Message for 22 March, 2020
Read from 1 John 3:1-3, 16-18 Please have different family members read the Scriptures throughout this message.
John began this portion of his letter by making three declarations. We will look at these today and see how they affect our lives. The Lord led the Apostle John to write this portion of Scripture to remind us, or maybe to instruct us for the first time, of three works that His Word will bring forth in our lives: This Sunday we will look at Conviction and next Sunday will learn of Confidence, and Concern. We begin this morning with –
I use the word ‘conviction’ because of how it is used both of God’s work in us and our response to His work. The twofold definition is as follows:
The first is that a conviction is something certain such as a judgment of guilt in a court of law. The Lord convicts us through His Word to inform us that we have been judged by Him and are guilty. We are condemned to eternal separation from Him, to be in Hell forever because of our sin nature.
John 3:17-18 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
If you are not saved this morning, the Lord will convict you of your sin and your need to be saved. Our prayer is that you will respond to Him, confessing your condition and asking for His salvation – Read Romans 10:9-13
The second meaning of the word conviction is that we have a strong belief, being certain of something.
If you are saved this morning, a child of God, then this second definition, your certain belief in the Lord, will addressed in this message –
1 John 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
The first thing that we need to remember as Christians is –
A. The exhortation to consider our position –
1. We should remember what God has done for us.
a. He bore us into His family. We are the children of God! Read Romans 8:14,15
b. He adopted us into our position – giving us immediately full status as adult heirs.
Read Galations 4:4-6
c. He provided eternal life for us by giving His life for ours.
2. We should remember why God has done it.
a. Some believe that they deserve to have the love of God given to them.
b. The Lord states that no man is worthy of His love, but He offers it freely to all. Read Romans 5:8
c. It is God’s will to love us. He has determined to love. Read John 17:23
3. We should take care to remember what manner of love the Lord has for us.
a. We have a difficult time remembering what love is.
1). Some believe that it is pure emotion. These often “fall in and out of love”.
2). Others believe that love is overwhelming and will overcome any obstacle
a). This is often the “love” spoken of in respect to religion. Some think that “everyone will respond to God’s love if we just give them the opportunity, at the right time, in the right environment, etc.”
b). Some people in relationships believe that if they can just give enough love, the other person will respond positively.
c). We could wish that these theories were true, but they do not take into account man’s nature. Some people will respond and return love, and we are excited about that and thank the Lord, but there are men and women that will go through life full of guilt or even turn to the other extreme, bitterness, because it seems like they did not have enough love to fulfill the need of the other person. Some people will simply refuse your love and they also will refuse God’s love. Read Matthew 23:37
3). Love is that attribute of giving of self and is a part of one’s character.
Can we understand this kind of love? Have you ever tried to love someone that does not love you? Can you love someone that does not return that love to you?
Love is not an emotion that just happens – ‘you fall in love’. We must love on purpose!
b. What manner of love did the Lord bestow upon us?
1). An unconditional love.
a). This does not mean that our sin will be forgiven, no matter what has happened. God will not say “Okay, come on into Heaven”, although it is what many people hope to hear.
b). This does mean that His love is not based on man’s response. “God is love”
A man will not go to Hell because God did not love him. He will go to Hell because He did not turn to God for salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ.
2). It is an active love.
a). The Lord revealed His love by His actions.
b). Love is active, it cannot be passive. If it is passive, it is not love. John 14:15
3). It is an identifying love.
a). Those that receive the love of God and act upon it are identified with Him.
b). We should be ready to stand on the Lord’s side. Read Peter’s testimony in 1 Peter 3:8-15
Do you love unconditionally?
Do you love actively, letting others know you love them?
Does you love identify you with the Lord Jesus Christ?
How do I know that I love God? Would you rather be with God and His people rather than be with those that have no time for God or His people? Has our life changed – loving the things of God instead of the things of this world? Look at –
B. The examination. 1 John 3:1 “…therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not”
1. The exhortation is needed occasionally to get our attention.
a. We are living in this world. The danger is that –
b. We begin to get comfortable and want to “fit” into this world.
When we got saved, God changed us. Read 2 Corinthians 5:17
When we were changed spiritually, we began to change outwardly, in the way we lived. Those members of our family or our close friends began to see a difference in our lives. If they were Christians, they were glad to see the changes. If they were not Christians, they were angry that we did not want to do the things with them that we used to do.
Read 1 Peter 4:4. This is to be expected and we, as Christians, need to help one another because it is a fact that it hurts to lose our longtime friends and for them to say unkind things about us.
2. The Christian should get a bit worried if he has no conflict with this world.
a. The world hated our Lord. Righteousness and goodness make the world uncomfortable!
b. The world hates His children. How does the world feel about you? Do they know that you are a Christian?
What does this message on the love of God mean to you today? Will you decide to try and love others like God loves them?
If so, you must see them as He sees them. They need to be saved and how will they know unless we tell them? Read Romans 10:13,14
Will you be the one to tell them?