Day 6 (teaching)


As we continue this third chapter we find more creative descriptions of the unsaved: “of that wicked one;” “abideth in death;” and “how dwelleth the love of God in him?

The key words for this second half are “love” and “brother” which are both found 8 times. This makes clear what the sixth and final proof of kinship is about; brotherly love.

In verses 11-24 we see our Feelings. Being family with God means being family with each other. The emphasis of kinship moves from the relationship with Jesus to primarily the relationship with our brothers and sisters in our church family. The context is those up-close and personal believers that we work with on a very regular basis.

John touches on at least five important aspects of these family feelings and each of these flows smoothly into the next:

In verses 11-15 we find the World and Anger. The anger from the world comes from the fact that they are not family. A person’s feelings give clear insight into their spiritual condition.

The story of Cain angrily killing his brother Abel in Genesis 4 is introduced as an analogy. Cain was furious with God and he took it out on Abel because Abel had a relationship with God. This is a common response from the world toward those that are a part of God’s family. John’s point is that our feelings toward the Lord reveal themselves in our treatment of His disciples. Simply put, the haters and hurters in a church are not truly part of the family.

In verses 16-18 we find Words and Actions. Genuine feelings always lead to action. Just as Abel’s feelings led him to kill, a true Christian’s feelings will lead them to care. They affect not only our talk, but more importantly our walk.

In verses 19-20 we find Whims and Assurance. The apostle writes “And hereby we know…” In other words, because of our sacrificial love previously noted we have confidence that we are born again even if we at times bear unnecessary guilt from our past sins.

Simply put, actions trump feelings; they reveal our true feelings. Temporary feelings are NOT always the final answer. When in doubt about your kinship, look to your life an make and honest, straight-forward assessment based on your actions toward believers in need.