“When the Family Breaks Up”
By every measure, marriage is the institution that has the greatest impact on healthy families, which then produce healthy communities, which foster economic increase for most residents, which is the major contributor to reducing crime. As we continue our study of 1 John, today we will look at how the Apostle suggested this important factor in the health of the Church and humanity in general.
1 John 3:10-24
John uses a different kind of conjunction in verse 10, “In this”. He is tying together the various contrasts between children of God and those who have begun to follow antichrist, which he defined in verse 2:26, “those who try to deceive you.” The difference between the two groups can be boiled down to two simple things which are actually tied together, obedience to God and love of our brothers. Jesus said, “This is My commandment, that you love one another”.
So John gets as basic as possible with his example. He goes back to the 1st family, Genesis 4:1-12.
1. The first family, Adam, Eve, Cain and Abel, is also the source of the 1st split, the 1st schism if you will.
2. 1st they split from God – they ate from the tree and disobeyed God’s instructions.
3. Their sin forced them from the Garden into the world, where sin abounds.
4. The 1st family, 1 generation removed from the Garden experienced the 1st murder. (wages of sin)
Character study of Cain – ______________________________________________________________
Character study of Abel – ______________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________ The KJV and the NKJV both relate in verse 8 that “Cain talked with Abel his brother”. The NIV and other translations relate that the conversation was an invitation to go into the field, where Abel was then killed. So the KJV and NKJV leave some room for us to consider the nature of the conversation between these two brothers. ___________________________________________________________________
When God asks Cain about his brother we see the lack of love, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” When we quit caring about others we are in dangerous territory. John details in verse 12 that Cain and Abel displayed the two different groups he was speaking about, “Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous.” _________________________________________________________________________
In verse 16 John moves to the positive example: “He laid down His life for us”. __________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ The circumstances differ but the reality of what is required of us is the same – love God with our whole heart. The heart is exactly where John puts his focus for the next 5 verses.
1. Shutting the heart denies the love of God – vs. 17.
2. Love is action flowing from the heart – vs. 18
3. Our action gives us God’s assurance that we are of the truth – vs. 19
4. When we doubt we take courage because God is greater and He is at work in us – vs. 20 & 21
Obedience begins with our love of God and then we ask Him to provide our every need according to His glorious riches. (vs. 22-23)
Our faithfulness to God and our brothers is a sign of His abiding in us. _________________________
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