How Do I Love Thee?

Nov 24, 2013 by: Joel Sutton| Series: Light & Love
Scripture: 1 John 3:16–3:18

How Do I Love Thee?

1 John 3:16-18; 4:7-10

Pastor Joel Sutton, November 24, 2013; Series: Light and Love

Is ours the type of love that the community around us would stand up and take notice of?

What is love? A Jesus-type love. 3:16; 4:10

Love is giving of yourself…for the good of others, …

even those with whom you have differences.

 

Why is love important? 4:7-8

God is love.


What does love
look like? 3:17-18

Concrete and active.


Two ways we are to love one another.

  • Honor one another. Romans 12:10
  • Serve one another. 1 Peter 4:10


Take Home Idea: We
can't help but love, if we are born of God.

 

Sermon Discussion Guide

  • Read 1 John 4.7-10
    • Discuss: John clearly describes love for one another as central to the life of the believers.
      • Why, according to these verses does John make this claim?
      • What is behind John's logic that if we don't love one another then we cannot even know God? Is that just exaggeration? How might that logic work?
  • Read 1 John 1.11-12
    • Discuss:
      • What according to John is the basis and source of our love for one another?
      • What privileges and responsibilities does John explain in verse 12?
  • Read 1 John 4.13-21
    • Discuss:
      • Verses 13-18 are John's way of encouraging us after reminding us of our high calling and major responsibility. What encouragement does he offer those intimidated by verse 12?
      • How does John conclude this passage in 18-21?
  • Apply
    • What is your response to John's claim in v.12 that our love for one another reveals God to others?
    • John seems to do nearly everything linguistically possible to convince us that our love for God cannot be separated from our love for each other. Do our lives reflect the fact that those two commands are intertwined?
    • How might it change our attitude if we see difficult people in our own lives as John advises - as opportunities to showcase the magnitude and scope of God's own love?

 

Leader's Guide

  • Read 1 John 4.7-10
    • Discuss: John clearly describes love for one another as central to the life of the believers.
      • Why, according to these verses does John make this claim?
        • Because love is central to God's being (8)
      • What is behind John's logic that if we don't love one another then we cannot even know God? Is that just exaggeration? How might that logic work?
        • John's logic - it seems to me - is that God's love prompted the extravagant sacrificial love demonstrated on the cross. How could we claim to know a God who would do that for us, if we do not sense our own obligation to do the same for others?
        • In other words, to refuse to love one another is to deny a central attribute of God and his self-revelation on the cross. To fail to love one another is at its heart a failure to understand what the cross means
  • Read 1 John 1.11-12
    • Discuss:
      • What according to John is the basis and source of our love for one another?
        • God's prior love for us
      • What privileges and responsibilities does John explain in verse 12?
        • When as believer we love others, we do it not in our own strength, but as an extension of God's own love for them (make his love complete)
        • No one has seen God, but they can see our love for one another. In other words, God has chosen to reveal himself to the world in part through the love of his church - his children - us!
  • Read 1 John 4.13-21
    • Discuss: Verses 13-18are John's way of encouraging us after reminding us of our high calling and major responsibility. What encouragement does he offer those intimidated by verse 12?
      • John reminds us that we are not left to accomplish it on our own. We have a share in his Spirit - we remain in God and he in us. When we love, we can draw upon God's own love. Our faith therefore is not in our own love, but in God's love.
    • How does John conclude this passage in 18-21?
      • By reiterating that it is impossible to love God if we do not love one another.
  • Apply
    • What is your response to John's claim in v.12 that our love for one another reveals God to others?
    • John seems to do nearly everything linguistically possible to convince us that our love for God cannot be separated from our love for each other. Do our lives reflect the fact that those two commands are intertwined?
    • How might it change our attitude if we see difficult people in our own lives as John advises - as opportunities to showcase the magnitude and scope of God's own love?

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