Motivation to Love
23 June 2019 PM – 1 John 4:7-11 – 1Jn2019 – Scott Childs

Introduction: The Love of God “Could we with ink the ocean fill, And were the skies of parchment made, Were every stalk on earth a quill, And every man a scribe by trade, To write the love of God above, Would drain the ocean dry. Nor could the scroll contain the whole, Though stretched from sky to sky.” (Meir Ben Isaac Nehorai)

Transition: Yes, God is love and He wants Christians to love one another. In fact, the Holy Spirit inspired John to give us three motivations to love one another that we ought to take to heart.

The first motivation to love one another is that…

1.        God has given us His enabling to Love (v.7-8)
a.         Yes, God enables Christians to love!
1)         John’s challenge shows that not all Christians do love.
a)         By addressing his readers as “beloved”, John assures us that he is writing to Christians.
b)         At the same time, the verb “let us love” is a verb of possibility. In other words, Christians are able and ought to love one another; however, we sometimes fail to do so. We find it difficult to love those who we find hard to love.
2)         Here John shows us how we are able to love.
a)         Love is of God (v.7). He only is the source of love.
b)         To be able to love like God, we must be born of God, which is to have God’s new nature abiding in us, and know God experientially by abiding in fellowship with Him (2:4; 3:9). To love like God, we need His new nature abiding in us and we need to know Him experientially by abiding in fellowship with Him. This is available to every true Christian.
c)         We need God’s enabling to love as God loves. That enabling comes through an intimate abiding relationship with Him. When we walk in darkness in the flesh, we cannot love like God (1:6-7).
O  The first motivation to love one another is that God enables us to love when we will abide in Christ.

The second motivation to love one another is that…

2.        God loved us with ultimate love, (v.9-10)
a.         In love, God sent his Son to give us life.
1)         Genuine love moved God to leave heaven, become a mortal man, and live among sinners. (John 3:16) “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
2)         Jesus is the only begotten Son of God. That means Jesus is God’s unique, one and only Son. Jesus’ Sonship is unique because He had no God mother. He is God’s Son by position not by birth. In love, God the Father sent God the Son down to this earth to pay for our sin.
3)         The fact that God the Son left heaven and came to earth in the likeness of a man that he might provide us with eternal life is the ultimate expression of love. There is no greater love.
b.         In love, God sent his Son to propitiate our sins.
1)         God did not love us because we first loved him. We are self-loving sinners.
2)         God loves you and me though we have frequently sinned against Him. He lovingly desired to take our punishment for sin so that we could fellowship with Him.
a)         (Romans 5:8) “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
b)         (Ephesians 2:4-5) “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)”
3)         Christ became the propitiation for our sin. A propitiation is an adequate payment for sin to satisfy justly the wrath of God. To propitiate for our sins, God the Father sent God the Son to the cross. By the shedding of his blood, He paid for our sins and endured our eternal hell in our place. (Romans 5:9) “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”
4)         In the most outstanding expression of love ever displayed, God came to earth to die for sinners. Then he came to life again to give them eternal life. Now he lovingly offers this atonement to all who will believe. (Romans 6:23) “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
O  The first motivation to love one another is that God enables us to love when we will abide in Christ. The second motivation is that Christ loved us with ultimate love.

The third motivation to love one another is that…

3.        God’s Love Obligates us to Love (v.11)
a.         God’s love quashes all our excuses for not loving.
1)         Still talking to “beloved” Christians, John says “if God so loved.” Note the word “so” which means in this manner. Since God loved us enough to die for us, pay our hell for us, and give us eternal life, we have no legitimate excuse for not loving one another.
2)         Remember that God loved us when we were sinners. He loved with no assurance of love in return.
a)         He allowed His creation to abuse Him and nail Him to a cross. God placed on Jesus all of my sins, all of your sins, and all of the sins of the entire human race. (1 John 2:2) “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”
b)         Most people in our world curse Jesus rather than receiving His gift of forgiveness and eternal life. God still offers them His love. We who know Him sometimes fail to obey Him, yet He still loves us.
²  A farmer had an unusual weathervane on his barn. Inscribed on the arrow were these words: “God is love.” A passer-by turned in at the gate and asked the farmer, “Do you think God’s love is changeable; that it veers about as that arrow turns in the winds?” “Oh, no,” replied the farmer, “I mean that whichever way the wind blows, God is still love.”

3)         What excuse do you or I have for not loving others? After what Christ endured for us, is any excuse valid? No! No matter what anyone has done to you, God wants you to forgive him and love him. (Ephesians 4:32) “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
b.         It is our Christian duty to love other Christians.
1)         Because of God’s divine love for us, we ought also to love. The word “ought” refers to the owing of a debt. Thus, it is a duty as in (Lu 17:10). Loving other Christians is not an option. It is a debt. It is a duty. We are under obligation to love other Christians. God expects us to love. (John 15:12) “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.”
2)         We must help fellow-Christians in need, care about their welfare, share, forgive, and treat them kindly. God expects us to do this even if they have hurt us.
3)         You may feel like you just cannot love like this. However, if you are a true Christian, you can. God will help you. Begin praying for that person you do not love. Ask God to change your bad attitude toward that person. See them as a person for whom Christ died.
Conclusion: We have identified three motivations to love one another. 1) God has given us His enabling to love. 2) God loved us with ultimate love. 3) God’s love obligates us to love.

Are you struggling to love someone? If so, get closer to the Lord. Make it your daily ambition to abide in Christ. He will change your heart and your bad attitude. Then spend time meditating on the love of God that provided your forgiveness and eternal life. God loves the unlovely and He can help you do the same. Finally, admit that loving others is your duty commanded by Christ Himself. Seriously ask God to help you fulfil your duty to love that person.

Perhaps you struggle to love because you have never received the love God offers to you. Jesus suffered the eternal punishment your sin deserves. He offers to give you eternal life, but you must ask him to.

Song: Have Thine Own Way – 388                                          Revised from 12 September 2010 AM