The Enemies of the Love of God

Bible Book: 1 John  3 : 10-15
Subject: Love of God; Enemies of the Love of God
Series: The Love of God
Introduction

Last Sunday the message developed into a “Shoe Leather Christianity” type of sermon. It attempted to answer the question, “What will the “Love of God” look like in our lives? John mentions several specific ways that the love of God will become real in our lives through the new birth.

There is a new book out by a friend entitled The Original Jesus. One review said, “this book presents a Jesus who is different than we would have chosen, but better than we could ever have imagined.” This is also true of the love of God. The Bible defines it better than we can ever attempt to.

2 Corinthians 3:2-3: “You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.”

The best testimony of the operative (it works) love of God in an individual’s life is a transformed life. This transformed life is like an open letter that could be seen and read by others that testified to the truth of the gospel.

John will once again use the ministry of contrast to speak of the love of God. He will contrast between the Family of Satan and the Family of God. The Family of God will exhibit (display) God’s love through righteous character. The Family of Satan will not display God’s love but rather their sinful nature.

In this contrast, I believe there is a lack of level of spiritual maturity in some lives that displays its weakness in the lack of genuine love for others. We may display God’s love in action (Shoe Leather Christianity), we may be indifferent, we may display hatred, or we may display murder.

My prayer is that the Lord would use this message to reveal the depths of our hearts. Where is our focus, what is our motive, and clearly display our attitude.

I. EXPLANATION 10

We must not only believe rightly, we must behave rightly. Being precedes doing. John instructs us and enables us to examine the genuineness of our love life. The test is convicting and clear.

John uses words like hate, murder, unrighteousness, of the wicked one, works were evil, abides in death. Those are enemies of the love of God.

Christians are not flawless but we are to be progressing, maturing, and allowing the love of God to reach its goal in our life in order that God’s purpose be realized in us.

What happens in the believer’s life that causes us to not love as He loved?

Quench the Spirit.

1 Thessalonians 5:19

“Do not quench the Spirit.”

Quench – to extinguish, to cause to lose heart or warmth, to snuff out; Old English word to vanish. Whenever the Spirit gives you that sense of restraint call a halt and make things right, or else you will go on quenching Him without even knowing it.

“The voice of the Spirit of God is as gentle as a summer breeze, so gentle that unless you are living in complete fellowship and oneness with God, you will never hear it. The sense of warning and restraint that the Spirit gives comes to us in the most amazingly gentle ways. And if you are not sensitive enough to detect His voice, you will quench it, and your spiritual life will be impaired. This sense of restraint will always come as a “still small voice” (1 Kings 19:12), so faint that no one except a saint of God will notice it.” Oswald Chambers August 13, 2015

Proverbs 16:32

“He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty,

And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.”

Love is hard to offend and quick to forgive.

Enemies:

Selfishness – as seen in last week’s message; “shuts up his heart.”

Lust- ungrateful for what you have or coveting what is forbidden.

Bitterness- unresolved anger.

Greed: always wanting more; only antidote to materialism is generous giving.

Pride: a feeling that you are more important or better than other people; conciet, opposite of humble.

II. Enemy 11-12

V11 “message” – gospel

“love” – is the displayed testimony of gospel transformation.

V12 3 questions about Cain:

1. Where did Cain come from? “the evil one”

2. What did Cain do? “he murdered his brother”

3. Why did Cain do it? “his own deeds were evil”

Cain failed the test of love for his brother David L. Allen

Question: Do I really believe that we have a large number of murderers in the room?

V12 is saying “Don’t be like Cain.”

John doesn’t focus on the murder. Instead, he asks “and why did he murder him?” John is placing his focus on Cain’s motive or attitude. Cain’s motive is teaching us something that is relevant to the way we are to love one another.

Note its answer to “why” in V12.

“Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous.”

“What John is saying here is not merely that love doesn’t kill a brother, but that love doesn’t feel resentment when a brother is superior in some spiritual or moral way.” John Piper

Cain didn’t kill Abel simply because Cain was evil. He killed him because the contrast between Abel’s goodness and his evil made him angry, resentful. It made him feel guilty. Abel didn’t have to say anything; his goodness was a constant reminder to Cain that he was evil. And instead of dealing with his own evil by repentance and change, he got rid of Abel. If you don’t like what you see in the mirror, shoot the mirror.

Anger, resentment, and evil are enemies of love!

So what would it be like for any of us to be like Cain? It would mean that anytime some weakness or bad habit in our lives is exposed by contrast to someone else’s goodness, instead of dealing with the weakness or the bad habit, we keep away from those whose lives that makes us feel defective. We don’t kill them. We avoid them. Or worse, we find ways to criticize them so as to neutralize the part of their lives that was making us feel convicted. The best way to nullify someone’s good point is to draw attention to their bad point. And as we protect ourselves from whatever good that might lie in us.

John’s message: Love doesn’t act like that. Love is glad when our brothers and sisters are making progress in good habit or good attitudes or good behavior. Love rejoices in this growth. And if it happens to be faster than our own growth, then love is humble and rejoices.

What can we learn here?

Everywhere you see some growth, virtue, spiritual discipline, good habit, good attitude, rejoices in it. Give thanks for it. Compliment it. Don’t resent it. Don’t be like Cain.

Be inspired by other people’s goodness.

Love delights in other people’s good.

Love doesn’t protect its flaws.

Love takes steps to change them.

This is what love looks like when the new birth gives it life in the people of God.

Cain proved the truth of John 8:44

John 8:44: “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.”

III. EXHORTATION 13-15

V13 “stops being surprised”

Resist the urge to return hate for hate.

The gospel has changed you.

V14 We know through experience that we have permanently passed from spiritual death to spiritual life.

R. G. Lee said, “To pass from death is to experience the permanent change from a state of lostness to a state of being saved. Spiritually dead, though respectable, dead, though honored of men; dead, though positioned in place of political power. Spiritually dead, though educated and cultured; dead though decent and satisfied with an outward form of godliness; dead, because of rejecting God’s Son as Savior.”

What a complete change the gospel brings.

V14b “He who does not love his brother abides in death.”

V15

Matthew 5:21-22: "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.' But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, 'Raca!' shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, 'You fool!' shall be in danger of hell fire.”