THE LETTERS OF JOHN: HOW DO I KNOW?
1 John 4:7-21 7 Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his one and only Son into the world so that we might live through him. 10 Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we also must love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God. If we love one another, God remains in us and his love is made complete in us.
13 This is how we know that we remain in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and we testify that the Father has sent his Son as the world’s Savior. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God—God remains in him and he in God. 16 And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him.
17 In this, love is made complete with us so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment, because as he is, so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears is not complete in love.
19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and yet hates his brother or sister, he is a liar. For the person who does not love his brother or sister whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And we have this command from him: The one who loves God must also love his brother and sister.
SUMMARY: Love each other because God is love. He proved it by sending his son to save the world. He loved us first so we love him and each other. We haven’t seen God but we can see his family. When we love, God lives in us and we live in him. His love is completed in us, and it gives us confidence against fear, judgment, and punishment. If we say we love God and hate each other, we are liars and we have not seen God.
1. If you love the Father you love the family. [7, 8, 16, 19]
Love each other because God is love
a. “dear friends” “brothers sisters” not neighbors [Lev.18, Luke 10]
b. 4 times here, 11 times in John’s letters [agape]
c. No love? Don’t know God [7, 8, 16]
2. Love sends, serves, sacrifices. [9-11, 14]
He loved us first and proved it by sending His son to save the world
a. Trinity – Father [9 14], Son [9 14], Spirit 
b. Love’s Revelation = God sent the Son
i. ‘One and only’ = priority, not origination
ii. “world” – yes elect, but not exclusive
iii. “SAVIOR”= ‘atoning sacrifice’ not example, teaching
c. He loved first
d. Since God loved by serving WE must also
3. We love what we see to love what we can’t see. [12, 14, 20]
We can’t see God but we can see family
a. John testimony – “we saw him!”
b. We ‘see’ Jesus, we see His family
c. His love grows to completion
4. Live in God because He lives in you. [12, 13, 15, 16]
When we love, we have the Spirit, God lives in us and we live in him
a. Proof of his remaining in us = Spirit
b. Confess Jesus = God is in you, you are in God
c. We know + believe. You can know w/o believing
d. If you live in love God lives in you and you in him [John 17]
5. Completed love gives confidence. [12, 17, 18]
Love is completed in us, gives confidence for fear, judgment, punishment
a. Love doesn’t fear [1 Cor.13] it drives out fear.
b. Fear judgment? You aren’t living in love
6. Haters don’t love, lovers don’t lie. [20-21]
If we say we love God but hate each other we lie and have not seen God
a. Can’t love God if you hate family
b. Jesus’ command from – John 13, 17
HONOR Romans 12:10 Love one another deeply as brothers and sisters. Take the lead in honoring one another.
HARMONIZE Romans 12:16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud; instead, associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own estimation.
JUDGE Romans 14:13 Therefore, let us no longer judge one another. Instead decide never to put a stumbling block or pitfall in the way of your brother or sister.
BUILD UP Romans 14:19 So then, let us pursue what promotes peace and what builds up one another.
WELCOME / ACCEPT Romans 15:7 Therefore welcome one another, just as Christ also welcomed you, to the glory of God.
INSTRUCT Romans 15:14 My brothers and sisters, I myself am convinced about you that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able to instruct one another
SERVE Galatians 5:13 For you were called to be free, brothers and sisters; only don’t use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but serve one another through love.
DEVOUR Galatians 5:15 But if you bite and devour one another, watch out, or you will be consumed by one another.
PROVOKE / ENVY Galatians 5:26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
CARRY Galatians 6:2 Carry one another’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
BEAR Ephesians 4:2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,
LIE Ephesians 4:25 Therefore, putting away lying, speak the truth, each one to his neighbor, because we are members of one another.
KIND / COMPASSION / FORGIVE Ephesians 4:32 And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.
SUBMIT Ephesians 5:21 submitting to one another in the fear of Christ.
ENCOURAGE 1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing.
DO GOOD 1 Thessalonians 5:15 See to it that no one repays evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good for one another and for all.
HATE Titus 3:3 For we too were once foolish, disobedient, deceived, enslaved by various passions and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, detesting one another.
CRITICIZE James 4:11 Don’t criticize one another, brothers and sisters. Anyone who defames or judges a fellow believer defames and judges the law. If you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.
COMPLAIN James 5:9 Brothers and sisters, do not complain about one another, so that you will not be judged. Look, the judge stands at the door!
CONFESS / PRAY James 5:16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect.
HOSPITABLE 1 Peter 4:9 Be hospitable to one another without complaining.
HUMBLE 1 Peter 5:5 In the same way, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. All of you clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.
FELLOWSHIP 1 John 1:7 If we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.