The Test of Love

I Jn 4:7-5:3

7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.

8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.

10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.

13 By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.

14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world.

15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.

16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.

17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.

18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.

19 We love Him because He first loved us.

20 If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?

21 And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.

1 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him.

2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments.

3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. (NKJ)

This message was preached June 2, 2002 at FBC Toulon, by Albert Harmon. See it at toulonbaptist.com 

When you look at these 18 verses do you need to even take a second look to see what the theme of the passage is. In that short passage love is found 33 times. We want to spend some time looking at this passage. To the writer John this must have been very important to speak of it so.

  1. Love the Test of Our Nature - "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God" . . . for God is love"
    1. God is more than love.
      1. He is Spirit (John 4:24)
      2. God is Light 1 John 1:5
        1. The Gnostics taught that God was spirit and light but without the love that John explains.
        2. Many today equate God with the universe.
        3. But you see that cannot account for His Love.
        4. Pantheism cannot account for God's holiness or love.
      3. But God is also holy.
        1. Some people think that God is too loving to keep anyone from heaven.
        2. But God is too holy to allow sin in.
        3. God knows that sin in heaven would make it just as bad as earth or even worse for then evil men would not die but live on in their wickedness.
        4. God has provided for anyone's salvation with the most loving act of the sacrifice of His Son.
        5. If we reject the Son we reject God's love.
    2. But He is love.
      1. John wants us to see that it is more than just that God loves.
      2. He is Love.
      3. It is the very essence of His being to love.
      4. His love is seen around us in the working of the creation and the benefits God has provided.
      5. The way we are created to enjoy all that He has placed around us.
    3. If we bear His nature, then we must be love also.
  2. Love the Test of Our Birth - "everyone who loves is born of God"
    1. Agapa type of love.
      1. The world thinks lust is love.
      2. But the love that is here referred to is Agapa love.
    2. Those born of Adam are not so.
  3. Love the Test of Who We Know - "everyone who loves . . . knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love"
    1. John says that if we know God than we love.
    2. If we have a relationship with God, He will rub off on us.
    3. God is not somebody you can hang around and get to know and it does not affect you.

John says that Love is such a part of God that you cannot define Him without it.

John says that if you look at a Christian, you are going to see God in him, the love of God.