BROTHERLY LOVE

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[1 John:1:1-10]; [1 John:2:1-29]; [1 John:3:1-24]; [1 John:4:1-21]; [1 John:5:1-21]; [2 John:1:1-13]; [3 John:1:1-14]

Lesson No.: 
361
Class: 
Junior
Memory Verse: 

“If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin”  (I John 1:7).

Notes: 

The Disciple Whom Jesus Loved
The Apostle John was known as the “disciple whom Jesus loved” when Jesus was on earth. He spent much time with Jesus; and with Peter and James, he enjoyed a closer fellowship with the Saviour than any of the other Apostles.

When John finished writing his Gospel, he said: “These are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name” [John:20:31]). John believed that Jesus was the divine Son of God, the Second Person in the Trinity. He wrote: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . . And The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us” [John:1:1], [John:1:14]). That was Jesus.

After living with Jesus for three and a half years, listening to His ministry, seeing the miracles He wrought, and then seeing Him crucified and come back alive in the body, John was convinced that Jesus was indeed the Christ. He gave all his time and attention to prove that fact to others.

When John became an old man, after many years of faithful service to God and man, he was inspired of God to write some letters that have been saved for us in the Bible. He opened the first one with the same thought that he had expressed in his first writing: that Jesus had been from the beginning with God, and had come to earth to dwell with man.

Knowing
John spoke of the things which he had proved. More than thirty times in these letters he used the wo0rd “know.” He was sure of everything he said. He had proved that Jesus saves from sin and keeps from sin, and he wanted the world to know that truth.

John gave four reasons for writing these letters: to add to the joy of believers; to warn them to guard against sin; to warn them against false teachers; and to strengthen their faith in Christ and assure them of eternal life, so long as they continued to walk with God in the light of His Word, the Bible.

Fullness of Joy
“That your joy may be full.” There is no true happiness in the world without a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Because Jesus is the Son of God, He gives His people power to live without sin. He is the Light of the world, and if we walk with Him we must walk in the light.

“This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” [John:3:19]). When people do the wrong thing they like to cover it up. Even a little child knows when he has done wrong, and many times he tries to hide it from his mother or lie about it.

We who are Christians must live so that everything we do can be exposed to the light. If we want to walk with Jesus, we must live as He lived. “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked” ([1 John:2:6]).

No Sin
John’s second reason for writing his epistles was given thus: “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not” ([1 John:2:1]).

It is hard for a sinner to understand that one can live without sin in this world. Many professing Christians have read what John wrote, and have said that John did not mean what he said. They say it is not possible to live as John said. But John did; and if one man could, all other people can, by the help of God.

John said: “if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” ([1 John:1:7]). We have to be saved from sin to walk in the light. Then when we walk in that light, the Blood of Jesus cleanseth from all sin – which means sanctification. Even the nature of sin, the inclination to sin that was born in us, is cleansed out of our lives.

Some will read this verse: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceived ourselves, and the truth is not in us” ([1 John:1:8]), and believe that that gives them a right to say that everyone sins. But that verse is written to the people who have not been born again and yet think that they are not sinners. They think they are good enough without being saved. They think they will go to Heaven without repenting. Such people deceive themselves.

The very next verse tells us that “if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” ([1 John:1:9]). We have all sinned; and we must admit that we are sinners. The next step is to repent of our sins. Then Jesus forgives, and we live without sin so long as we obey the Lord.

Overcoming the Wicked One
John said he was writing to the young men because they had “overcome the wicked one” ([1 John:2:13]). Being an overcomer means being triumphant. The wicked one is Satan, and when we are Christians we do not yield to the temptations he puts before us. “I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the world of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one” ([1 John:2:14]). Overcomes live above sin.

The reason that many people say that we cannot live without sin is that they love certain sins and want to hold to them. If a person really wants to live without sin, God will give him the power.

Loving the World
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him” ([1 John:2:15]). It may be that the thing a person loves is not wicked, but if he loves it more than he loved God he is doing wrong. God wants first place in our lives; and if we think more of houses, lands, money, power, or honour, than we do of Jesus, the love of the Father is not in us. The things of this world are going to pas away, and if we do not have the love of God in our heart we will have nothing left. But if we do the will of the Father, we shall “abide” forever.

False Teachers
John’s third reason for writing was to warn the people against false teachers. The church had been established for only a short time, and Satan was coming, in one way or another, to rob the people of their faith, just as he is doing today.

One way Satan comes is to try to make people doubt that Jesus is the Son of God, that He was in the beginning with God, and that by Him the worlds were made. But John believed it, and he said that anyone who does not believe it is a liar, an antichrist. Think of all the people who go to church and who admit that Jesus was a great teacher and prophet, but who believe that He was but a man as we are. Those people are antichrist. If you study evolution in school, remember that it is but man’s theory, and is not true. Scientists keep changing their minds about the origin of the earth and its inhabitants, but the Word of God never changes. Remember, the Bible says of Jesus: “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” [John:1:3]).

The Spirit of Truth
Jesus said that after He went back to Heaven He would send the Comforter, the Spirit of truth. “When he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth” [John:16:13]). John speaks of the Spirit of truth as the “unction from the Holy One”; also “the anointing which ye have received of him” which “abideth in you, . . . and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him” ([1 John:2:20], [1 John:2:27]).

So we see that John was preaching three spiritual experiences as he wrote his epistles: the forgiveness of sins, justification; the cleansing of the heart, sanctification; and the baptism of the Holy Ghost -– “the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you.”

John’s Description of a Christian
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” ([1 John:3:2]). If we are the “sons” of God we will have the characteristics of our Father. “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin” ([1 John:3:9]).

There is a difference between the children of God and the children of Satan. We look at people who say they are Christians, and we sometimes wonder how they differ from the world. “In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother” ([1 John:3:10]).

Does it seem very important to you that you love your brother? The Word tells us that “whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer” ([1 John:3:15]). And no unrepentant murderer will go to Heaven. We prove our love for our brother by our actions. “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth” ([1 John:3:18]).

If we are living as God wants us to live, He will hear and answer our prayers. “Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight” ([1 John:3:21-22]). And when we keep His commandments, His Spirit will bear witness with our spirit that we are His children.

Questions: 

 1. By what title was the Apostle John known?
2. Why did he write the Gospel of John?
3. What is the key word of the Epistles of John?
4. Give three reasons why John wrote these Epistles.
5. Why do people love darkness rather than light?
6. How are we Christians to walk in this world?
7. What will Jesus do for us if we confess our sins?
8. What did John say about people who love the world?
9. What did John call people who do not believe that Jesus is the Son of God?
10. What did John say about loving our brother?