Love God and Love Each Other

Fellowship: Love God and love each other

1 John 2:3-11

1. The problem

A group of people have left this group of Christians in favor of some sort of “higher level” of Christianity.

Teaching:

They have fellowship with God 1:6

They have no sin 1:8

They know God 2:4

They abide in Christ 2:6

42 times 1 John uses “know”. The major issue seems to have been a group who had knowledge that others did not have and were seeking to draw the people into their knowing.

These spiritually elite Christians then left the rest of the body causing the remaining faithful to wonder if they had fellowship with God, why they still sinned,  if they even knew God and did they abide in Christ.

2. John’s Response

I write to you….

1:4 To bring their joy back and in complete fashion

2:1 That they may not sin and strive for holiness

2:12 To remind them that their sins are forgiven

2:13, 14a To remind them that they know God and have overcome the evil one

2:14 To remind them that they are strong in the Lord, the word abides in them, and they have overcome the evil one

2:21 To remind them that they know the truth

2:26 To counteract the work of those who were trying to deceive them and remind them that God’s anointing (Spirit) abides in them and is their teacher and they do not need “higher level” teachers to help them achieve some superior level of the faith

5:13 To make them know that they have eternal life

3. John’s instruction to the church 1 John 2:3-11

In this section John is addressing, in particular, the false teacher’s claim that they “know God” and the others don’t know God like they do.

1. Show you know God by loving God and so loving each other

A. Those who love God and each other:

John says there are some characteristics of those who love God and each other:

1. The love of God is perfected in them 2:5 (1 John 4:12)

In other words: those remaining Christians are loving rightly

Objective genitive: the love that a person has for God.

A. The verb translated “made perfect” (teleioō) is in the perfect tense and is used four times in this epistle, always to describe the completion or perfection of love (4:12, 17, 18). Brown observes: “Since keeping the commandments (or God’s word) certainly involves living out the commandment to love one another, the love of God revealed to us in Jesus Christ reaches its perfection when the same love is shown to ‘one another’ and to the God who abides in the Christian.”

God’s love achieves its purpose when we keep his word.

B. The image of God’s love in man is fully restored and operational

When we love each other in particularly when others have not been

Particularly loveable…

2. They walk as Jesus walked (their manner of life looks like Jesus‘ manner of life) 2:6

3. They abide in the light 2:10a

These people who love God and others are living in the light of the dawning Kingdom of God in Christ while those who say they love God and are not loving others live in the darkness of the kingdom of this world ruled by Satan.

4. They do not cause others to stumble 2:10b

You can say that positively by saying: they cause other people to walk well.

B. Those who say they know God but do not love the others:

The converse is true of the false teachers and their followers. 

“Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him,…” 1 John 2:4

Jesus’ commandments are 1. Love God (believe in the name of his Son 1 John 3:23)  2. Love each other

1. They are liars 2:4

2. They are not walking as Jesus walked 2:6

3. They abide in the darkness 2:9

4. They cause people to stumble 2:10b

2. Application

How do we love each other and fulfill the commands of the Lord Jesus?

A. Love each other by continuing to bear each other’s burdens

1. Galatians 6:2

“Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

Burdens:

1. sin that continues to plague a person;

2. physical labors that are needed;

3. spiritual heaviness due to some loss or spiritual warfare;

4. emotional hurts due to mistreatment

A. Bear the burden don’t crush them with more

1. Be aware of others and just don’t hurt

B. Crucify pride and let others bear burdens

B. Strengthen each other’s hands in God

1. 1 Samuel 23:15-16 “…Jonathan…rose and went to David at Horesh and strengthened his hand in God.”

A. David was in the wilderness of Ziph at Horesh and it is some 30 miles from Jerusalem and Jonathan travels to Be with David

1. Need for and need to give camaraderie

2. Conscious effort

3. Point each other to Christ not our self-sufficiency

1. Use Scripture

2. Jesus is enough for us

“…he is not poor nor much enticed who loses

Everything but Christ…”

4. Remind each other of the promises of God

1. Psalm 56, 57

Fellowship as a means of complete joy

Fellowship as a means of complete Joy

First John 1 John 1:1-4

1. John writes for the purpose of fellowship (Main Theme)

1. Fellowship begins in the nature of God: Trinity 1:1-3

2. Fellowship between man and man starts with fellowship between God and man 1:3

3. Joy is made complete when followers of Jesus are in fellowship with each other 1:4

2. John writes to these Christians and gives them encouragement on maintaining fellowship (Main Theme Supported)

1. John writes that their joy may be complete 1:4

2. John writes that they may not sin 1 John 2:1

3. John writes that they may know their sins are forgiven 1 John 2:12

4. John writes that they may know Jesus 1 John 2:13

5. John writes to remind them that they have overcome the evil one 1 John 2:13

6. John writes so that they can understand they know the Father 1 John 2:13

7. John writes so that they will know they are strong because the word of God that abides in them 1 John 2:14

8. John writes so that they know the truth 1 John 2:21

9. John writes so that they will be able to recognize those who are trying to deceive them 1 John 2:26

10. John writes so that they know that they have eternal life 1 John 5:13a

Conclusion: John’s fellowship with them, although by means of pen and paper, was the source of complete joy

3. Fellowship among believers is our source of complete joy inside the Gospel

Joy is not necessarily achieved by God just giving joy.

He, no doubt, can and the Scriptures tell us that in his presence is fullness of joy and at his right hand pleasures forever more (Psalm 16:11).

I suppose the question is: Can I have God without having God’s people? 

The answer to that question must be resounding no.

Why?

God is Trinity: Father, Son and Spirit. Interdependent. Unity in diversity. All persons equally god yet three distinct roles. We are created in the image of Trinity.

We are made to be interdependent and in fellowship with other believers. Fellowship with other believers is not optional.

Fellowship with the believers is the way that John tells these Christians their joy is made complete.

So, how do we fight for complete joy for each other in fellowship?

4. Whatever you do get in fellowship

A. Writing

B. Speaking

C. Being present

1. Everyone is necessary

2. Everyone who is a Christian is a priest and can minister

3. Everyone must take the initiative to have fellowship and minister to each other for the sake of their joy and yours

5. Encourage one another in fellowship

Background:

These people John wrote to were in the spiritual weeds due to be abandoned by some “super spiritual freaks”. They were wondering if they truly were followers of Jesus or had missed the mark.

Note the tone John took with these people he was in fellowship with: gentle.

John’s harshest sections are reserved as evaluation of those who abandoned them in order to let these Christians know why those who left them are really not Christians at all but rather in sin and in denial of the gospel.

A. Seek to encourage – give support, give hope, build the courage in others to continue following Jesus

6. Seek each other’s joy in fellowship

Joy is often attacked with circumstances and fellowship is where joy is bolstered!

1. Make it ok to be down

What I mean by this is don’t pretend all is well when nothing is well. There must be the freedom to admit when all is not well.

a. Be truthful

b. Ask for help

c. Encourage truthfulness in expressing how people are doing

d. Be of help where its possible

2. When others are down encourage trust in the Lord

a. Remind each other of God’s faithfulness

(once you know folks for a long time you will have a log of the times the Lord has been faithful)

b. Remind each other of the stories of God’s faithfulness in Scripture

c. Pray for each other

3. Listen more and talk less

4. Help bolster faith in the Lord in others through their weak faith seasons when you are in strong faith seasons

5. Tell stories of how the Lord has increased your joy