I John: Serving May Mean Dying.

By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.” (I John 3:16)

Every believer in Christ probably has memorized, meditated upon and perhaps taught John 3:16. One of the most often quoted, and recognized, verses in all of Scripture says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

John 3:16 teaches how God loved the fallen world. However, how do believers demonstrate that they know the God of love and the love by which God loved them in their fallen and sinful condition? This is the content of I John 3; 16.

John sets forth two principles as a simple test or examination for believers in Christ, including the apostle, to show whether or not believers continually understand self-sacrificial love of the will which originates and proceeds solely from God.

The first evidence principle that we know what constitutes true love is understanding that Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. True love is acknowledging the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ on behalf of sinners. Sinner who hated Him but of whom He loved (Revelation 1:5-6).

The second evidence principle that we know what constitutes true love is that we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.

As one commentator of I John writes, “Many have noticed the beautiful relationship that exists between John 3:16 and I John 3:16. The former is a demonstration of love. The latter is an explanation of love. John 3:16 says that God gave His Son for us. I John 3:16 says we should give ourselves for others. The bible says that if you want to see love, look at the cross! The Bible says that if you want to show love, looks at the cross! The bible says that if you want to know love, look the cross! The Bible says that if you want to live love, look at the cross!”

Jesus Christ lived the life that we should have lived, but couldn’t. Jesus Christ died the death we should have died but don’t have to. True love is about self-sacrifice and self-submission.

Chris Tomlin reminds us of this true love in his song You Are My King.

I’m forgiven because you were forsaken
I’m accepted, You were condemned
I’m alive and well
Your spirit is within me
Because you died and rose again

Amazing love, how can it be?
that you, my king. would die for me.
Amazing love, I know it’s true
it’s my joy to honor you.
Amazing love how can it be?
That my king would die for me.
Amazing love I know it’s true
it’s my joy to honor you.
In all I do
I honor you.

You are my king
You are my king.
Jesus, You are my king.
Jesus, You are my king.

How may you give yourself for someone else today and in so doing, demonstrate that you understand the love of God?

May the Lord’s truth and grace be found here.

Soli deo Gloria!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s