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

WHY SHOULD CHRISTIANS LOVE ONE ANOTHER?
1 John 4:19-21

(19) We love, because He first loved us.    {20} If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.    {21} And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.
 

INTRODUCTION:
I believe the theme of this book is assurance for the Christian. Some believe fellowship is the central theme. The two ideas may not be in opposition as assurance for the Christian can flow through fellowship.

In 1 John; John talks much about love. In this book of 1 John there are 2,682* the word love is used in some form 46 times. Assurance comes from love and fellowship centers in love. So the more we love the greater our fellowship and the more assurance we are aware of. The apostle John shares in this fourth chapter six ways Christians demonstrates they love their fellow Christian.

* in the NASB translation.

SIX DEMONSTRATIONS IN 1 John 4:

LOVING ONE ANOTHER DEMONSTRATES WE ARE BORN OF GOD.............. v 7

LOVING ONE ANOTHER DEMONSTRATES WE KNOW GOD'S LOVE.............. v 8

LOVING ONE ANOTHER DEMONSTRATES WE OBEY GOD..................... v 11, 21

LOVING ONE ANOTHER DEMONSTRATES WE ARE INDWELT BY GOD.......... v 12

LOVING ONE ANOTHER DEMONSTRATES WE HAVE CONFIDENCE BEFORE GOD... v 17

LOVING ONE ANOTHER DEMONSTRATES WE ARE TRUTHFUL................. v 20
 
 

In the Text the Lord Tells Us Why We Should Love One Another.

1. BECAUSE CHRISTIANS ARE LOVED. v 19

2. BECAUSE WE LOVE GOD. v 20

3. BECAUSE WE ARE COMMANDED TO. v 21
 
 

1.    BECAUSE CHRISTIANS ARE LOVED. v 19 


{19} We love, because He first loved us.

EXPLANATION:

A.    THE RESPONSE TO GOD'S LOVE. "We love,. . . " v 19 a
 

B.    THE REASON WE LOVE. ". . . HE first loved us." v 19 b
 

ILLUSTRATION: GOD CARES
A Frenchman who was thrown into prison during the reign of Napoleon wrote despairingly on the wall: "Nobody cares."

One day a green shoot popped up between the stones on the floor. It began to grow as the prisoner watered it with part of his own rations. The plant reached up toward the light that came through the tiny window at the top of the cell. It grew until it became a plant with a beautiful blue flower. As the petals opened in full blossom, the prisoner crossed out the words he had written and wrote: "God cares."
 

ILLUSTRATION:
BROTHERLY LOVE. -- CHRIST, THE "HUB"

We like to think of the Lord Jesus as being the "hub" in a great wheel, and of God's children as being the "spokes." The closer we get to Christ, the "Hub," the closer we get to one another! Born-again believers are "One in Christ!" When we feel a growing coldness in our hearts toward our brothers and sisters in Christ, let us "steal away" to the "secret place of the Most High," and there pray: "More love, O Christ, to Thee!"
 

APPLICATION:

WHY SHOULD CHRISTIANS LOVE ONE ANOTHER?

        BECAUSE CHRISTIANS ARE LOVED. v 19
 
 

2.    BECAUSE WE LOVE GOD. v 20


{20} If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not
love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.

EXPLANATION:

A.    "I Love God" as a . .SAYING.     "If someone says, . . ."
 

B.     "I Love God" as a . .SEEING.     Our love will be seen as we love our brothers.
 

ILLUSTRATION: LOVE FOR CHRIST. -- I LOVE HIM TOO
An old countryman, visiting London for the first time in his life, went into one of the great picture galleries to look around. Presently he came to a wonderful painting of the Lord Jesus Christ hanging upon the Cross. He stopped before it and as he gazed at the picture a great love for the One who hung there flooded his heart. "Bless Him!" he said, aloud. "I love Him!" I love Him!"

Others in the gallery heard the old man's words, and seeing the tears trickling down his old furrowed cheeks, as he stood beside the picture, hat in hand, forgetful of all else, were touched, and stopped before the picture, too. Presently a stranger drew near to the old countryman, and grasping his hand, said: "I love Him, too, brother."

Seeing what had taken place, a third stepped forward, saying: "So do I." Then a forth joined them, and a fifth, until there stood before the picture of the savior a little knot of men, perfect strangers to one another, but drawn together by the love of the Lord Jesus.

ILLUSTRATION: LOVING THE UNSEEN
"Papa, do you love Jesus?" asked little Emily of he father, who did not care for anything religious. "Jesus is dead, my dear, long, long ago. He was crucified, and that was the end of Him." "But Jesus rose again, and did what no other man could do. And if Jesus was not living now, we could not be living either, as He gives us life and everything else, Papa." "But how can I love whom I have never seen, Emily? Tell me that, my dear."

Emily at first did not know how to reply, and her father looked pleased to know that he had puzzled her. At length she said, "Papa, how old was I when Mama died?" "Only six months, my child." "Then I can't say that I ever saw her for I don't remember her at all. But you have always tried to make me love her by telling me how good and kind she was; and I do love her, although I have never seen her that I can remember."

By this time the tears were running down the father's cheeks and kissing Emily, he said, "God has spoken to me by you, my dear, and now you must pray for me, and ask God to give me a new heart with which I shall love Jesus." And the prayer was soon answered.
 

APPLICATION:

WHY SHOULD CHRISTIANS LOVE ONE ANOTHER?

BECAUSE WE LOVE GOD. v 20
 
 

3.    BECAUSE WE ARE COMMANDED TO. v 21 


{21} And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.

EXPLANATION:

A.    THE . . INITIATION OF THE COMMAND. " . . . we have from Him, . . ." v 21 a
 

B.    THE . . INSTRUCTION OF THE COMMAND. ". . . love his brother also." v 21 b
 

ILLUSTRATION:
At one time Andrew Carnegie was the wealthiest man in America. He came to America from his native Scotland when he was a small boy, did a variety of odd jobs, and eventually ended up as the largest steel manufacturer in the United States. At one time he had forty-three millionaires working for him. In those days a millionaire was a rare person; conservatively speaking, a million dollars in his day would be equivalent to at least twenty million dollars today.

A reporter asked Carnegie how he had hired forty-three millionaires. Carnegie responded that those men had not been millionaires when they started working for him but had become millionaires as a result.

The reporter's next question was, "How did you develop these men to become so valuable to you that you have paid them this much money?" Carnegie replied that men are developed the same way gold is mined. When gold is mined, several tons of dirt must be moved to get an ounce of gold; but one doesn't go into the mine looking for dirt -- one goes in looking for the gold.
 

ILLUSTRATION: THE HIGH TIDE OF BROTHERLY LOVE -- AT HIGH TIDE
Dr. J. H. Jowett spoke of the uniting of sundered people in these words: "At low tide there are multitudes of separated pools along the shore. At high tide they flow together, and the little distinctions are lost in a splendid union.
 

APPLICATION:

WHY SHOULD CHRISTIANS LOVE ONE ANOTHER?

        1. BECAUSE CHRISTIANS ARE LOVED. v 19

        2. BECAUSE WE LOVE GOD. v 20

        3. BECAUSE WE ARE COMMANDED TO. v 21