Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Test of Brotherly Love

Temple Baptist Church - 2-4-2015
1 John 3:11-18


A.  As we look at this “test” of true salvation, it is imperative that we see that John the Beloved is not writing to a local church.  1 John is written to “my little children.”  God’s children: believers!  We speaking of loving the brethren, he is not talking about the local church alone but about every born again child of God.  Regardless of denomination!

1.  We that are saved both NOW and FOREVER!  John 3:1-2  Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.  (2)  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 

2.  The Epistle of 1 John was written to bring blessed assurance to the children of God.  1 John 5:13  These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

B.  I believe that it is essential for the believer to have that blessed assurance and it comes through faith and examination!  2 Corinthians 13:5  Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

C.  One of the greatest tests of individual salvation is that of love.  Verse 11.  This goes back to:

John 13:34-35  A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  (35)  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

D.  At this point, in verse 12, John goes back to the Genesis account of Cain and Abel.  I often use the Hermeneutical principle of First Mention. 

1.  Here, the Holy Ghost uses First Mention to drive home a spiritual truth.  In the story of Cain and Abel, we read that there was spiritual division between two brothers.  Cain killed Abel because he was righteous and Cain was not. 

2.  Cain’s anger at God drove him to kill a man who was righteous before God.  Truly, sin was the problem.  Genesis 4:7  If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

3.  Too often, there is spiritual division within the fellowship of the local church and that division is always caused by sin. James 4:1  From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?

E.  The world hates the children of God because they hate God.  They cannot strike at God so they do what Satan did in Genesis 3, they strike at what God loves.

John 15:18-20  If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.  (19)  If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.  (20)  Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

1.  Our love for the brethren is inherent in our salvation because of the new birth.  Vs 16a 

Galatians 5:22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,  (The first aspect of the fruit of the Spirit is love!  It does not come slowly but instantly when born again.  Love is the work of God in our hearts as we love what He loves: we love God, we love God’s Word, we love God’s Church, and we love God’s children!)

2.  Our love for the brethren is strengthened through teaching and faithfulness.

1 Thessalonians 4:9  But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.

3.  Our love for the brethren is comparable to the love of God for us.  Vs. 16b

John 13:34  A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

4.  Our love for the brethren is observed by the world. 

John 13:35  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

5.  Our love for the brethren is a sharing love. 

Acts 2:44-46  And all that believed were together, and had all things common;  (45)  And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to allmen, as every man had need.  (46)  And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,

6.  Our love for the brethren is to be a consistent love.

1 Timothy 5:21  I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.

7.  Our love for the brethren is an attribute that gives assurance of salvation. 

1 John 3:14  We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.

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