Sunday, August 7, 2016 am                                                Others 2016 Index


Love One Another (1)

 We have begun a study of the “one another” passages as we consider our relationship toward each other as brethren.   One thought we need to consider as we weigh these “one another” passages is how they emphasize our need for each other.  We CANNOT live our lives as Christians in a vacuum, nor can we say we can do this alone and expect to be all that God wants us to be.  The multitude of “one another” passages (more than 50 of them) declare this.  That is why this study is so important. 

 Last week we discussed fellowship with one another (1 John 1:7).  Today we want to address the most prevalent usage of the “one another” passages.  We want to addressed how we are to love one another.

Love for one another is a fundamental quality.  It is a diving motivation behind everything that we do for each other.   The love we are going to be talking about is the agape love that is sometimes called “Christian love”.  We define it as, “Caring enough to sacrifice for what is best.”  This is the love described in 1 Corinthians 13 and declared (in context) to be greater than faith and hope (13:13).  This is the love that Jesus said establishes the first 2 commandments – loving God and your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37-39).  In this lesson we are not going to define this love as we have frequently addressed that.  Rather, we are going to focus on the command to love one another and what that means.  There are more than a dozen passages that address our love for one another directly, and many more that allude to it.  In these passages we will see why this is so important and fundamental to our faith.

 I.                     We are commanded to love one another

a.       John 13:34-35 – While Jesus was speaking to His disciples he told them that He was giving them a new commandment.  We realize that the call for loving one another was nothing new.  However, it is something that we must continually remind ourselves of and something we must seek to renew.   Perhaps the intensity of this love as fundamental OR the motivation behind this love (the fact that it is based upon our Lord giving His life for our sins) that makes it “new”.
The command that is “new” is “that you love one another, as I have love you, that you also love one another.

                                                   i.      It is “as I have loved you” 13:34 (and 15:12).  Our example is Jesus Himself

                                                 ii.      13:35, by this all know that we are His disciples – the world has the RIGHT to judge us based upon this!  Friends, this is what they are going to see FIRST!  A visitor may not understand and question our doctrinal convictions (i.e. no instruments, baptism for ROS, called for true unity, etc.), but unless they can see a genuine love when it is present.  In this they will see if we are who claim to be!

b.       1 Peter 1:22 – Peter too calls for us to love one another fervently.  He notices that it comes from a pure heart

c.        Romans 13:8-10 – it is the fulfillment of the law.  All the law is summarized in the command to love one another, including your neighbor as yourself.

  II.                   This love described

a.       1 John 3:10-23, Vs. 11 tells us that we have heard this from the beginning – that we should love one another.  The tense here is present tense meaning it is ongoing action.  The entire text (10-23) establishes just how important it is that we love one another.

                                                   i.      Vs. 10 – he who does not practice righteousness AND love his brother is NOT of God

                                                 ii.      Vs. 14 – we know we have passed from death to life because we love the brethren.  In contrast to being hated by the world (vs. 13), we love one another.  One way we can know we are seeking to please God (and by far, not the ONLY way) is the preference we give to our brethren over the world.  Who do we prefer? Furthermore, how do we treat each other in relation to the world?  Have you ever known brethren who were more hateful to one another than they were to their worldly friends. 

                                                iii.      Vs. 14 – warns that he who does not love his brother, abides in death.  In vs. 15 he is compared to a murderer (like Cain in vs. 12) and does not have eternal life in that state. 

                                                iv.      Vs. 16 – this love ought to reach a point to which we are willing to lay down our lives for our brethren.

                                                  v.      Vs. 17 – this love is manifested in our willingness to help each other in our needs.  Vs. 18 calls for us to demonstrate our love not only in word or tongue, but in deed and in truth.

                                                vi.      Vs. 19-21 – it is a quality of a genuine heart

                                              vii.      VS. 22-23 – do we want our prayers answered?  Do we want to receive what we ask of Him?  It requires that we keep His commandments and do those things pleasing in His sight.  His commandment IS – to believe on the name of Jesus Christ AND to love one another, even as he commanded us (see again John 13:34-35).

b.       1 John 4:7-21 – again John begins another discourse on loving one another. 

                                                   i.      Vs. 7 - Beloved, let us love one another -  throughout this text, John is challenging these brethren to treat each other the way they ought to.  That is summarized in love.  While the English language sometimes treats this as a strong suggestion or recommendation (i.e. “let us”, “should”, etc.) in reality it a command that we CANNOT ignore.   The text bears this out. 

                                                 ii.      Vs. 7 - This love is from God. The idea is that our love comes from God.   PERHAPS, this love is one of the qualities with which we are made in His image (Genesis 1:26) and sets us apart from the rest of creation. 
We learn what it means to love by looking at His example – Vs. 9-10 note that God manifested His love toward us by sending His only begotten Son Jesus into the world to be the propitiation for our sins.
Vs. 8 tells us, “God IS love” – meaning He is the personification of what true love is like.

                                                iii.      Vs. 7-8 - When we love, it demonstrates that we know God (4:7-8) as we understand this love.

                                                iv.      Vs. 11-- It motivates us to love one another.  This is why we emphasize the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus so much (as does the New Testament).  It humbles us as we learn how much God so loved the world.  This is the great consideration when our brethren are not everything we would like for them to be.  Just think about how God loves us even though we don’t deserve it – Romans 5:6-10

                                                  v.      Vs. 12 - It is necessary if we want God to abide in us.  Something every Christian needs.  This is again emphasized in vs. 16

                                                vi.      Vs. 12 - His love is perfected in us, (fully accomplished or completed) as we love one another. 

                                              vii.      Vs. 17-19 then proceed to describe how we love Him based upon His love for us.  NOTE: Let us not separate this from the two continuous factors emphasized – we keep His commandments and we love one another.

                                             viii.      Vs. 20 describes the contradiction when one professes to love God but hates (does not love) his brother.    In context we find the depth of God’s love for us, even though we don’t deserve it.   John in essence is saying if we hate our brethren, we do NOT love God because we don’t understand what true love is!

                                                ix.      Vs. 21 he concludes, “And this commandment we have from Him” – it is a commandment or an order, a mandate that comes from God Himself.  Something we MUST do.
He who loves God MUST love his brother also.  The NASB says, “the one who loves God SHOULD love his brother also.”   In looking up the grammar of this word, (it is in the subjunctive mood – which describes action as potential or possibility, rather than certain.
“It is almost like a command, but it places more emphasis on the participation”[1] (Learn to use Biblical Greek video, Segment 58, Illustrating the Subjunctive)), this is an action that the reader had not yet completed, but he absolutely needed to do it!    John, throughout this letter and in this context bears this out so clearly, it cannot be misunderstood. 


Truly, we must love one another.  In this lesson all we have done is to notice the need for this love by examining a few passages of scripture.  We have seen how it is commanded and fundamental to our faith.  In our next lesson we will see how this love is implemented in our lives. 

In this world, now more than ever, we need to understand what it means to love one another.  It is very possible that the future will hold trying times for the godly.  The world will become even more hostile toward those who strive to follow the commandments of God without compromise.  As this happens, we will NEED each other more and more.  And that will require that we have the love of God dwelling in us, which in turn will be demonstrated to the world with our love for one another.  Let us resolve that we will learn of and keep this love in our lives.  Think about it! 

[1] Cisneros, Johnny. LA161 Learn to Use Biblical Greek with Logos 6. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2015. Print. Logos Mobile Education.