February 14, 2014
I John 3:10-16
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
On to more great things concerning John’s Nose! …I mean John’s Knows! The next three knows about which John is absolutely sure concern love – loving one another as Christians. And the context is I John 3:10 through 16:
In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: who-
ever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not
love his brother. For this is the message that you heard from the beginning,
that we should love one another, not as Cain, who was of the wicked one and
murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were
evil and his brother’s righteous. Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world
hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love
the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. Whoever
hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal
life abiding in him. By this we know love, because He [Jesus] laid down His
life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
The way God’s children are manifested to the world and to one another is by righteousness and love. And the way the devil’s children are manifest is just the opposite – they do “…not practice righteousness…nor…love the brethren.”
Jesus is the primary example of “…the children of God…. ” He told His followers in John 13:34 and 35:
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved
you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My
disciples, if you have love for one another.
How do we know Jesus loved us? Verse 16 of our scripture says, “…because He laid down His life for us.” How should we then love each other? “And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” If we are willing to lay down our lives for our Christian brothers and sisters, then anything else we can do for them to show our love is a lesser sacrifice!
Cain is the example chosen to show forth “…the children of the devil….” Why? Because he “…was of the wicked one and murdered his brother.” And John states that it should be obvious – we should know – “…that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” Jesus further explained it to John in Revelation 21:8:
But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral,
sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns
with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.
I should point out that unrepentant murderers will not share in eternal life! Paul was a murderer, and so was David. But both – though great sinners – were great repenters! That’s the key! No sin is too great for God to forgive if we repent and turn from that sin! Cain was an unrepentant murderer!
Why did Cain murder his brother Abel? Read the record in Genesis 4:1 through 15. In brief, Abel obeyed God and brought an offering pleasing to Him – a burnt sacrifice from the flock. God had already shown the necessity of a blood sacrifice in Genesis 3:28, when He clothed Adam and Eve with tunics of skin to cover their nakedness. Cain tried to offer a bloodless sacrifice – home-grown vegetables – and the implication is that it was Cain’s idea of a proper offering, not God’s! God accepted Able and his offering, but rejected Cain and his. The main point here is that we must come to God on His terms, not ours!
Cain and his offering were rejected by God, and it made him so angry that he took it out on his brother. John succinctly gives the reason in verse 12 of our scripture: “And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous.” We will either turn to God by way of the Lord Jesus Christ or we will turn away. And the danger in turning away is that we will be angry with God for not accepting us on our terms and we will hate anyone who reminds us of that! John strongly warns in verse 15: “Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.”
So check your attitude, and check it regularly. Are you loving your brothers and sisters in the Lord? Are you showing forth that love in righteous actions and seeking the best for them – even if you feel they have wronged you? …even if they irritate the whatever out of you? …even if you think if they owned a cat, they would pet it………UP? Are you willing to lay down your life for them if necessary?!!
“We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death.” (verse 14). Love one another! It is a matter of life and death!