1 John 4:12-21 / Reasons to Love pt. 2 (Sermon notes and Audio)

Posted on June 13, 2014


This is the eighteenth 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 8, 2014. This message deals with the last three 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:


1 Jon 4_12-21


1 John 4:12-21

Here we see the third of five reasons why Christians love:because love is the heart of Christian witness.

In keeping with John’s attack on false teachers, this reason also serves as a refutation of another common claim.

This is a reference to the false teachers who may have claimed “visions” of God– visions through which their own knowledge was mediated to them.

John’s response is the blanket rejection:”No one has ever seen God.”

John uses love as the proof of God, not some false prophets claim of a vision.

With Jesus no longer physically in the world, the essence of God’s love cannot be seen by our eyes.

Therefore, the demonstration of God’s love in this age is the church, and that testimony is critical.

John 13:35

John’s argument in 1 John 4:7–12 can be summed up as:

love originated in God, was manifested in his Son, and demonstrated in his people.

John now introduces us to the fourth of five reasons why Christians love:

because love is the Christian’s assurance.

When we become Christians, we receive the Holy Spirit.

God’s presence in our life is proof that we really belong to him.

Ephesians 1:13-14

2 Corinthians 1:22

The same Holy Spirit who seals us, pours out love in our hearts.

Romans 5:5

He had just written “if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.”

The result of this experience is that “we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world.”

With the indwelling God, whose presence is manifested as love, love truly becomes visible.

Such a person is truly born again. As such he can surely testify that “the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world.”

We come full circle to the necessity of confessing Christ.

Romans 10:9-13

With the abiding of God in us comes love and the assurance of salvation.

Here we are given the fifth and final reason in John’s list as to why Christians love:

because love is the Christian’s confidence in judgment.

The presence of God’s love, and it’s maturity in our lives gives us confidence in the day of judgment.

That means that because of our assurance of salvation, we don’t have to fear the judgment, which means torment.

If you have to fear the judgment, then you haven’t known the assurance of God’s love.

To be forever forgiven, means that the judgment is not for you.

Moreover, because God is love “as He is” we should be like Him in this world.

God’s love is the source of all human love, and it spreads like fire.

In loving His children, God kindles a flame in their hearts.

In turn, they love others who are warmed by God’s love through them.

It becomes contagious.

Quite simply, we couldn’t love God (or anyone else) if He hadn’t first loved us.

It’s because of God’s love, that we even know what love is.

The lifestyle of love is the real proof of salvation.

From love itself stems the fruit of the Spirit.

Therefore, if one claims to love God, but hates his brother, that person is a liar.

It is easy to say we love God when that love doesn’t cost us anything more than weekly attendance at church.

But the real test of our love for God is how we treat the people right in front of us—our family members and fellow believers.

We cannot truly love God while neglecting to love those who are created in his image.

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