Do You Love Your Siblings

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Do You Love Your Siblings?



1 John 3:10b–3:24

Love One Another



Introduction: Tell story of Andy and Mike Waddell


Our passage this morning, is a where the rubber meets the road type Christianity. In verse 11 John reiterates one controlling characteristic of Christianity…

“This is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another”

Isn’t it easy to love the people you like? In the physical sense, we are not free to choose our family members—we can choose our wives (we certainly didn’t choose our parents or grandparents, or even our brothers and sisters), but there is no guarantee what our children will be like—what traits that will inherit.

In the same sense, we cannot choose our spiritual brothers and sisters—but we are to love them! In fact, we need God’s help in order to love them properly—we need God’s help in order to love our husbands and wives properly, and our children need God’s help in respecting and obeying their parents. We need God’s grace in every one of our relationships.

Q. Do you love your siblings? That’s the question before us this morning.

We have been looking at tests of fellowship—how can I know that I am a child of God? The third test of fellowship is the test of truth and last week we noted that this test involves

  • Righteous conduct
  • This week is really part 2 of the test of truth and it is the love for one another.
  • These 2 aspects really go together because Paul defines love as keeping the law

Galatians 5:14 For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (NASB95)

Sonship, being a child of God, demands that we love one another. In verses 10b–12, John gives examples of what love is not, in vv 13–15 we have the test of love—it establishes our moral identity (belong to God or to the evil one), vv 16–18 is the real, where the rubber meets the road test of love, vv 19–24 we are told that the practice of love produces assurance—what is assurance it is the fruit of love!

“This is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another”

Christian love for our spiritual brothers and sisters is a sign of the new birth—which produces righteous character and assures our hearts that we are God’s children.

  I.        The definition of love with examples of hatred, vv 10b–12


It should be obvious to us as to why John uses the example of Cain and Able to illustrate for us what love is not.

  • Verse 12 tells us why Cain killed his brother—his deeds were evil
  • What was their disagreement over? It was over worship
    • Cain did not worship God in God’s prescribed way—his deeds were evil
    • He killed his brother because God accepted Abel’s offering—he worshipped righteously
  • Cain’s evil act identified him as belonging to the evil one in v 13>

 II.       Love and identity, vv 13–15


Cain killed his brother because he was a reminder to him that his life was not acceptable to God

V 13 “Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you.”

·        Righteous conduct is an indication of spiritual life

·        Acts of evil are an indicate no spiritual life—no life of God,

Vv 14–15—here is another sign of identity

  • We love the brethren
  • If we do not love our brethren—we are a murderer—we are like Cain who physically killed his brother, we have no eternal life in us, v 15
  • Here John ties hatred to murder

After describing what love is not, John goes on to show us what real love is, he gives us a test.

III.       Testing our love, vv 16–18


V 16—this is the test of love—sacrificial giving—this is practical application

  • Jesus gave his life
  • We must love like Christ and be willing to give our lives for our brothers

V 17—note John applies this principle

  • We are to be willing to use our resources to meet the needs of our brothers and sisters in Christ—this is our Christian duty when we are aware of a need
  • We are to give sacrificially as Christ
    • 2:6 walk as He walked
    • Purify yourself as He is pure, 3:3
    • 3:7, practice righteousness just as he is righteous
    • Christ’s love is marked by what He did
  • If we close our eyes and our purse strings to a needy brother or sister—“How does God’s love abide in him?”

James 2:15-16 If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? (NASB95)

V 18—Love is seen by what we do, not in what we say!

  • We are not to love in word
  • We are to love in deed—ladies meals to Johnson’s

IV.       The fruit of love, 19–24


V 19 “We will know by this (doing acts of love) that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him”

In verses 19–24 John is really speaking of matters of the conscience. The practice of love gives us assurance of the work of God in our lives and that we Know!

V 19a—we have the assurance of our spiritual origin

  • In whatever our heart condemns us—God is greater than our hearts

Matthew 28:14 “And if this should come to the governor’s ears, we will win him over and keep you out of trouble.” (God’s grace will settle our self-condemning hearts)

  • Heart = conscience, V 20
    • Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” (NASB95)
    • Acts 7:54 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the quick, and they began gnashing their teeth at him. (NASB95)
  • V 20, if our hearts condemn us than it is better to have the all knowing God as our judge than our own hearts—Because God’s love and mercy are present to heal our troubled consciences!
  • V21–22, but if our hearts do not condemn us—we have confidence!
    • We have confidence
    • We are assured of answered prayer
      • Because we keep God’s commandments = obedience
      • Because we do what pleases God = love

V 23 defines Christian belief

        • Believe in Christ
        • Love one another
        • These are summed in faith and practice

V 24 the one who keeps these commandments dwells in God, and God in Him

  • This takes work of Spirit—He gives us the assurance that we are of God * 4:13
  • Romans 8:16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,
  • The spirit was given by God to the church at Pentecost and now to everyone who believes in Jesus


Conclusion: Love and righteousness are really related. The command to love God cannot be separated from the command to love our siblings in Christ.

Matthew 22:34ff One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ “This is the great and foremost commandment. “The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

Romans 13:8-10 Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For this, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

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