Peninsula Community Church
Displaying the Life of Christ – The Love and Obedience Connection
August 5, 2012
1John 5:1-5 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
As we review this passage this morning there are a couple of truths that bear our discussion.
The key principle in John’s writing is that those who have been born of God will love each other. It is interesting to note that as we read this passage that we see that our love for God is expressed in our love for others and our love for others is expressed in our love for God. This love is a natural/supernatural outworking of the work of God in us and through us. The fact is we are family and even though we may not always agree or see eye to eye we will love each other because the Father calls us to. For some, that is a hard truth to follow because you may not have experienced real authentic love in your family. Perhaps, there has been hurt and pain rather than peace and love but God’s ideal of family is one where family members genuinely love each other.
I felt what many of us experienced at Chick-Fil-a on Wednesday was a sign of how we live that kind of love out in our lives. No one was standing up to condemn gay-marriage or homosexuality. No one was preaching. The consensus for me is that believers were taking a stand for freedom of speech and for righteousness by supporting Dan Cathy and Chick-Fil-A. Those who attended all commented that there was a sense of peace and safety in the building.
The test of who we are in Christ and whether or not we are a passionate follower of Christ is how do we past the test of loving God and loving others which is evidenced by obedience to His commands. Once again we are reminded that when Jesus was about asked about what the greatest commandment would be (Matthew 22:34-40), He stated that all of the law and the prophets can be summed up in two concepts: Love God and Love others. This does not emphasis one above the other but they are of equal importance. Notice that the Ten Commandments are divided into two sets. One set is focused on our relation to God and the second set is focused on our relationship with others.
When we are passionate followers of Christ, we hold in high regard our love for God and for those around us. As we look at this challenge to love others we are confronted with the truth that to truly love others we must have a personal relationship with God. Otherwise our love for others is thwarted and becomes based on selfish attraction and not God’s plan for love at all.
The commands of God are not burdensome because the focus is on God’s love as a motivator. Think about it for a moment. Look at the things that come so much easier for you than other things. There are things in the ministry that I love and there are things in the ministry that I do not love. What I have found is that when I love to do something I jump right to it and get the task done. When I love what I do I accomplish the task with ease.
When my son was a teen, I remember him always being late for school, for church and for almost everything that we did together as a family. It was a fight to get him out of bed and into the shower. But I also remember one Saturday that he was going to an amusement park with his girlfriend’s family. At 5AM I hear a noise downstairs. I went down to find my son showered, dressed and eating breakfast which he made on his own. I looked around to make sure that this was not someone else sitting at our table that morning. Why did this occur, he was in love….
When we love God, we love others and obey God’s commands we set ourselves up to become overcomers in Christ. And how does that work. We overcome because of faith and trust in God’s plan for our lives. We trust that his plan of love in action and obedience to his commands brings about a freedom and joy that is remarkable. This does not mean that we do not have problems in our lives. It does not mean that our circumstances will change. But it means that spiritually, emotionally and mentally we will not walk in a defeatist attitude but one that gives glory to God and one that expresses our love for God. Look at what John and Paul have to say about being overcomers.
John 16:33 – I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
1John 2:13-14 – I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, children, because you know the Father. I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.
1John 4:4 – Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
1John 5:4-5 – For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
Romans 8:35-39 – Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.