1 John 4:7-11 / Reasons to Love pt. 1 (Sermon notes and Audio)

Posted on June 6, 2014


This is the seventeenth in a series of verse-by-verse expositions of the book of 1 John. This message was delivered at Hillcrest Baptist Church on the evening of June 1, 2014. This message deals with the first two of five reasons why Christians love. This post contains an audio recording of my message, along with my sermon notes. Please note that the sermon notes are not a full transcript.

AUDIO – Listen Now:


1Jon 4_7-11


1 John 4:7-11

John introduces the reader to the first of five reasons why Christians love: because God is the essence of love.

At this point, it is important to reinforce what love actually is. John is NOT using the word “eros”, which portrays a sexual type of love. John uses the word “agape”, which is unconditional and unselfish. It is almost incomprehensible to us, and is characterized by God Himself.

This type of love does not simply aim to make people feel good about themselves.

This type of love esteems others more than themselves, and always seeks what is best for another. . . even if its unpleasant.

When someone is sick, the medicine required to make them well is often very unpleasant. . . but necessary.

It is a type of love that neither enables nor ignores sin. It is a type of love that doesn’t beat someone up over their sin, but seeks to help them out of it.

It is a love that is characterized by knowledge and discernment.

Philippians 1:9

It is a love that is manifest in our works. It is a love that proves our faith and bears fruit.

It is a love that mirrors and glorifies our Lord.

John has been dealing with false teachers, and this is a direct refutation of the gnostics.

The Gnostics believed that God was immaterial spirit and light. They didn’t recognize the source of love as coming from his inmost being.

God is spirit (John 4:24), light (1 John 1:5), and a consuming fire (Heb. 12:29).

He is also love. Paul calls Him the God of love and peace.

2 Corinthians 13:11

Love is inherent in all he is and does. Even his judgment and wrath are perfectly harmonized with his love.

“Let us love one another” portrays the idea of a habitual practice. This love is to be a lifestyle, not an occasional token.

He makes it clear that those who of born of God will be known by their love.

Those who are born again receive God’s divine nature, and are conformed into the image of Christ.

2 Peter 1:4

Romans 8:29

It stands to reason then, that the true believer would exhibit a lifestyle of love.

If the true believer is characterized by a lifestyle of love, than the opposite is also true.

If one constantly exhibits a lifestyle characterized by anything other than love, than that is a sure sign that they are not a child of God.

Here we see the second of five reasons why Christians love: to follow the supreme example of God’s sacrificial love in sending his Son for us.

Love is to be demonstrated, and God set the example Himself. The judgment of sin on the cross was the supreme example of God’s love.

God loved us when we least deserved it.

Romans 5:8

He did it so that we could live through Him. By this sacrifice, we become His righteousness.

2 Corinthians 5:21

Therefore, we should follow His example of love.

Ephesians 5:1-2

In considering the example of love which Christ set, we need to understand just what He did.

It was truly a self-sacrificial love. Look at what He gave up for us.

Philippians 2:5-8

He willingly stepped down off of His throne, and poured Himself into a human body. Thus, giving up some of His godly privileges.

In doing so, He committed Himself to living on this earth, surrounded by sin, day in and day out for 33 years. That, in and of itself, must have been torture for a holy and righteous God.

He endured all of that, in order to offer Himself up as a sacrifice for our sins.

This resulted in the most brutal torture that any man has ever endured, followed by His death on the cross. but not before He took the sin of the world upon Himself, and became sin for us.

Why? Because He loves us, and wants us restored to fellowship with Him.

Are you beginning to understand the depths of God’s love? This is the example we are called to follow.

We wouldn’t even know what love is, if it weren’t for God.

1 John 4:19

God’s sending his Son gives Christians not only the privilege of salvation, but also an obligation to follow this pattern of sacrificial love. Christian love must be self- sacrificing like God’s love

Posted in: Sermons