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One of the greatest tragedies of life is the inability or the neglect of a father to pass on to his children the benefits of his experience.

Fathers must instruct, warn, and encourage their children.

For the next while Wednesday evenings messages will be from John’s first epistle and are titled “The Counsel of a Spiritual Father to His Children.”

Today we are discussing The Proof of Relationship.

Text

1 John 3:24 (AMP)

24 The one who habitually keeps His commandments [obeying His word and following His precepts, abides and] remains in Him, and He in him. By this we know and have the proof that He [really] abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us [as a gift].

Scripture Reading

1 John 3:11-24 (AMP)

11 For this is the message which you [believers] have heard from the beginning [of your relationship with Christ], that we should [unselfishly] love and seek the best for one another; 

12 and not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother [Abel]. And why did he murder him? Because Cain’s deeds were evil, and his brother’s were righteous.

13 Do not be surprised, believers, if the world hates you. 

14 We know that we have passed out of death into Life, because we love the brothers and sisters. He who does not love remains in [spiritual] death. 

15 Everyone who hates (works against) his brother [in Christ] is [at heart] a murderer [by God’s standards]; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. 

16 By this we know [and have come to understand the depth and essence of His precious] love: that He [willingly] laid down His life for us [because He loved us]. And we ought to lay down our lives for the believers. 

17 But whoever has the world’s goods (adequate resources), and sees his brother in need, but has no compassion for him, how does the love of God live in him? 

18 Little children (believers, dear ones), let us not love [merely in theory] with word or with tongue [giving lip service to compassion], but in action and in truth [in practice and in sincerity, because practical acts of love are more than words]. 

19 By this we will know [without any doubt] that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart and quiet our conscience before Him 

20 whenever our heart convicts us [in guilt]; for God is greater than our heart and He knows all things [nothing is hidden from Him because we are in His hands]. 

21 Beloved, if our heart does not convict us [of guilt], we have confidence [complete assurance and boldness] before God; 

22 and we receive from Him whatever we ask because we [carefully and consistently] keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight [habitually seeking to follow His plan for us].

23 This is His commandment, that we believe [with personal faith and confident trust] in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and [that we unselfishly] love and seek the best for one another, just as He commanded us. 

24 The one who habitually keeps His commandments [obeying His word and following His precepts, abides and] remains in Him, and He in him. By this we know and have the proof that He [really] abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us [as a gift].

Introduction

John spoke of our love for one another’s “a new command” in 1 John 2:8.

How can a command be both old and new?

It is old in fact but new in freshness, it is old in principal but new in practice.

As Christians grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, each new day brings the light of greater knowledge, and at the same time, a new unfolding of the unfathomable depths of His love!

In other words, the command to love one another in 1 John 3:11 comes from one of the oldest known laws of God to humankind, Leviticus 19:18 (AMP)

18 You shall not take revenge nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor (acquaintance, associate, companion) as yourself; I am the Lord.

But it becomes a refreshingly new command as it is restated and demonstrated in Jesus Christ.

Therefore the ultimate test of our Christianity is whether we love others or not.

If we study our Scripture reading, we find that John described this love in four ways.

  1. First, we find that it is spontaneous love. 1 John 3:14.
  1. A christians love for others should be an involuntary, spontaneous act of the heart.

One should not have to say, “I will make myself love my fellow Christians.

They have ignored me, insulted me, and wronged me, but I will love them if it kills me!”

If that is the way we love others, we are not showing a spontaneous love.

Instead, we are trying to make ourselves love others merely by human effort.

This is an impossible feat.

B. In verse 14 John said that this spontaneous love proves that we have been born again as God’s children.

1 John 3:14 (AMP)

14 We know that we have passed out of death into Life, because we love the brothers and sisters. He who does not love remains in [spiritual] death.

Spontaneous love means that we are spiritually alive, born into God’s family with other Christian brothers and sisters.

So when we see our brothers and sisters in Christ, we automatically reach out to them in love!

2. Second, we find that it is a sacrificial love. 1 John 3:16.

  1. To perceive means to know by experience.

We do not know about the love of God simply because we have read what the Bible has to say about it.

Rather, as believers in Jesus Christ, we have experienced the love of God.

B. The identifying quality of God’s love, which every believer has experienced, is that Jesus “laid down His life for us.”

This was, on Jesus’ part, an act of the will.

Jesus’ life was not wrestled away from Him by evil men who pursued Him like a hunter stalks an animal.

Jesus said, “I lay down my life, only to take it up again.

No one takes it from me”

Then John said, “We ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”

By doing so we imitate the love of Christ in our lives.

We literally allow Christ to love through us, even if it means giving our lives for Him!

3. Third we find that it is a sharing love. 1 John 3:17-18.

  1. Here John became very practical about Christian love.

He had been talking about such high and lofty acts as giving our life for another for Jesus’ sake.

Now he introduced the fact that we can show a caring love to others in many different ways.

These are not necessarily heroic acts, nonetheless, they demonstrate the love of Christ.

Joh also spoke of those who have material possessions in verse 17, or material blessings from god, that we tend to take for granted.

1 John 3:17 (AMP)

17 But whoever has the world’s goods (adequate resources), and sees his brother in need, but has no compassion for him, how does the love of God live in him? 

B. John’s summary of practical Christian love in verse 18 classic.

1 John 3:18 (AMP)

18 Little children (believers, dear ones), let us not love [merely in theory] with word or with tongue [giving lip service to compassion], but in action and in truth [in practice and in sincerity, because practical acts of love are more than words].

He is not saying that we should not use kind, warm words of encouragement to express our love to a needy brother or sister.

He is simply saying that those words must be accompanied by warm deeds!

Every pious, religious word in the world can not take the place of one genuine act of christian love.

4. Fourth we find that it is a satisfying love. 1 John 3:22-24.

  1. The Bible is filled with precious promises God has given to us, particularly promises regarding prayer.

But often these promises are accompanied by certain conditions.

In verse 22 the promise is, “We receive from Him everything we ask”

How great is that!

But what is the condition? 

“We keep His commands and do what pleases Him”.

B. John was not talking about sinless perfection.

He was describing the state of Christians who, as far as they know, have no unconfessed sin in their lives.

They are under the control of the holy Spirit.

When this happens, John said that Christians will have “confidence before God.”

They will have courage, freedom in speaking, and boldness to stand before God in prayer.

The love of God in them is a satisfying love. 

Conclusion.

They will know we are Christians by our love.

The world will recognise the sincerity of our faith not by our churchmanship or outward piety, but by the expression of love we exhibit toward one another.

Until next time

Stay in the Blessings

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I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.

When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.

Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!

You’re important to God, and you’re important to us at www.refinerylife.org

When it comes to prayer, we believe that God wants to meet your needs and reveal His promises to you.

So whatever you’re concerned about and need prayer for we want to be here for you! Or even if you just want to say Hi, you can contact us

2020 IS A YEAR OF CLARITY

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