As we continue through our sermon series on Faithful Church, we looked at the idea that a Faithful Church Loves One Another. It’s important to immediately note, that the call to love another, while plainly commanded by God, springs from a deep well of God’s love for us. Our love for one another is rooted in God’s love for us; which compels us to love one another.
1. We are to Love One Another: 1 John 4:7 -12
John begins by immediately putting forth the appeal that we are to love another. Then over the next number of verses, he will appeal to God’s love for us in helping us to see how we are to love one another. He begins by making clear that the love we are to have for others comes from God. God is the one who gives us the ability and capacity to love others. Secondly, he tells us that our love for others reveals that we know God. In this, John is offering a warning to his readers that a failure to love may be a far deeper issue. It may reveal that they don’t know God. Finally, he states that love is manifested by God. This is seen in God sending His Son on our behalf.
2. We Abide in God’s Love for Us: 1 John 4:13-17
John continues by making clear that we are to abide in God’s love for us. We abide in the Spirit, we abide in the person of God and because of that we can know and believe God’s love for us. The implication for this is absolutely stunning. John states that we can have confidence before God at the judgment, because God will see believers as He sees Jesus! This is the love of God that we are to abide in! What a freeing love it is, that gives us hope and confidence in the finished work of Jesus. But not only does it do that, but drives how and why we love others. Which is exactly where John moves to.
3. We Love One Another Through God’s Love For Us: 1 John 4:18-21
Given the depth of how John has moved us through this argument, he arrives back where he started, but with nuance and a profound sense of God’s love for us. Yes, we are to love another; but our love for one another is rooted in, motivated by and enabled by God’s love for us, which allows us to love one another. While we see that, the question may remain where we ask; what does this look like today.
4. How we Love One Another Through God’s Love:
We closed by referencing a handful of ways that we demonstrate love to one another. It’s important to remember that we not simply ‘try harder’ to do these things, but we allow God’s love for us to address our hearts and what flows out of that is our response to love one another. Below, are 7 ways that we discussed how we love another.
We consider others more important than ourselves: Philippians 2
We bear one another’s burdens: Galatians 6
We give preference and deference to one another: Romans 12, 14 and Galatians 5
We speak the truth in love: Ephesians 4
We meet physical needs: Acts 2, 4 and 2 Corinthians 8-9
We seek relational restoration: Matthew 5, 18
We bear with the inherent sinfulness of one another: Colossians 3