The love of God’s children
1 John 3.11-24
For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.
Three Statements on the Assurance that Christians Can Have.
- Love is at the Heart of the Biblical Message (v.11-12)
- Love is Evidence that a Person has Passed Out of Death into Life (v. 13-15)
- Love produces assurance of our standing before God. (v. 19-24)
Positive Model of Love (v. 16-18)
- We see the positive model of love displayed by Jesus Christ.
- Cain’s hatred for his brother led him to become the first murderer;
- Jesus’ love for humanity allowed him to be murdered.
The love of God’s children
- Love produces assurance of our standing before God.
- This kind of love that Christ demonstrated to us can powerfully reassure us of our salvation when we are tempted to doubt it.
1 John on Prayer
- Our assurance gives us the confidence to pray effectively.
- If we are really resting in Christ, we shall ask great things from God and receive them (v. 22).
- Our assurance then is not only built on the promises of God’s Word, wonderful and gracious as they are, but on the fact that God treats us as his dearly loved children day after day, by answering our prayers.
Is God Giving Us a Blank Check in Verse 22?
- God is not a magical genie waiting for you to rub him the right way.
- no loving father gives his child everything he wants, because he realizes what a spoiled, self-centered individual the child would become.
- In addition, the child may demand things which would actually harm him.
When Does God Answer Prayer?
- God answers prayers for people who keep his commandments.
- His commandments are summed up in these two:
- Believe in the name of Jesus, and
- Love each other.
What is the Design of Prayer?
- Prayer is designed by God to be the effect of faith and the cause of love.
- Therefore if we try to pray when we really do not believe in the name of his Son, prayer malfunctions.
- And if we try to pray when our aim is not to love prayer malfunctions.
- Therefore, we see that God is not a magical genie waiting for you to rub him the right way,
- But prayer is more like a wartime walkie-talkie for you to call in backup when you are fighting spiritual warfare and trying to love others, even when it is hard.