Sunday School Material 4-19-15:  Trust in God's Love

(I John 4:13-21; 5:1-5; 4/19/15)

Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that God is calling us to love one another, as a demonstration of being in fellowship with Him. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to demonstrate our fellowship with God, by loving one another.

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Read I John 4:13-16

I. Trust in the World’s Savior. In our Sunday School material, John talks to his readers about assurance of being right with God. God has given His Spirit to His people.

God the Father has sent God the Son to be the savior of the world. God is love. Those who live in love, live in God and God in them.

Applications –

- The Holy Spirit. Notice in vs. 13 that believers have the Holy Spirit living in them. There are a number of things that we could say about having the Spirit in us.

We could talk about how He was placed in us, when we accepted Christ as our savior and will be with us until the day or redemption.

We could talk about how He guides, teaches, comforts, and convicts us. But we should also mention that we should avoid grieving the Spirit, by failing to do what He is calling us to do.

When the Spirit calls us to love one another but we don’t, that grieves Him. When the Spirit calls us to avoid being mean towards one another and we do it anyhow, that grieves Him. Let’s work on avoiding the grieving of the Holy Spirit.

- Jesus the non-negotiable. Notice in vs. 15-16 that a non-negotiable and highly essential part of being a Christian and right with God is the acceptance of Jesus as our savior. It is easy to get church goers to say “amen” to such a statement.

However, God is calling us to live as if this statement is true. Such living calls for an assurance of our “Jesus based salvation” and a striving to live by His will. One of the greatest commands of Jesus is to love one another.

When we do anything less than loving one another, we are not living as if Jesus is supreme. Let’s live like Jesus is a non-negotiable and essential part of our being Christians.

Read I John 4:17-21

II. Trust in Perfect Love. In our Sunday School material, John continues on with his concern with assurance. He talks about how love drives out fear. He talks about how loving God requires loving our siblings. There is no love of God and hatred of one sibling.

Applications –

- Love drives out fear. Notice in vss. 17-18 that love drives out fear. The context seems to suggest that instead of being focused on the punishment that may come at judgment, if we don’t comply with God’s will, we should be focused on doing God’s will.

God’s will is for us to love one another. In so doing, love drives out fear.On one hand, God surely punishes sin. But on the other hand, our greatest motivation should be to do God’s will and trusting Him to continue to take care of us, instead of fearing God’s punishment.

Let’s work on loving more than fearing.

- Liar or lover. Notice in vs. 20 of our Sunday School material that one is called a liar, when one hates one sibling and claims to love God. In order for our love of God to be considered valid, we are commanded and required to love one another.

First, it is rather difficult for anyone to understand this text and still claim to be a mature but grumpy or apathetic Christian. Christians cannot have a vertical relationship with God that ignores horizontal relationships with other people.

Second, love is more than lip service. Love responds to needs. There is a need to be friendly and respectful. But there is also a need to help people with physical, psychological, and spiritual needs. Let’s work on obeying God’s command to love one another.

Read I John 5:1-5

III. Trust in God’s Victory. In our Sunday School material, John goes on with his talking about assurance. Those who believe that Jesus is the Christ is born of God.

Loving the children of God is made evident by loving God and keeping His commands. Believers are said to have victory and faith.

Applications –

- Believing, being a child of God, obeying, and loving. Notice in vss. 1-3 a further reinforcement of the idea that being in fellowship with God (faith, being a child of God, obeying God) calls for loving God’s people.

It is interesting how many times and ways John made this point in our text, and there are still so many today, who ignore the point. Let’s work on being so godly that we love one another.

- Victory. Notice in vss. 3-5 that there is victory in being born of God. The victory of the Sunday School material seems to be more concerned with having victory over the world’s principles and values than any kind of military victory.

In other words, believers will discover that having faith in the payment of Jesus is better for them than having faith in themselves, other people, the things of this world, or nothing (i.e., the principles and values of this world).

Believers will discover that God’s ways are better for them the world’s ways. God’s ways lead to life and that more abundantly; whereas, the world’s ways lead to death and destruction. Let’s live like we believe that God’s ways are victorious.

Conclusion: Let’s work on demonstrating our fellowship with God, by loving one another. God has much for those who obey His will.

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