does Not Know nor Understand Believers. Why?
1) Because the world did not know Jesus Christ (1 John 3:1cf. John 1:9-11)
Think about it: God’s very own Son came into the world, but the world did not know Him. They wanted nothing to do with Him; they rejected Him. Now if the world rejected Jesus Christ, God’s very own Son, they are bound to reject God’s adopted children.
1. But we should be surprised when there is hatred among the body of Christ.
Passing From Death To Life (v.14).
1. Passed From Death To Life.
a) We Know… there is something John says that we can know, & that is that we can know we have passed from spiritual death unto eternal life. Jesus said a similar phrase. In John 5:24 He said
He who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. (John 5:24 NKJV)
b) Love Is The Proof That One Has Passed From Death to Life.
A love for the people of God is a basic sign of being born again. If this love is not evident in our lives, our salvation can be questioned. If it is present, it gives us assurance!
The Bible describes lost persons in (Titus 3:3) by saying that they are hateful & hating one another. The place of hatred, of jealousy, of bitterness you find yourself in is a place of death. You need to pass from death to life!
Other Tests John Gives As An Assurance of Our Salvation.
He Says That True believers Will—
1. walk in the light (1:5-7),
2. keep God’s commandments (2:3-5),
3. walk as Christ walked (2:6),
4. show that they are abiding in the light by loving one another (2:10-11),
5. no longer love the world and the things in the world (2:15),
6. ibiding in the will of God (2:17)
7. practice righteousness (2:29),
8. not go on living in sin (3:9),
9. exercise love (3:14).
He who does not love his brother abides in death If your life is characterized by hatred, then you have never really experienced the new birth (1 John 4:20-21)
Love Does Not Hate (v.15)
1. Hatred Is Murder
a) Whoever Hates His Brother is a Murderer.
1) To Hate Our Brother Is To Murder Him In Our Hearts.
Though we may not carry out the action (through cowardice or fear of punishment), we wish that person dead. Or, by ignoring another person, we may treat them as if they were dead! Hatred can be shown passively or actively.
1. John seems to have in mind the teaching of Jesus from the Sermon on the Mount regarding the true fulfillment of the law. (Matthew 5:21-22)
a. “In the heart there is no difference; to hate is to despise, to cut off from relationship, and murder is simply the fulfillment of that attitude.” (Barker)
b. To live in the practice of murder - or to have a life style of the habitual hatred of our brethren - is a demonstration that we do not have eternal life abiding in us, that we are not born again.
2) Being a Christian is More Than Saying, “I am a Christian.”
There are in fact some who claim to be Christians who are not. How can we know if we are one of these? John’s reply has been constant and simple. There are three tests to measure the proof of a genuine Christian:
1. the truth test, the love test, and the moral test.
2. If we believe in what the Bible teaches as true, if we show the love of Jesus to others, and if our conduct has been changed and is becoming more like Jesus, then our claim to be a Christian can be proven true.
b) No Murderer Has Eternal Life Abiding In Him
The Implication Is That Either Does Any Person Who Hates His Brother!
A person who does not love his brother, who has negative feelings swirling within his heart, who has allowed his heart to become hardened against his brother—that person does not have eternal life dwelling within him (Galatians 5:19-21).
“Love is the only security against hate. And as every one who does not love is potentially a hater, so every hater is potentially a murderer. A murderer is a hater who expresses his hatred in the most emphatic way. A hater who does not murder abstains for various reasons from this extreme way of expressing his hate. But the temper of the two men is the same” (A. Plummer. “The Pulpit Commentary,” Vol.22, p.74).
How To Love Others.
The Love of Jesus Christ (v.16-18)
1. By This We Know Love (v.16).
a) What Is This Love That John is Talking About?
It Is A Love That Loves Without Changing. It is a self-giving love that gives without demanding or expecting re-payment.
It is love so great that it can be given to the unlovable or unappealing. It is love that loves even when it is rejected.
1. Agape love gives and loves because it wants to; it does not demand or expect repayment from the love given - it gives because it loves, it does not love in order to receive.
2. Real love isn’t merely “felt” as an inward feeling; it is also shown by demonstration - and the ultimate demonstration was the giving of Jesus on the cross - by this we know love, because He laid down His life for us.
b) Jesus Laid Down His Life For Us.
Hatred found its expression in Cain’s act of the murder of his brother; love found its expression in the act of Christ on our behalf in laying down His life for us.
1) Jesus’ Death Was Voluntary
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. (John 10:11 NKJV)
Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. "No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. (John 10:17-18 NKJV)
2) Jesus’ Death Was Vicarious (on behalf of others)
Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, (Galatians 1:4 NKJV)
He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. (Hebrews 9:26 )
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8 NKJV)
c) And We also Ought To lay down our lives for the brethren.
Since we are sent with the same mandate Jesus was sent with - Jesus’ words As the Father sent Me, I also send you (John 20:21) we must demonstrate our love by laying down our lives for the brethren.
1) In Order To Give Yourself To Others, You Must First Give Yourself to God.
As you give your life to the Lord it will be no problem in giving unto others, because you love the Lord and want to do anything He says to please Him (2Cor.5:8).
1. “Love means saying ‘No’ to one’s own life so that somebody else may live.” (Marshall)
2. We often consider ourselves ready to lay down our lives in one great, dramatic, heroic gesture; but for most of us, God calls us to lay down our lives piece by piece, little by little in small, but important ways every day.
3. Simply put, John is telling us to do the same thing we read of in (Philippians 2:3-4 & Matthew 25:40).
2. Putting This Love In Practice (v.17-18)
a) Let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth:
1) John Will Not Allow Us To Merely Talk About Love.
Real love is demonstrated in actions.
The opportunity to sacrifice one’s life for another may not arise. But material possessions (as food and clothes) help sustain life and, if a Christian’s love is real, he cannot see his brother in need without having pity on him.
1. If you have the capability to meet a brother’s needs, and donothing to meet that need, then how can you say you love that brother? How does the love of God abide in you.
2. The true test of love is not one’s verbal profession of it (loving with words or tongue) but his willingness to help and thus to love… with actions and in truth.
The Parable of the Good Samaritan