7479 - Love of Brothers - 1 John 3:14-15


Audio transcript

Friend, it’s always a joy to have an opportunity to discuss God’s Word together.

Today we’re talking about loving the brothers & sisters in Christ. We read initially about love of the brothers in chapter 2 of 1 John, where John tells us: “Whoever love his brothers lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble.”

In chapter 3, verses 14-15 John added a new facet to this message for us. Listen:
“We know we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in Him.”

Let’s first focus on that phrase “have passed from death to life.” Many would challenge the idea that they were dead. They do not grasp this spiritual truth. Most Christians understand that the concept of death in this statement means spiritual death. And if one is spiritually dead he needs to be born again as Jesus told Nicodemus (John 3). If one is dead then he needs life.

All of us know this experience. The only way out of spiritual death is to exercise saving faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who died to pay the penalty for sin, and rose from death to prove his power over death.

Such faith transfers the believer from spiritual death into spiritual life. This is the meaning of the phrase, “passed from death to life.” Many other things come along with this experience, such as having our sins removed from God’s record, and becoming a member of God’s family.

The act of passing from death to life along with all the concomitant benefits is the greatest occurrence of life –– of eternal life. No other event affects our being so completely. That’s why it is such a major emphasis in Christendom.

Since this is such an important transaction, it is good to have some proof or evidence that it really has occurred in our life. 1 John 3:14 gives such assurance. Notice again: “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers.”

In those times when the devil brings doubt to your mind, you should focus upon those times when there have been deep ties of love shown between you and some brother. Then you know that indeed you have been born again.

The balance of these two verses gives the contrast to love. It says that “anyone who does not love remains in death.” If there are no fruits of love evidenced in your life, the Word says you remain in death.

Let me point out that one reason this statement can be so dogmatic is that the love is not our love. God is so gracious, that when we exercised saving faith in Jesus, God at that moment sent His Spirit into our heart. And when the Holy Spirit entered the residence of our heart He brought an abundant supply of God’s supernatural, sacrificial love to fill our heart to the point of overflow. Then, as we continue to obey and trust, God’s love keeps flowing in and through us to the brothers. It also flows to those who need to see and experience God’s love in relationship. God uses us to reach out to His chosen unbelieving targets so that they may respond to God’s love.

So if love is not flowing then it’s because the source is not present –– and that source is the Holy Spirit. And if He is not present then that person remains spiritually dead.

Verse 15 introduces the emotion of hate. It says that anyone who hates his brother is a murderer in his heart; thus, eternal life is absent from that heart. This is a warning against the danger of hate. In both Ephesians (4:32) and Colossians (3:13) we are told that whatever be the grievance we are to forgive even as Christ forgave our sins. That is for believers. Only by the power of God can anyone forgive in this manner, That’s the way Jesus forgave us.