Sunday May 24, 2020 Worship Service
Heavenly Father, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son.
Look with compassion on the whole human family;
take away the arrogance and hatred that infect our hearts;
break down the walls that separate us;
unite us in bonds of love;
and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth;
that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Scripture Reading - 1 John 3:11-18
This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.
Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother.
And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous.
Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you.
We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers.
Anyone who does not love remains in death.
Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.
And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.
If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him,
how can the love of God be in him?
Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
Being A Church Marked By Love
1 John 3:11-18
Expressing love to someone is a bit more difficult than just giving a hug to someone, it requires continual effort.
John saw the love of Christ demonstrated that night in the Upper Room.
John 13:34–35 (NIV84)
34“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
John was also there when Jesus demonstrated love for us when He went willingly to the cross to die for our sins.
Galatians 1:3–4 (NIV84)
3Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,
We have heard it time and time again about loving one another, however, let us be mindful that God knows our hearts.
It is never unhealthy to examine ourselves with regards to our love for God and for others.
My friends, the world is marked by hatred, but the church is marked by love
How would you reconcile the above statement with the fact that there are some loving unbelievers in our world and some unloving believers?
John in this passage is going to give us some insights!
1) The World Marked by Hatred (1 John 3:11-15)
How can John paint the world as hatred especially considering all the nice unbelievers that are out there?
John is referring to the unbelieving world when he talks about the world. (1 John 2:19, 4:1, 4:3, 4:5)
When John speaks of love, he is pointing us to the supreme example of Jesus when he laid down His life for us.
Biblical love – a self-sacrificing, caring commitment that reveals itself in seeking the highest good of the one loved.
Hatred – a selfish, insensitive attitude that shows itself in disregarding others’ good as one seeks their own interest.
We cannot forget about God’s common grace.
Matthew 5:45 (NIV84)
45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
Luke 6:35 (NIV84)
35But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.
1a) Hatred is symbolized in Adam’s firstborn, Cain (1 John 3:12)
Cain was the first person born on this earth under the curse of sin.
His hatred toward his brother typifies the self-centered, evil bent of the fallen human heart.
1b) Hatred starts with the devil (1 John 3:12,15)
Cain belonged to the evil one. (1 John 3:12)
Hatred and love’s roots are not found in the human heart.
Hatred finds it source in the devil.
Love originates with God.
1c) Hatred divides people (1 John 3:12,15)
James 4:1–2 (NIV84)
1What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God.
How often we tolerate the root of sin by excusing our anger as justifiable?
1d) Personal sin motivates hatred (1 John 3:12)
“And why did he murder him?” Cain’s hate was rebellion against God.
1e) Hatred is evidence of spiritual death (1 John 3:14,15)
John uses the present tense that points to an overall direction of a person’s life.
2) The Church Marked by Love (1 John 3:16-18)
John draws a sharp contrast between the hatred that marks the world and the love that marks the church.
2a) Love is symbolized in God’s firstborn, Christ (1 John 3:16)
We have in the cross of Christ the supreme demonstration of what real love is.
If you want to know what God’s love is like, look to Jesus, the Righteous One, who willingly sacrificed Himself on behalf of sinners.
2b) Love starts with God (1 John 4:7)
Love in the believer comes from God.
If you are lacking love for someone, make sure you are born of God.
2c) Love unites people and results in laying our lives down for others (1 John 3:16-17)
“We ought to lay down our lives for our brothers” That is a hard saying!
Can you honestly say, “I will die for my fellow Christians?”
Self-sacrifice is never convenient.
2d) Love is motivated by God’s love in Christ
God’s love shown on the cross abiding in our heart will flow through you to others.
1 John 4:11 (NIV84)
11Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
2e) Love is the evidence of Spiritual Life (1 John 3:14)
We should see growth in love when we compare ourselves to how you were when you were first saved.
If you have tasted God’s love in Christ at the cross, the new direction of your life will be to grow in love for others.
“This is the message which you have heard from the beginning.”
From the beginning of your Christian life, you were taught to love one another.
Let us continue to go into our community, quietly going about being a Christian, demonstrating what John says to us in 1 John 3:18.
1 John 3:18 (NIV84)
18Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
Questions for Discussion
How would you counsel a believer to deal with deep rooted bitterness, anger or hatred?
What are three things we can do individually as believers, as a family, and as a church to show the love of Christ to our neighbors and community? I will ask this question on the Facebook Group. Feel free to provide some thoughts!
How would you discern when to give and when not to give?
“To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault
and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority,
through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore!
(Jude 24–25, NIV84)
Join Us For A Virtual Coffee Time On Zoom
Pastor Kors is running a Zoom meeting from 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. on Sunday May 24, 2020.
If we have a larger crowd I will use the Zoom rooms to allow for more conversation.
Meeting ID: 897 5131 3954