Love for God and One Another
"Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error".
Knowing God Through Love
(cf. John 3:16)
"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another".
Seeing God Through Love
"No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him".
The Consummation of Love
Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us".
Obedience by Faith
" If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also." (NKJV)
“LOVE”: The Differentiation Between God’s Servants and False Teachers”
I. Warning: Beloved, don’t believe every spirit!(teacher. Minister, Pastor) try the spirits to see if they are God’s because many false prophets are gone out into the world. (society and the world’s system (s) (verse 1)
A. Do not be forward to believe every teacher to be a man sent of God. As in those early times every teacher professed to be inspired by the Spirit of God, because all the prophets had some thus accredited, the term spirit was used to express the man who pretended to be and teach under the Spirit's influence. Remember what Apostle Paul said in 1Timothy 4:1-9. And remember what Jesus said in Matthew 7:15-20, and what the Apostle John says in 1 John 4:1-6
B. Try the spirits (test the teacher, Minister, Pastor) to see if they are God’s messengers: Test them. Ask question concerning their teachings. See if they give you Bible based answers that focus on the “correct” teachings of Christ.
Important: Study for yourself and pray that God will give you proper interpretation concerning his Word.
II. Identifying Falsehoods and False Teachers:” Erroneous Doctrines” (verses 2-6)
A. Every teacher that confesses that Jesus Christ was born of human by the Holy Ghost through the “virgin” Mary is a teacher “sent” from God (vs. 2)
B. Every teacher that declares that Jesus Christ did not come in “human form” or acknowledging his human birth but denying the “virgin birth” or teach that Jesus Christ was a “mere” man and not divine, or that Jesus Christ is really Michael the Archangel. Is a false teacher and possesses the spirit of Antichrist. (vs. 3)
C. The spirit of Antichrist is already in the world. Jesus told us he would come because he was already active since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden. (vs. 3)
D. YOU are of God (true believers) because you have overcome them because greater is he that is in you, (Holy Spirit) than he (Satan/Antichrist/demons) that is in the world. (vs. 4)
E. False teachers have an erroneous attitude concerning the world. They are of the world, so they speak about the “things” of the world: (secular humanism) (lust of the flesh and eyes, and the pride of life) and the world(secular humanist) hears them (vs.5)
F. We (true believers) are of God. Anyone who knows God (the saved) or wish to know Him hears us.Those who don’t know Him (the unsaved) don’t hear us. This is how we know the difference between the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. *(Whether anyone will hear the Word of God or not) Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the WORD OF GOD. (vs.6)
III. Knowing God Through Love “John 3:16” (verses 7-11)
1. Love one another: Because…… (vs. 7)
a. Love is of God.
b. Everyone who loves is “born” of God and knows HIM.
2. Everyone who doesn’t love….. (vs.8)
a. Doesn’t know God.
b. God is Love.
3. God’s Love manifested toward us by sending Jesus Christ (His only begotten son that we might live through HIM. (vs.9)
Note: Jesus died that we might have eternal life through the merits of his sacrifice. The "measure" of that love, then, which was manifested in the gift of a Savior, is to be found in the following:
a) the worth of the soul;
b) its exposure to eternal death;
c) the greatness of the gift;
d) the greatness of his sorrows for us; and,
e) the immortal blessedness and joy to which he will raise us.
4. Here is the highest expression of love: not that we love God but God loved us and sent Jesus Christ to be a propitiation for us. God so loved us, even commended His love toward us in while we were still sinners Christ died for us. We are saved by grace. (Ephesians 2:8-9) we were given “unmerited” favor. (vs. 10)
Note: the best name given to describe what ‘propitiation means is “covering”.
The name was given to that cover of the ark, (the mercy seat) because it was the place from which God declared his self reconciled to his people. On the Day of Atonement in the Old Testament, they offered a bullock on the altar and sprinkle the blood of the offering on the mercy seat (Leviticus 16:15-16) to atone for Israel’s sin thus representing that God was being reconciled to His people. In like manner, when Jesus offered His blood, His blood atoned man of his sin and those who accepted Jesus “atoning sacrifice of Himself have been ( as far as God and Jesus is concerned) have been reconciled to God and according to Romans 8:1, there is now no condemnation to them which are in ‘Christ Jesus who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
5. If God so loved us, then, we should love one another, with the same measure and type (agape) of love. (vs.11)
IV. Seeing God Through Love ( verses 12- 16)
1. No one has seen God at any time (vs. 12)
(We have seen HIM in some form or fashion that God allowed that we would not have to die on the spot because we met God face to face or in a veiled.
2. If we love one another, (vs. 13)
a. God abides in us and
b. His love is perfected in us.
3. How we can know we abide in HIM: (vs. 14)
a. He abides in us.
b. He has given us the Holy Spirit.
c. We have seen and testified that God has sent Jesus as Savior (Messiah) into the world.
d. To Reiterate:
1. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God (vs. 15)
2. And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. (vs. 16)
V. The “Consummation” of Love (verses 17-19)
1. Love is perfected among us in this: God's Indwelling (vs. 17)
By God dwelling in us, and we in him; having cast out totally the carnal mind that was enmity against Him, and filled our whole heart with the Spirit of Love and purity. As a result, love is made perfect. When God’s love fill our hearts “Agape” love is complete in all degrees of love (Agape (Godly), eros, (romance) phillios, (emotional feelings toward friends) and storge (love toward others within the family) it is all in all; and all in every power, passion, and faculty of the soul.
a. That we may have boldness in the day of judgment That is Freedom of speech and liberty in access, seeing in the person of our Judge him who has died for us, regenerated our hearts, and who himself fills them . God who is Pure, holy, and loving; so are we (through Christ) in this world; being saved from our sins, and made like to himself in righteousness and true holiness. Of TRUTH: No man can contemplate the day of judgment with any comfort or satisfaction EXCEPT ON THIS GROUND: that the blood of Christ hath cleansed him from all sin; and that he is kept by the power of God, through faith, unto salvation. This will give him boldness in the day of judgment. This means that when the believer (the saved) die, we will stand at the Judgment seat of Christ to be judged; Not for salvation sake , but for judgment of works and to find out what God has laid up for them that love Him.
b. There is no fear in love. Perfect Love cast out all fear because…(vs. 18)
1. Fear involves torment.
2. The person that walks (lives their life in fear) is not made perfect in love.
c. We love Him because He first loved us. (vs. 19)
Note: The man who feels that he loves God with all his heart can never dread him as his Judge. As he is now made a partaker of his Spirit, and carries a sense of the divine approbation in his conscience, he has nothing of that fear that produces terror or brings torment. The perfect love, that fullness of love, which he has received, casts out fear and removes all terror relative to this Day of Judgment.
VI. Love Reiterated “Obedience By Faith” (verse 20-21)
A. If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can* he love God whom he has not seen? (Vs. 20)
This, and many other parts of this letter, seems levelled against the Jews, who pretended much love to God while they hated the Gentiles; and even some of them who were brought into the Christian church brought this leaven with them. It required a miracle to redeem Peter's mind from the influence of this principle.
B. And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also. (vs.21)
Final Note: If a person does not love his brother, it is a proof that the love of God is not in him; and if he doesn’t have the love of God, he cannot love God, for God can be loved only through the influence of his own love. The person who hates his fellow man does not love God. The person who hates God doesn’t have the love of God in him, and is incapable of loving either God nor man.
Rev. Dr. William Edward Boddie