Sermon Prepared by James McCullen
Email Preach Him with Dr. Jim

HOW'S OUR LOVE LIFE?
1 John 3:11-17

{11} For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another;
{12} not as Cain, <who> was of the evil one, and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother's were righteous.    {13} Do not marvel, brethren, if the world hates you.    {14} We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death.    {15} Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.     {16} We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.    {17} But whoever has the world's goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?

INTRODUCTION:

Chuck Swindoll shares this little humorous poem.

To dwell above with saints we love, That will be grace and glory.
To live below with saints we know; That's another story!

The text instructs us concerning our love for our brothers and sisters in Christ. We must periodically check on our love life. Please follow in your copy of the scriptures.
 

I.    THE MESSAGE OF OUR LOVE LIFE.

II.    THE MARVEL OF OUR LOVE LIFE

III.    THE MASTER OF OUR LOVE LIFE.
 
 

I.    THE MESSAGE OF OUR LOVE LIFE. v 11-12


EXPLANATION:

A.    A . . . PERSISTENT MESSAGE. v 11 a
{11} For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another

        1. Persistent through Time. v 11 a

        2. Persistent through Telling. v 11 b
 

B.    A . . . PICTURED MESSAGE.
{12} not as Cain, <who> was of the evil one, and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother's were righteous.

        1. A picture prompted by the . . . Devil. v 12 a

        2. A picture prompted by the . . . Deeds. v 12 b
                a. A negative example of Cain.

ILLUSTRATION:
I came across a great story that grows out of a couple's life in Atlanta. They had read that "My Fair Lady" was still playing on Broadway in New York City and they wanted to go so badly they bought their tickets 10 months ahead of time and planned their vacation around being there. Sure enough the time passed, they took the flight, they came to New York City, and that afternoon matinee when their tickets would vouch for their ability to be in those seats they walked in and sat down and had wonderful seats 7 rows from the front, near the orchestra. To the man's amazement the entire place filled up except the seat right next to him.

He was curious about that and at the intermission he leaned over and asked the lady in the second seat away from him if she could imagine why a person would choose not to come to the show -- especially when tickets had to be purchased months in advance. "As a matter of fact", she said, these two seats are mine. That seat belonged to my husband but he died." The man said, "I am terribly sorry. But couldn't you have invited a friend to come with you?" Her answer was classic, she said, "No, they were all at the funeral."
 

APPLICATION:

What kind of message do we give as a church and as individuals? As Children of God we should give a message of Christian love.
 
 


II.    THE MARVEL OF OUR LOVE LIFE


EXPLANATION:

A.    THE WORLD'S DISDAIN IS NOT A MARVEL.
{13} Do not marvel, brethren, if the world hates you.

        1. The command. "Do not marvel,. . . " v 13 a

        2. The communication. ". . . If the world hates you." v 13 b
 

B.    THE WORD'S DECLARATION IS NOT A MARVEL. v 14-15

        1. THE POSITIVE DECLARATION
{14} We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death.

        2. THE NEGATIVE DECLARATION.
{15} Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
 

ILLUSTRATION:
A teacher was doing her best to discredit the miracles of the Bible. She said, "Take, for instance, the crossing of the Red Sea. We know this body of water was only 6 inches deep." Immediately from the back of the room came the remark, "Praise God for the miracle!" Annoyed, the teacher asked, "What miracle?" "Well," explained the boy, "the Lord must have drowned the whole Egyptian army in just 6 inches of water!"
 

APPLICATION:

Some people delight in trying to put down Christians. The think they can put us down by their put downs of scripture. We are to expect their put downs because the world has a hatred for Christ and Christianity.
 
 

III.    THE MASTER OF OUR LOVE LIFE. v 16-17


EXPLANATION:

A.    THE MASTERS EXAMPLE.

        1. FOCUSING ON THE MASTER'S EXAMPLE. v 16 a
            {16} We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us;

        2. FOLLOWING THE MASTER'S EXAMPLE. v 16 b
        ". . .and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
                a. Remember God's "oughts are "we cans."

        3. FRUSTRATING THE MASTER'S EXAMPLE. v 17
{17} But whoever has the world's goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?
 

ILLUSTRATION:
The other day a friend told me a little story about Paderewski, the great Polish pianist. It seems a mother took her young son, eight or nine years old, to a concert by Paderewski because she thought the child had some musical talent and might benefit from hearing a genius play. They sat close to the stage, where the curtain was up, revealing the grand piano. Paderewski was in the wings; it wasn't quite time to start. The mother turned to speak to an acquaintance behind her. As she did, the little boy wriggled out of his seat, ran up the steps to the stage, sat down and began to play "Chopsticks" with all his might. The mother was appalled. The audience gasped as Paderewski himself strode onto the stage.

But instead of being angry the maestro smiled, sat down on the piano bench with the little boy, whispered to him to continue and then, putting both arms around the little figure began to improvise a soft but brilliant accompaniment to the childish music. He kept it up until the audience, charmed and fascinated, burst into applause. I like to think that perhaps when we finally come into God's presence and try to explain our lives with all the faults and flaws, He will put His loving arms around us and turn our faltering notes into a triumphant song of redemption and fulfillment. -- Ruth Stafford Peale

APPLICATION:

We have a Master of our Love life. We can focus on, follow, or frustrate His example. What a joy when He radiates through our life and others see Him in the Love He shows through us.
 

CONCLUSION:

I. THE MESSAGE OF OUR LOVE LIFE.

II. THE MARVEL OF OUR LOVE LIFE

III. THE MASTER OF OUR LOVE LIFE.