“Love and Life”
Thanks to all our veterans. God bless you and keep you strong.
1 John 4:7-21 The greatest of these is love!
The Apostle refocuses his letter at this point. He has spoken to the threat against the church and unfortunately from within the church. So he points us back to our greatest weapon. Love!! “Beloved, let us love one another”. _______________________________________________
As John moves our focus back to love he develops 3 key points:
1. God is the source of all love – (vs. 7 & 8) _________________________________________
2. God models what genuine love is – (vs. 9 & 10) ____________________________________ Remember when Jesus came to the synagogue in His home town of Nazareth? He stood and read from the Prophet Isaiah these words: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord”. . . . “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” Luke 4:18-19, 21
3. God commands us to love each other – (vs. 11 & 12) “we also ought to love one another”. ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ When we love one another the world sees the character of God. Jesus said, “Greater things you will do than you have seen Me doing.” That’s about love.
The next verses, extending on into the 5th chapter, now intertwine that which cannot be separated – faith and love. Faith is the victory that overcomes the world. But the motivation behind that faith is love.
1. We trust in what God has done and are ready with our confession – ________________.
2. The presence of God in our lives is manifest in our love. They’ll know we are Christians by our love.
3. In verse 17 John completes the correlation: “We have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are win in this world.” Theologian C. H. Dodd related it this way: "The energy of love discharges itself along lines which form a triangle, whose points are God, self, and neighbor. Where any one leg of the triangle is missing, love remains incomplete and immature.”
4. The Apostle Paul related this image in a slightly different manner: “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” Love never fails! (1 Cor. 13:13,8)
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