1 John 3:11-24
Love is defined for us through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Only an inauthentic faith is characterized by hatred.
Love is perhaps the most defining characteristic of the true disciple of Jesus. When we love, as God defines love, we show that we have truly experienced the love of God in Christ. Conversely, hate is a mark of inauthenticity. John acknowledged the existence of hatred, but also claimed that the expression of true love is evidence of an authentic salvation in Christ.
Read 1 John 3:11-15:
Why does righteousness incite hatred? What does the righteousness of one reveal about the wickedness of another?
- In what sense are we all murderers when we hate our brothers?
Read 1 John 3:16-18:
- What, according to these verses, are the components of true love?
- Why is true love always demonstrated and not just verbalized?
- Can you think of some other examples in Scripture that point out the nature of true love?
Read 1 John 3:19-24:
- Do you ever have moments when you wonder if you truly belong to God?
- Why might our demonstration of love assure our consciences?
- Does verse 22 mean we can get God to do whatever we want? If not, what does it mean?
- Do you think we try and complicate the Christian life more than John does in verse 23? Why do you think we do that?
Taking it Home:
- How does this passage encourage you when you see the hatred of the world?
- Who in your life is most challenging to love like this right now? What are some tangible ways you can practice this kind of love toward them?
Ways to Pray:
- Adoration: Praise God for being the ultimate definition and example of love.
- Contrition: Repent of any tendencies you have to harbor and express hatred rather than love.
- Thankfulness: Thank God for choosing to abide in us and let us partner with Him in loving others.
- Supplication: Ask God for opportunities to show love instead of hatred this week.
Other Scriptures to Engage with this week:
- Job 6
- Ecclesiastes 4
- Leviticus 25:10-22,35-38
- Galatians 6:1-10
- Isaiah 1:18-31
- Psalm 82