Thursday, February 19, 2009

Loving Your Brother (1 John 3)

Clear-Cut Commands in this Passage:

  1. Love one another
  2. Do not be like Cain
  3. Do not be surprised if the world hates you
  4. Lay down your life for your brothers
  5. Love with actions not words

 

Implications:

  1. Our love for one another should be:
    1. familial -- brotherly  (cain is the negative example)
    2. sacrificial
    3. clearly demonstrated
  2. We might not always be loved
    1. The world might hate us
    2. The reason is because we are different
    3. Moving from the realm of darkness/death to the realm of light/life means a significant life change
    4. Don't expect people in the world to exhibit that life change
  3. The World's Standard and Ours
    1. It's expected that the world will hate
    2. It's not accepted when brothers do

 

Contrasts:

  1. World -- Death -- Hate -- Words?
  2. Brothers -- Life -- Love -- Actions?

 

DISCUSSION:

  • What were some of your thoughts that resulted from the verse studies you did?
  • What are some of the themes that seemed to be repeated throughout the passage? (love, action, living in Christ)
  • Look at the list of "FIVE COMMANDS".  Which of these is the easiest to keep?  Which is the most difficult?  Why?
  • Together read Genesis 4:3-8.  What were Cain's biggest mistakes?  Why?
  • How might we sometimes act like Cain?
  • Talk about a time you have been tempted to compare yourself to someone else.  Have you ever "villainized" someone in your mind to make you feel better about yourself?  Did it work?
  • Why does John not expect people in the "world" to love?  What is different about a Christian that would make them a loving person?
  • Give a practical example of how verse 16 might be put into action. (lay down your life for your brother)
  • What role does the Holy Spirit play in helping us love one another?  How can we allow the Spirit to have more control in our life?
  • What is something you can do this week to obey the five commands we talked about?

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