Love Life: Love One Another

1 John 3:1-10

Where do we meet God? The two places we meet God is at baptism and at the Lord’s Table. We meet God at baptism when we are gathered to say that God has claimed more lives and added more people to the Body of Christ. We meet God at the Lord’s Table as we soberly take into our persons the body and blood of Christ Jesus.

It is based on these works of God that we are able to love one another. For these works point us to Jesus. These works of God open us to God’s grace. These works of God help us purify ourselves. These works of God, baptism and Holy Communion, help us in living as children of God. These works of God prepare us to do the work of loving one another.

A. We get to be called “children of God”! (3:1-4)
+++1. The Father gives us great love!
+++2. Beloved – loved of God! – we have a hope!
+++3. What is the hope?
+++===– Athanasius: “He was made like man that we might be made God.” (Thomas C. Oden, Life in the Spirit, (Harper: San Francisco, 1992), p. 208)
++===+– When Jesus is revealed, we will be like him!
+++4. We clean up our lives because of this hope
+++5. We avoid lawlessness
+++6. It is good to be called children of God. For the hope we have spurs us on to love one another. I would imagine we don’t know what a purified life is. We have an idea what a purified life looks like. We may even have made up our minds that a purified life is not possible in this lifetime. It occurs to me, that nothing is impossible with God! God must have left us a way to follow in order to be revealed as being just like Jesus!

B. How do we live as “children of God”? (3:5-10)?
+++1. We avoid doing sins, the work of the children of the devil
+++a. C. S. Lewis in Screwtape Letters has Screwtape giving this advice to Wormwood:

“It remains to consider how we can retrieve this disaster. The great thing is to prevent his doing anything. As long as he does not convert it into action, it does not matter how much he thinks about this new repentance. Let the little brute wallow in it. Let him, if he has any bent that way, write a book about it; that is often an excellent way of sterilizing the seeds which the Enemy plants in a human soul. Let him do anything but act. No amount of piety in his imagination and affections will harm us if we can keep it out of his will. As one of the humans has said, active habits are strengthened by repetition but passive ones are weakened. The more often he feels without acting, the less he will be able ever to act, and, in the long run, the less he will be able to feel.”(C.S. Lewis, Screwtape Letters, (New York: Fontana Books, 1942), pp. 69-70)

+++2. The Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil
+++3. God’s seed abides/lives in us!
+++4. It is good to live as children of God. For God grows in us! Once God’s seed is born in us, more and more of God is in us. We realize this fact as we desire to see more people baptized. We realize this fact as we desire to greet Jesus at the Lord’s Table for Holy Communion. This desire for more of God means the works of the devil are being driven out of our persons. Yet, these desires are not left as desires. As Jesus has loved us, we also love.

C. We love the “children of God” (3:11-17)
+++1. Cain did not love his brother – he murdered him!
+++2. When we hate the children of God, we are murderers!
+++3. Children of God lay down their lives for one another
+++4. If another Christian is in need, then we give them help
+++5. It is good to love the children of God. This demonstrates that God’s love abides in us. When we hate one another, God’s love is not living in us. Jesus reminded us that “we do unto others as we would have them do unto us.” It sounds like our loving one another involves “doing.” For then we can realize we become what we do.

D. We live in God and he lives in us when we obey his commandments (3:18-24)
+++1. It is more than speaking about love
+++2. Love is done through truth and actions
+++3. God helps us see this as we obey his commandments
+++4. For when we believe in the name of the Son Jesus Christ and love one another, we are being obedient
+++5. It is good to labor as children of God. For when we labors as children of God, our belief in Jesus is alive. God will then give us what we ask. We can know God gives us more than we ask. God gives us his Spirit!

Yes, we meet God during Baptism and Holy Communion. These reminders of God’s great love for us through Jesus Christ spur us on to purify our lives. We even go so far as to love one another because of God’s great love for us.
Along the way we get to obey God. We love one another. This is obedience to God.

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