Sermon: Love Still More

Love Still More
1 John 4:7-11
August 14, 2022

The number/letter combination A113 is seemingly everywhere in animated movies. 

It’s Andy’s mom’s license plate number in Toy Story; It’s a door number in Monsters University; It’s the courtroom number in Up; It’s the camera model number in Finding Nemo; It’s on a rat’s ear tag in Ratatouille; And it’s the train number in Cars … to name just a few.  But what does it mean?

“A113” was a classroom number at the California Institute of the Arts. “If it appears in a movie,” reports BuzzFeed, “it means that a CalArts alumnus was involved with the animation.” And it’s not just in animated films. The trademark number even appears in live action films like Hunger Games and Mission Impossible.  Like a digital calling card or a cinematic fingerprint, it’s a message to the public…a CalArts alumnus was here!

As believers, what is our calling card — our message to the world?  How do we communicate that we are alumni (disciples) of Christ?  One of Scripture’s “calling card” numbers is 1J47 — “Beloved, let us love one another” (1 John 4:7).

Because so many false teachers infiltrated the churches of Asia Minor and disrupted the faith of so many, John affirms a number of essential truths for the believers in those churches.  This morning we find him upholding the familiar theme of love.  He spoke of this issue in 2:5-11 and then again in 3:11-24.  Now in 4:7ff, he resumes his thoughts about love in the context of the church body.

Specifically, he is exhorting the readers to love one another…

When we know God, we must and we will love one another.

This is a helpful reminder as we think about Excelling Still More in loving and caring for one another.  Just as a husband cannot love his wife enough, neither can any church member love another member too much.  This is another helpful encouragement about pursuing love for each other in the body —

In this passage, John answers five questions about loving one another.   It should be noted that while 1 Corinthians 13 is often called the “love chapter” in the Bible, 1 John is the “love book,” and the last half of the book is particularly oriented to the theme of love and vv. 7-14 are the heart of that section:  In these verses (7-11), the root word for love appears 13x in the Greek text (and twice more in v. 12).

  1. Whom Should We Love? (v. 7a) — God’s Command to Love
  2. Why Should We Love? (v. 7b) — God’s Motive to Love
  3. What if We Don’t Love? (v. 8) — God’s Warning to Love
  4. How Do We Love? (vv. 9-10) — God’s Enablement to Love
  5. Why Should We Love? (v. 11) — God’s Motive to Love (Part 2)

Download the rest of this sermon on 1 John 4:7-11.

The audio will be posted on the GBC website by tomorrow.

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