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What is Love? Baby Don’t Hurt Me

February 19, 2017 ()

1 John 3:10-18 |


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I wonder which brother is better

Which one our parents loved the most

I sure did get in lots of trouble

They seemed to let the other go

—Avett Brothers, Murder in the City


Sermon Summary: Am I my brothers keeper? We have answered this question in various ways and struggled with the question’s implication that we must love others that are different from us. This week in the book of 1 John 3 we take another look at love, what is it, and how we are to live it out.


Passage to Consider: 1 John 3:10-18

By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.

11 For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 12 We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother's righteous. 13 Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. 15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.


Preparation Question: What are some ways that you may have loved someone who was different that you less because of the fact that they were different?


Confession of Sin: 

Have mercy on us, God, according to your steadfast love;

according to your abundant mercy blot out our transgressions.

    Wash us thoroughly from our iniquity, and cleanse us from our sin!

For we know our transgressions, and our sin is ever before us.

    Against you only have we sinned and done what is evil in your sight.

You delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach us wisdom in the secret heart.

    Hide your face from our sins, and blot out all our iniquities.

Create in us a clean heart and renew a right spirit within us.

    In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen

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