Posted by Peter Thompson

I John 3:11-18

Real Love for Your Brothers and Sisters

INTRODUCTION:  John begins this section with a very clear truth that these Christians that he is writing to have been taught.  “11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.”  Pretty clear teaching.  Christians should love one another.  John began this book by talking about the fellowship that we could have with each other as we all walk in the light.  When we walk in the light as God is in the light we have fellowship one with another and with the Father and with Jesus Christ.  The basis for that fellowship with each other is the love that we have for each other.  We are able to help one another stay close to God and strengthen one another because of the love that we have for each other.  But that love must be real.  That love cannot be just a show.  So how do you as an individual love your brothers and sisters in Christ in a way that is pleasing to God?

  1. BE SUPPORTIVE WHEN YOUR FELLOW BELIEVERS SUCCEED (VS. 12-15)
  2. So John here gives a bad example of brotherly love
  3. He says it should not be done like Cain did it to Abel
  4. The word “slew” means to kill and Cain did indeed kill Abel his brother
  5. But that is not really the point here-John asked the question “wherefore slew he him?”
  6. In our English, “Why did Cain kill Abel?”
  7. The answer: “Because his own works were evil and brother’s righteous.”
  8. John points out here that Christians should not marvel when the world hates us
  9. They hate us for the same reason that Cain hated Abel
  10. Because our deeds are righteous and theirs are not
  11. Same reason they hated Jesus, cause He made them feel guilty
  12. But the jealousy caused this hatred-in Cain, in the world toward Christian people, and toward Jesus himself
  13. John says this is the way that we know we are saved in v. 14, that we love our brothers and sisters in Christ
  14. Opposite of what the world does toward Christian people
  15. Someone that does not love Christian people abides in death
  16. In other words saved people will love their brothers and sisters in Christ
  17. He says if people hate saved people then they are murderers
  18. Jesus said as much in the sermon on the mount
  19. 5:22 “But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment:”
  20. John goes on to say that no murderer will see the kingdom of God
  21. Now understand that the blood of Jesus Christ washes the spirit clean and that the flesh will still sin
  22. This passage could name any number of sins, anyone who sins cannot come into the kingdom of heaven
  23. That is why we needed Jesus Christ to die on the cross so that we might believe in Him and get to heaven on His merits
  24. John is simply saying here, that murder, hatred are sins and saved people should not be engaged in sin
  25. Jesus has made them clean and they should act clean
  26. And you can know somebody is saved by the way that they love
  27. So Christian people should love other Christian people
  28. Christian people should not be jealous of their fellow Christians
  29. Like Cain was jealous of Abel
  30. Christian people instead should support their fellow believers when they do right
  31. So how does this look practically
  32. Your brother or sister in Christ does righteous-the right thing
  33. They make the right decision, and you make the wrong decision
  34. You realize they did right and I did wrong
  35. The hater would get angry, mad, jealous, and throw a fit
  36. The Christian will rejoice that the other person did good
  37. I Cor. 13:6 says of love that it “Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the struth”
  38. In other words when you love somebody you are happy when they do what the Bible says and are sad when they sin
  39. You should be overjoyed that your fellow Christian is living for God whether you are or not
  40. Be supportive when your fellow believer does good because you love them!
  41. SACRIFICE FOR YOUR FELLOW BELIEVERS (V. 16)
  42. How do we know that God loves us?
  43. You would be hard pressed to find a mention of God’s love in the New Testament that did not also mention the sacrifice that God made for us in His death on the cross
  44. You see Jesus Christ is God-And God died on the cross so that we could have eternal life
  45. He sacrificed His own life for your life
  46. So that if you believe in Him and confess Him as Lord you can have eternal life-life that last forever
  47. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
  48. The “so” in that verse shows degree, in other words, this is how much God loved the world
  49. He was willing to suffer and give His life
  50. So John says, Christians should lay down their lives for each other
  51. Now people talk a lot about I would give my life for that person
  52. But then we are not willing to give up a Saturday afternoon for each other
  53. When you talk about giving up your life-that is considered to be the ultimate sacrifice for somebody else
  54. But do we really believe that we would lay down that ultimate sacrifice if we will not even sacrifice our time, our money, our efforts for our fellow Christian
  55. All around you there are Christian people that need you sacrifice for them
  56. If you don’t see it, open up your eyes and look around
  57. There are Christian people everywhere that need your help
  58. They need you to give up something to come to their aid
  59. You should be willing to sacrifice everything up to your life for your fellow believer
  60. If they need your car or your truck that you use every day for a couple days, give it to them
  61. If they need your money that you were going to spend on vacation, give it to them
  62. If they need you to work at their house on your Saturday off, do the work
  63. Don’t hold anything back, all the way up to your very life
  64. Sacrifice for you fellow believers because you love them!
  65. GIVE TO YOUR FELLOW BELIEVERS’ NEEDS (V. 17)
  1. These two points kind of overlap, but look what John says next
  2. If anybody has this worlds goods
  3. In other words if anybody has possessions and money
  4. And sees a brother or sister in Christ with a need
  5. So we are talking about that one Christian has what another Christian needs
  6. “shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him”
  7. Here the bowels are used in the same way that we use the word heart
  8. We say heart of compassion, or I love that person with all of my heart
  9. We are not really talking about the organ as much as we are talking about center of our emotions
  10. So here this Christian who has what the other one needs has shut up his heart of compassion from the other person
  11. In other words, he shows no compassion and does not give what the other needs
  12. Now understand that it is his possession, it is his choice whether he gives it or not
  13. But the compassionate, Godly, loving thing to do would be to give that possession to the one that was in need
  14. That person that will not even help when they have what is needed
  15. He said how can the love of God abide in him
  16. In other words this is a very unchristian way to act
  17. Jesus called upon us to be compassionate and to help the needy
  18. Especially our brothers and sisters in Christ
  19. You need to open up your heart of compassion toward your fellow believers
  20. If you have it and they need it, there should be no question
  21. If you can satisfy a need for your brother or sister in Christ, do it
  22. Give to your fellow believers’ needs because you love them!
  23. DISPLAY YOUR REAL LOVE BY YOUR ACTIONS (V. 18)
  24. John calls them his little children again and says “let us not love in word or tongue”
  25. The difference in these two words
  26. The word that is translated “word” is the word that has to do with speech
  27. The word that is translated “tongue” has the idea of language and how you craft those words
  28. So here, John says let us not love in our speech and the way we craft our words
  29. Now, John is not saying that we should talk rude to people
  30. What he is saying is that the things we say and how we say them are not enough
  31. Instead you should love in deed and in truth
  32. Deed is about the actions you take
  33. And truth is about the sincerity of the love
  34. It is easy to say “I love you”
  35. It is easy to say “I want to help you”
  36. It is easy to say “I am here for you anytime”
  37. It is harder to show that love in the actions that you take
  38. It is harder to actually have to follow through on those promises
  39. Sometimes you should not say I want to help and just identify the need and start helping
  40. Sometimes you should not say I am here for you and really be there for someone because you know they need you
  41. The words are empty the sincere actions mean everything
  42. Display you love by your actions to your fellow believers because you love them!

CONCLUSION:  Christ never intended for His followers to be loners.  He never wanted your religion to be private like Satan proposes to us today.  Christ wants you to know your fellow believers and love your fellow believers.  He wants you to be excited and supportive when they succeed.  Sacrifice all the way up to your own life for them.  Give anything you have to help them when they are in need.  Take every action you can to show the true and honest love that you have for them.