Part 2, "Love: God's Priceless, Free Gift"




By Duane L. Smith

In the first section of this article, the discussion centered on the commentary. Now I will shift gears a bit and use more of a study format.

Let's start by examining I John 3:11-18 and 4:7-21, verse by verse. I will primarily be using the Amplified Version, modified slightly for better clarification. Verse 11 states: "Because this is the message--the announcement--which you have heard from the first (or beginning), that we should love one another," Amplified, modified. See also John 13:34; 15:12.

Now some study questions:

1. Is this a new message? ________ Please explain__________________________________ ________________________________________________

2. Who conveyed this message to the Apostle John?___________________________

3. According to John 13:34 and 15:12, what should be the standard by which we measure our love for one another?_____________________________

4. Verse 12 states: "(And) be not like Cain who took (took his nature and got his motivation) from the Evil One and slew his brother. And why did he slay him? Because his deeds (activities, works) were wicked and malicious and his brother's were righteous-virtuous." (Amplified) Do you think that Cain was in competition with Abel over God's favor? _____________________________________

5. Do you think that this might be the basis for all 'religion'? _____________________

6. Verse 13: "Do not be surprised and wonder, brethren, that the world detests and pursues you with (intense) hatred?"

Verse 14: 7. Whether or not a believer demonstrates this quality gives testimony to the fact that one has passed from _______ to ________.

Verse 14: 8. What is the main characteristic attribute of a true Christian? __________

9. Whether or not a believer demonstrates this quality gives testimony to the fact that one has passed from ______ to ________.

10. The demonstration of this kind of love toward others, blesses us in what TWO ways? __________________________ and ___________________________________

Verse 15: 11. If we hate someone, it is the same as murder in God's eyes, because this sort stems from the heart. T or F

Verses 17 & 18: 12. If we truly have love in our hearts, we will demonstrate that love in practical, tangible ways. T or F

To continue: "Whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything. Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God." (verse 20-21, N.I.V.)

Just how reliable is conscience anyway? Based on my what I know of psychology and sociology, reinforced by the experienced view of Pastor Ray Hill of Tacoma, Washington, the only reliable standard to live by is an accurate understanding of God's holy Word, the Bible.

Our sense of right and wrong can be highly influenced by the norms of our society, environment, family, friends, and economic status.

Also, we can very easily rationalize and justify our own behavior.

Our Christian maturity can be gauged to the degree our lives and conduct conform to Biblical principles and continue to allow the Holy Spirit to reveal God's will and truth to us.

Please refer to Rom. 2:15-16; II Tim. 3:16-17; II Tim. 2:15; Acts 17:11-12; Isa. 28: 10; I Cor. 2: 13; and Prov. 11:14.

The End of Part II

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