“Children of God Love One Another” is the title to Apostle John’s letter found in the third chapter of First John. He already addressed this one distinguishing mark of love concerning a true child of God in the second chapter, but now in chapter three he takes the quality of love to a much deeper level by widening the lens of … the heart – the place of attitude, action, and motive – the place where the Lord looks.
“God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
The video lesson for Week 8 did not upload properly so there is no video, but here is the handout used in class that will lead you in personal bible study.
We discussed how John taught on hatred and how hatred is displayed in many ways –
Slanderous and unkind words, false accusations, assuming wrongfully of someone, belittling and condescending speech, relational rejection based on gossip, jealousy, envy, participation in gossip, speaking in such a way that injures the reputation of another, unjustifiable and hurtful actions toward another, thinking wrongly about someone before consulting God for His perspective, looking down or snubbing someone, closing the heart toward someone’s needs, behaving with meanness, selfishness or superiority toward someone … John addresses all this, all such practices of sin with one statement:
“By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.” (v.10)
In chapter three, we find John speaking so lovingly stern while, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, choosing words that lead the reader directly to the place where the Lord examines – the heart.
“Examine me, O Lord, and try me; Test my mind and my heart.” Psalm 26:2
“But You know me, O Lord; You see me; And You examine my heart’s attitude toward You.” Jeremiah 12:3
“but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who examines our hearts.” 1 Thessalonians 2:4
- What is this love the Father has bestowed on us, (v. 1) and …
- Is this love He has bestowed on us the same love that is to occupy and operate in our life?
John does end the chapter saying in verse 24, “We know by this …”
So, the question is,
What is this love?
We are looking even closer into this love in Week 10 when we study 1 John 4:7-21.
In His Grace and Peace,