Love One Another, Pt. 1
1 John 4:7-10
June 1, 2014
While it is true that you never stop being a parent, there are definitely particular transitions in the process of parenting, and this weekend Raye Jeanne and I are crossing one of the big transitions: for the first time, neither of our girls will be home during the summer (though Emily will be here on occasional weekends) and in the fall both will be away at school, so I think that means that we are now empty nesters. (That’s hard for us to comprehend, and a little hard to say!)
That’s made us (ok, me particularly) somewhat reflective about the parenting process and the things we did and did not do and the things we did and did not teach and the things that we still desire to build into the girls, though now from a distance. “What can I do to continue to reinforce the things we’ve been teaching for 18 and 21 years?”
John is in a similar situation with his churches in Asia Minor. Because false teachers infiltrated the churches and disrupted the faith of so many, he wants to affirm a number of essential truths for those who remained in those churches, and he keeps coming back to those themes throughout this letter. In fact, the letter is very hard to outline for that very reason: John keeps circling back to the same thoughts and themes. And this morning we find him back in the familiar theme of love. He spoke of this issue in 2:5-11 and then again in 3:11-24. And then in 4:1-6 John took a short detour to the topic of the work of the Holy Spirit and now in verse 7 through the end of the chapter he resumes his thoughts about love in the context of the church body.
Specifically, he is exhorting the readers to love one another…
If we know God, we must and we will love one another.
In this passage, Paul offers answers to four questions about loving one another.
- Whom Should We Love? (v. 7a)
- Why Should We Love? (v. 7b)
- What if We Don’t Love? (v. 8)
- How Do We Love? (vv. 9-10)
Download the rest of this sermon on 1 John 4:7-10.