This We Know: Love and Hate

The church’s witness for Jesus Christ rises and falls with Christian practice of loving one another while living in a world that hates them. This week’s passage in 1 John 3:11-18 will explore the true child of God’s relationship to love and hate as well as provide an exhortation to ensure that our love moves beyond sentiment to sacrificial action for the good of others, especially those in the family of God.

1 John 3:11-18 Sermon Guide

As the world continues to view Christians with disdain, the Church is called to boldly love one another like Christ. Love towards the family of God reflects a right relationship with God the Father. In this week’s message, Tyler challenges us to move beyond mere sentiment to Christ-centered love — compassionate, intentional, and sacrificial.

Four Main Points

  1. Hatred of God’s people is the practice of those who are not God’s children.
  2. Christians should expect to be hated by the world.
  3. Loving God’s people is the practice that marks God’s children.
  4. True love moves beyond sentiment and expresses itself in sacrificial action.

Other Key Takeaways

  • All true Christians have been graciously adopted into God’s family and need to view and love one another as brothers and sisters in Christ.
  • Our witness as a church rises and falls with our love for one another.
  • Hate is not just characterized by violence or hostility towards someone, but also apathy or neglect – the absence of expressing love.
  • In contrast to Cain, Abel’s offering was seen as righteous because it was performed by faith in God (Hebrews 11:4).
  • John references Cain as the ultimate example of the children of the devil – self-centered, hateful, and infatuated with seeking his own glory.
  • Just as Cain hated Abel and the world hated Christ, the world will hate Christians because the Gospel is in conflict with the worship of self.
  • Christians can love each other because every true Christian should recognize the condemnation they deserve, the salvation they have received, and the call to die to one’s self.
  • Through His perfect life and death as our substitute, Christ’s love was: 1) motivated by compassion; 2) intentional, willful, and purposeful; 3) sacrificial, costly.
  • Good intentions and thoughts of loving others are not the same as actually loving someone.
  • Love is not just loving those who love you, but loving those who are the least like you.

Discussion Questions / Application

Personal Application:

  • As Tyler urged, we must resolve to eliminate the “almosts” in our lives. What acts of love have you recently considered but not acted upon your convictions? In faith, compelled by Christ’s love, ACT!

Discuss with your community group:

  • In what ways are you still tempted to live like Cain? What areas of your life are you most prone to seek your own glory, live under your own authority, and live for self instead of living for others?
  • How can your community group grow in loving each other and loving others at Watermark Fort Worth?

Passages Referenced

For additional study: John 13:34, Genesis 4:1-15, Genesis 4:25-26, Hebrews 11:4, Matthew 16:24-25, 2 Corinthians 8:9

Read before next Sunday: 1 John 3:19-23