Christ Authorizes His Followers to Love Each Other (John 13:34-35)
Introduction: 1. Two weeks ago we studied passages that relate to "the authority of Christ." a. Christ has all authority (Matthew 28:18). b. He demonstrated His authority in many ways. c. We are to submit to His authority (Colossians 3:17). 2. Last week we showed from the Scriptures that "Christ authorizes His followers to worship." 3. From John 13:34-35 we learn that "Christ authorizes [commands, requires] His followers to love each another." 4. To fully appreciate this requirement we must first examine . . .
I. THE SETTING IN WHICH JESUS GAVE THIS COMMANDMENT
A. A short time before Jesus was arrested He and the apostles ate the Passover meal in the upper room. B. This was the occasion when Jesus instituted His Supper. C. We learn from Luke 22:24 that there was strife among the apostles. D. Jesus responded to this strife by washing the apostles' feet (John 13:4-5, 12-17). E. After Judas left, Jesus had many things to say to the other 11 apostles. F. (vs.34-35) He commanded the apostles to love one another.
II. ON THIS OCCASION JESUS GAVE A "NEW" COMMANDMENT
A. According to Leviticus 19:18, this was not the first time that love was required of God's people -- "thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself". B. The Lord's command was new in the sense that His followers are to love another "as He has loved us." C. Jesus explained what He meant in John 15:12-13. D. The Lord's command is also touched on in Ephesians 5:1-2.
III. OUR RESPONSE TO THIS COMMAND TELLS OTHERS SOMETHING ABOUT US
A. The Lord's true followers are to be identified as such on the basis of their love for one another. B. The church in Thessalonica provides a positive example of the Lord's people loving one another (1 Thessalonians 4:9-10). C. (Revelation 2:1-7) The church in Ephesus provides a negative example. D. Which congregation would have been more attractive to outsiders?
II. 1 JOHN SUPPLIES ADDITIONAL DETAILS CONCERNING THE LORD'S COMMAND
A. (2:10) To abide in the light we must love one another. B. (3:11-14) One who loves his brother has "passed from death unto life." C. (3:16-19) True Christian love is sacrificial and active. D. (3:23) Loving one another is as important as believing on Christ. E. (4:7-8) Knowing God involves loving our brethren. F. (4:11-12) God dwells in those who love their brethren. G. (4:20-21) True love for God includes loving His children. H. (5:2) Loving our brethren is associated with loving God and obeying His will.
1. We have seen from a number of verses that "Christ authorizes His followers to love each other." 2. Lord willing, this evening we will study 1 Corinthians 13, the great love chapter of the Bible, to help us understand what the Lord wants us to do.