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Rev. Ronald C. Purkey, a Baptist minister, claims no originality for this Bible study outline.

However, every Bible study posted on this website has been taught by Rev. Purkey.

To see more Bible study outlines go to “The Archives Page”: More Bible Study Outlines.

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PERFECT LOVE
March 5, 2017

 

SCRIPTURE: 1 John 4:7-19

 

KEY VERSE: In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him -- 1 John 4:9.

 

INTRODUCTION: In chapter 4 John again returns to the subject of love and makes one of the greatest statements about God in Scripture: “God is love” (1 John 4:16b). This single statement helps explain many questions, such as “Why did God create us to have free will, knowing we would sin?” The answer is, because true love is a free response. You cannot make someone love you -- it is that person’s choice. We must choose to love God as He chose to love us.

 

The question, “Why did God send Jesus Christ?” also stems from His love. If He cared only about “law and order,” He could have left us to sin (break the law) and suffer the consequences of our actions, with no hope of redemption. But God loves us so much that He sent His only Son to die for the world and give us all a remedy for our sinfulness.

 

I. WHAT (AND WHO) LOVE IS. (1 John 4:7-11)

 

A. The Exhortation. (1 John 4:7)

 

(1 John 4:7) Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.

 

In verse 7, John returns to the key theme of the letter: the love of believers for one another. The apostle begins this section by arguing that since God is the origin of love, it is only natural that those who belong to Him should love each other.

 

B. The Explanation . (1 John 4:8)

 

(1 John 4:8) He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

 

Those who do not love prove that they do not really know God. For not only is God the source of all true love, He is love by His very nature. How can one claim to have a close relationship with the God of love and yet reflect none of that love towards others? John says it is impossible.

 

C. The Expression. (1 John 4:9-10)

 

1. The incident. (1 John 4:9)

 

(1 John 4:9) In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

 

God demonstrated His sacrificial love through an historical event: Jesus’ death on the cross for our sins. God sent His one and only Son to die a horrible death upon the cross so that we might have eternal life.

 

2. The grace. (1 John 4:10)

 

(1 John 4:10) Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

 

Verse 10 explains that God did not send His Son to be a sacrifice for our sins because we were lovable, but because His love required that He rescue us (see Romans 5:8). His love for us was totally unconditional, unrelated to anything we have done or could ever do.

 

D. The Example. (1 John 4:11)

 

(1 John 4:11) Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

 

With God’s action providing the defining standard for love, the responsibility of those who benefit from that love is clear. How can those exposed to such love not respond in like fashion to others?

 

Agape Love

 

One preacher has said this, "Agape love is understanding, creative, redemptive goodwill toward all men.  Agape is an overflowing love which seeks nothing in return.  Theologians would say that it is the love of God operating in the human heart.  When you rise to love on this level, you love all men not because you like them, not because their ways appeal to you, but you love them because God loves them." – Author Unknown

 

II. THE LOVE THAT DWELLS WITHIN. (1 John 4:12-16)

 

A. We Have The Evidences Within Us. (1 John 4:12)

 

(1 John 4:12) No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

 

1 John 4:12 resembles John 1:18 and should not be taken to mean that Jesus was not God. The sense is that no human has seen God in all His glory. Moses could only look on God’s backside and was not allowed to see God’s face (Exodus 33:18-23).

 

B. We Know We Dwell In Him And He In Us. (1 John 4:13)

 

(1 John 4:13) Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.

 

God has given us His Spirit to be our guide. Romans 8:16, "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:" Because we cannot see God, He gave us His Spirit to live in us as evidence of His existence.

 

Without the Holy Spirit, we cannot believe or exhibit the love to which John refers. In addition, the Spirit gives us assurance that we indeed belong to God’s family.

 

C. We Know Christ As Our Lord And Savior. (1 John 4:14)

 

(1 John 4:14) And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.

 

God has given us His Son to be our Savior. While God’s Spirit opens our eyes to the truth of the Gospel, we also have the witness of the apostles to Jesus’ life, death on the cross, and resurrection.

 

Together, they enable all believers to be confident regarding the historical facts of Jesus’ saving acts. In fact, the acknowledgement that Jesus is the Son of God in the flesh shows that we have the Spirit in us and truly abide in God.

 

D. We Know That Jesus Is The Son Of God. (1 John 4:15-16)

 

(1 John 4:15-16) 15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

 

According to verse 16, the real foundation of confidence before God lies in His love for us. What we see through the Spirit and the apostles as we gaze at the Savior is a God totally motivated by love for us. The headline is not that we believe or love others, but that the God of the Bible cares deeply for us.

 

III. LOVE OVERCOMES FEAR. (1 John 4:17-19)

 

A. We Know That God Holds The Future. (1 John 4:17)

 

(1 John 4:17) Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

 

God’s love also enables us to face the future with real assurance. Since we know that God dearly loves us, then there is no cause to be fearful before Him, even when we stand in judgment before Him. God’s unfailing love drives out all of our fears. The full flowering of God’s love is incompatible with fear. Perfected love expels anxiety from the heart.

 

B. We Know The Comfort That God Gives. (1 John 4:18)

 

(1 John 4:18) There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

 

There is nothing like fear in the human heart, but the child of God does not need to fear any judgment which is coming. It was all settled when Christ died for you.

 

“He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” If you are fearful, you cannot enjoy your salvation. Joy stems from love, and if you have love for the Lord Jesus, for God, and for your brethren, then fear has been cast out.

 

C. We Love Because We Were Loved First By Him. (1 John 4:19)

 

(1 John 4:19) We love him, because he first loved us.

 

In contrast to those who fear (vs. 18), in verse 19 John simply asserts, “We love.” The apostle assumes the best for his readers seeing them as ones who possessed genuine love for one another. John’s basis for such love is that God first loved us, as evidenced in the gift of His Son.

 

INSIGHT: 20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also. (1 John 4:20-21)

 

·        We Must WALK The Way We TALK. (1 John 4:20)

 

Verse 20 is most likely a reference to the false teachers who proudly proclaimed their love for God, but did not show love to others, especially to those in the church.

 

·        We Must OBEY The Lord’s COMMAND. (1 John 4:21)

 

John again alludes to the unseen presence of God. If you cannot love God’s children who display His loving qualities, then how can you claim to love the real thing? If someone rejects God’s image in others and still claims to love God, that person is a liar. The essence of the Christian life is to love one another.

 

·        We Must LOVE Our Christian BROTHERS (And SISTERS). (1 John 4:20-21)

 

The Apostle John says that one who claims to love God, yet cannot love His followers, is a liar. If one cannot love what he sees of God in His children, then how can he claim to love God? Hatred for followers of Christ indicates that a person does not know or love God.

 

INSIGHT: The Apostle John says that one who claims to love God, yet cannot love His followers, is a liar. If one cannot love what he sees of God in His children, then how can he claim to love God? Hatred for followers of Christ indicates that one does not know or love God.

 

THE GOLDEN RIVER

By David Jeremiah

 

10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. (1 John 4:10-11)

 

·        Love Is An EMOTION that’s hard to describe. It’s an emotional longing for another person and a deep satisfaction when that love is reciprocated. It suffers intense anguish when it isn’t.

 

·        Love Is An ATTITUDE that operates more deeply than feelings. Attitudes are dispositions of the heart that anchor our emotions, just as the unshakable mountains support the trees on its slopes.

 

·        Love Is A Supernatural VIRTUE instilled in us by God. “The fruit of the Spirit is love…” (Galatians 5:22).

 

·        Love Is An ACTION. It manifests itself in selfless service. When we love others, we do things for them. “Whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?” (1 John 3:17)

 

·        Love Is A CHOICE. We can determine in our hearts to love even the unlovely. This comprehensive, inclusive quality of love can only be experienced by opening our lives to Calvary. When we receive God’s love through Jesus Christ, it flows through us to others like a golden river.

 

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God (1 John 4:7).

 

 -- David Jeremiah, Turning Point, Monday, May 2, 2016

 

CONCLUSION: When we experience God’s love – the forgiveness of our sin and a restored relationship with Him through Christ – we inherit the privilege and responsibility of loving others with that same kind of love. John explained that key principle in his first letter.

 

Believers will have an eternity to revel in the glory of God’s gift of love through Christ. But we can begin now to praise and thank the Lord for His goodness and love by expressions of gratefulness, including ACTS OF LOVE TOWARD OTHERS!

 

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: A Single Thought: Just as God chose to love us, we must choose to love others.

 

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REFERENCES: References used in these Bible studies are the King James Bible (KJV), The Moody Bible Commentary, Dr. J. Vernon McGee © Thru the Bible Radio Network ( www.ttb.org ), the Scofield Study Bible, the Believer’s Bible Commentary, Dr. Charles J. Woodbridge Bible Outlines, Dr. Lee Roberson’s Sermons, Dr. Charles Stanley: ( http://www.intouch.org/ ), Don Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Women’s Study Bible, The Bible Reader’s Companion Ed. 3, The Nelson Study Bible: New King James Version, KJV Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the New Testament ed. 4, Dr. David Jeremiah: ( http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/ ), Dr. Cliff Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the Old Testament, Dr. Alan Carr’s The Sermon Notebook ( www.sermonnotebook.org ), With the Word Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s “Be” Series: Old & New Testaments, RBC Ministries ( http://rbc.org/ ), selected illustrations, and other references.

 

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