1 John 3:14

We know that we have passed from death unto life, etc. To know our true character and condition in the sight of God is of the greatest importance. An earnest consideration of our text will help us to attain such knowledge. Notice -

I. THE GREAT CHANGE HERE SPOKEN OF. "We have passed out of death into life." Consider:

1. The state from which the Christian has passed. It is here spoken of as "death." The death is not physical, or intellectual, or social, but moral and spiritual. "Ye were dead through your trespasses and sins;" "alienated from the life of God." God is the Life of the soul. In union with him the soul lives; separated from him the soul dies. Sin separates from him. "Your iniquities have separated between you and your God ;" "The soul that sinneth, it shall die." Sin is fatal to all that constitutes the life of the soul - to truth and trust, to reverence and love, etc. A state of sin is a state of death.

2. The state upon which the Christian has entered. He has "passed out of death into life." He is united to God by faith in Jesus Christ, and thus participates in the Divine life. He has passed over from the sphere of the darkness into that of the light; from the dreary realm of death into the blessed kingdom of life. "He that heareth my word, and believeth him that sent me, hath eternal life, and cometh not into judgment, but hath passed out of death into life" (John 5:24). "If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: the old things are passed away; behold, they are become new" (2 Corinthians 5:17); "And you, being dead through your trespasses... he quickened together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses" (Colossians 2:13). This great and blessed change is effected

(1) through the mediation of Jesus Christ (John 6:40, 47; John 10:10; John 14:6);

(2) by the agency of the Holy Spirit (John 3:5, 6, 8); and

(3) by the instrumentality of the sacred Word (James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:23).

II. THE EVIDENCE OF THIS GREAT CHANGE. "We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren." There may he a reference in the term "brethren" to the common brotherhood of all men; but it seems to us that its chief meaning is the Christian brethren. The love spoken of is not simply natural affection, as the love of parent for child, child for parent, husband for wife, wife for husband, etc. Again, there may be certain social qualities in a Christian which are attractive to others, yet not distinctively Christian. He may be a useful man; in society he may be interesting and agreeable, and therefore he is admired and loved; but such love does not prove that they who exercise it "have passed out of death into life." Again, we may love Christians, not because they are Christians, but because they belong to our ecclesiastical party or share our theological opinions; but this affection is not to be taken as an evidence that we have experienced the great and saving change. The love of which St. John writes is a love of the brethren, not because they belong to us or to our party, but because they belong to the Lord Jesus. The affection which is a proof that we have passed from death unto life is a love of the brethren:

1. Because of their relation to Christ and God. They are one with Christ by faith and love. Through the Saviour they are children of the Divine Father. They are regarded by him with complacency. They are loved by him with the love of approbation. And they possess the filial spirit in relation to him (Romans 8:14-16). If we love God we shall love them, because they are his. "Whosoever loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him" (1 John 5:1). And such love is an evidence "that we have passed out of death into life."

2. Because of their resemblance to God in Christ. Our Lord and Saviour is the Supreme Revelation of God the Father to our race; and his character, "as he lived upon earth," as Hooper has said, "is like a perfect, many-sided crystal. Whichever way you look at it, it is without flaw. Whichever way you turn it, some new beauty of colour is reflected from the rays of light shining through it. The character of the Christian is like a crystal too, but a small one, full of cracks and flaws, which break up and disfigure the brilliant gleams reflected from the sunlight.... The Christian must be like Christ, or he is nothing; but it is a likeness with a vast distance between - the likeness of the infant to the strong man; the likeness of a feeble sapling to the full-grown giant oak." To love Christians because we discover in them this moral resemblance to God in Christ is an evidence "that we bare passed out of death into life."

1. If we have this holy, fraternal affection, let us draw from it the assurance which our text warrants. "We know that we have passed," etc.

2. Let us cultivate more and more of this Christian love. - W.J.

We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren


1. This privilege implieth in it a change of covenant heads. The first Adam represented all his natural posterity. The second represented all given to Him by the Father.

2. This privilege implies a having passed from law death, to law life; or in other words, front a state of condemnation to a state of justification.

3. This privilege implies a having passed from spiritual death to spiritual life in regeneration; a having been released from the dominion and power of sin, to enjoy the happy reign and influence of grace. This change is not the product of nature, but wholly the work of God.

4. This privilege implies a coming or being taken into new relations — into a new covenant relation to God through Christ — taken into God's family.


1. Whom we are to understand by brethren.(1) By brethren we are to understand generally every man and woman — all mankind. All are generally God's offspring. All are sprung from one common root, Adam.(2) But by brethren here we are specially to understand brethren in Christ, believers, those who belong to and have the image of Christ upon them. They are brethren by birth, by nature, by relation, and by love.

2. What love to the brethren is. In general it is a supernatural warmth, kindled in the hearts of believers to one another, begetting union of heart and soul, sympathy with, care for, and complacency and delight in and towards one another. Never before nor since was this more emphatically expressed than in the beautiful description in Acts 4:32.(1) The rule by which this love of the brethren is to be regulated and directed, is that of God's Word. If our outward walk and conversation are to be regulated by it, sure no less is the exercise of the graces of the Spirit.(2) This love of the brethren is not inconsistent with all that regard we owe to gospel truth and ordinances.(3) Nor is this love to the brethren inconsistent with a proper regard to the maintenance of Church government and discipline — the reproofs, admonitions, and rebukes which the Lord in love has instituted, and appointed to be observed in His Church, and which He has promised to bless.(4) Neither is this love to the brethren inconsistent with the discharge of all the duties of love they owe to one another — such as telling them of their faults, warning, admonishing, and testifying against their evils, as well as having compassion for, and exercising beneficence towards them.

3. Now this love of the brethren evidences an interest in the privilege of having passed from death to life. It is an immediate fruit of this privilege, and therefore a certain and infallible evidence of it.(1) From its being an evidence of regeneration, in which the image of God is communicated — and love to the brethren is a prominent part of that image.(2) From its being an undoubted evidence of justification. This supposeth and implieth access to God, by and through Jesus the Mediator; as well as access to a throne of grace.(3) From its being an evidence of their having received the Spirit (Galatians 5:22).(4) From its being an evidence of their adoption (Romans 8:15).(5) From its being an evidence of their union to Christ, and belonging to His mystical body; the members of which are all united to each other by bonds of the most endearing love and affection.


1. This connection is founded in the purpose and promise of God.

2. It is founded on the blood and righteousness of Christ.

3. In the intercession of Christ.

4. In the order of things.

V. THE BELIEVER'S OWN KNOWLEDGE OF THIS, "WE KNOW." John did not know this as an apostle, but as a believer; and this may be, and is known by believers.

1. From experience of what passeth in their own souls.

2. From its fruits. "A tree is known by its fruits"; and the fruits of this love are such as pity, sympathy, kindness, and compassion, forgiveness, benevolence, beneficence.

3. From the regard they pay to the authority and testimony of God in His Word — as in the text. This knowledge is not left to rest on the testimony of people's own experience, but is based on the testimony of God in the Scriptures.Improvement:

1. From this doctrine we may learn that, although love to the brethren has been called one of the lowest marks of grace, yet it is a real and decisive one, and is attended by the highest authority.

2. We may see that real Christians are united in the firmest bonds of mutual love and affection.

3. We may see how little of this love appears among professed Christians.

4. From this doctrine we may learn that sin has unhinged the moral frame — has introduced a breach between heaven and earth.

5. We may learn that Christ is the uniting bond of peace, reconciliation, love, and fellowship.

(Alex. Dick.)

Air and earth, fire and water, good and evil, light and darkness, are not more contrary the one to the other, than are the people of the world and the true members of the Church. Their views are contrary, the one class looking at the things of eternity merely in the light of time, the other looking at time in the light of eternity. Their tastes are contrary, the one being "of the earth, earthy," the other spiritually minded. Their pursuits are contrary, the one "walking according to the course of this world," the other "walking with God." Their destiny shall be contrary "these shall go away into everlasting punishment, and the righteous into life eternal."

I. "WE SAVE PASSED FROM DEATH UNTO LIFE.'' Let it be carefully observed this is a change which is declared to have already taken place. "We have passed." Whenever a sinner believes he is put in possession of everlasting life, that is, of the germ or beginning of it. The words are expressive, however, not merely of a change that is supposed to be past in point of time, but of one most blessed in its nature. What is so much shunned as death? And what is so prized and preserved as life?

1. Death is used in the Scriptures to express a state of condemnation, and life one of acceptance. In the one case there is a sentence of death, and in the other of acquittal.

2. Death is also used in the Scriptures to express a con dition of sinfulness or depravity, and life that of holiness. The sinner is pronounced to be dead; and is he not so? He has all the features of death upon him.(1) There is insensibility. He is in sin, and ever committing it, but he does not seem to be conscious of it.(2) There is inactivity. He possesses powers which he does not employ. On the other hand, it is the office of grace to make him alive to God, when it does effectually operate upon him this is the result. The sinner is made "alive to God." You have seen the oak struck by the lightning of heaven. Its juices were dried up, and its branches withered away. You pronounced it dead. But the husbandman came: he lopped off the withered boughs. He manured its roots and watered its branches. The process of decay was arrested. Life was restored. It sent forth its foliage and bore its fruit as before. It was a resurrection. So it is with the sinner under the blight of sin, when he is visited by the grace of the Spirit. His decayed powers are animated with a new life. He puts forth the powers in active energy, which before were paralysed in spiritual death. He is "passed from death unto life."

II. THE EVIDENCE SPOKEN OF IN THE TEXT, "we know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren." Brotherly love is the proof of conversion here cited by the apostle.

1. There is the natural affection which binds us to those with whom we are allied according to the flesh. It is true there may be this love when there is no grace. In that case brotherly love is no proof of the great change of which we have spoken.

2. The evidence arising from the exercise of brotherly love towards the people of God is still more unequivocal. It may be sometimes difficult to distinguish between the natural and gracious affection in the case of those who are closely allied to us. But where we love the godly, simply because they are such, the proof is unequivocal. Its peculiarity is that, apart from other considerations, our love is attracted by their godliness.

3. Still, love is not to be confined to them. It is to be extended to all men. And as it is so we strengthen the evidence of our gracious state.

III. THE ASSURANCE OF OUR SALVATION, ARISING OUT OF THIS EVIDENCE. "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren." We may know it then. This is assumed. The term is the most expressive of certainty that could be used. It is not, we think or hope or desire, but we know. He ought to know it. It is not a privilege merely, but a duty. He ought to know it for the sake of his own holiness. He ought to know it for the honour of Christ.

(J. Morgan, D. D.)

I. The love of which the apostle speaks is peculiar in its ORIGIN. It is a very distinct thing from natural kindness and amiableness of disposition; from what we commonly call good nature. Nature cannot produce it. It is the special effect of the Spirit's new creating power upon the soul.

II. It is peculiar, also, in its OBJECT. It is not the love of our fellow creatures generally, but the "love of the brethren," in particular, on which St. John dwells so strongly as the evidence of a state of salvation. Not that the Christian by any means confines his benevolent regards to his fellow believers. But whilst he thus comprehends the whole human race in the circle of his affection, and prays for all, and is ready to benefit all, there is a still closer and more endearing bond of union by which he is attached to his fellow Christians. Their principles, taste, habits, and pursuits are congenial to his own.

III. Nor is the love of which we are speaking less distinct from that which sometimes assumes its name in its OPERATION, than in its origin and object.

1. It is regular and consistent in its action. True charity is not an impulse, but a principle; not an act, but a habit; not a momentary or transient ebullition of feeling, but a fixed, steady, consistent motive of conduct, always ready to administer, as far as circumstances may allow, to the relief of ascertained distress, whether of soul or body.

2. It is self-denying. Its basis, like that of every other Christian grace, is humility. Pride, self-will, self-indulgence, are the bane of Christian society, and rend asunder the body of Christ. So true is it that if we would be Christ's disciples we must deny ourselves.

3. It is active in its operation. It is an energetic principle. It is not the profession of kindness, but the reality. It is not by kind speeches and courteous expressions, but by beneficent actions chiefly, that we are to evidence the sincerity of our regard to others.

(R. Davies.)

There are many kinds of knowledge, but the most difficult is self-knowledge. It is remarkable that St. John much more frequently uses such expressions as these, "We know that we are of God"; "We know that we are in Him"; "We know that we dwell in Him"; "We know that He abideth in us," than any other writer in the whole Bible. Let us look first at the thing which is to be known, and then at the sign by which we are to know it. A passing "from death unto life." For this is God's metaphor to express real conversion of heart. The idea conveyed in the words is of two states separated as by a gulf; and there is now, what one day there will not be, a transit from one over to the other. The one side is a land of death. There everything that is done is short and uncertain. It is a country of graves, and the joys of pleasure have no resurrection. On the opposite shore everything in it is essential light, because there is a new principle there; that principle is one which works forever and ever. The light grows brighter and brighter every day, whatever curse may pass over the bereaved earth. But this is not the only difference between the opposite states. The former, which we may call the original condition of every man, his native country lies far away, separate from the source of all true light, and in God's language, is all chaos. There is no reality in it; while the other is brought under the very smile of God's countenance. He moves and dwells there. Hence, it is peace, it is energy, it is fruit. Let us notice the contrast more clearly. Every man who inhabits the first state, is under actual condemnation of death. Every man who continues there is to die. But over every soul on the other side the word is gone forth, "Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom." Now of the manner in which the passage is effected from one shore to the other, it does not belong to my present subject to speak. Suffice it to say that the passage is a great historical fact. And the inquiry is, how may each of us best ascertain whether or not that transformation has taken place. "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren." Some persons, however, will say that it is such an easy thing to love Christians. I wish I could believe, but I cannot, that I shall be safe to infer I am one of God's Christians, because I admire and attach myself to the lovable and really pious character. Who are the "brethren," and what is it to "love" them? The brethren are those who have the love of the Lord Jesus Christ in their hearts, even though there be much clinging to them that is unrefined, and unintellectual, and unpleasing — yea, even though there be much that is really very inconsistent in them. And this very comprehensiveness of a catholic spirit is a mark of a mind that has had to do with the largeness of an Almighty God. If you have "passed from death unto life" the friendships that you choose for yourselves, and the relationships that you form will be all made upon one principle — that you keep within the family of grace. Hence, it follows, that the conversation which you prefer is that which is the most spiritual; for how can you love the brethren, unless you really delight in their themes? So that the world of fashion, and the world of pleasure, and the world of commonplace, has become insipid, and there is only one atmosphere in which you love to breathe, and that is the atmosphere of Jesus Christ.

(J. Vaughan, M. A.)

Do you desire to know whether you may confidently, though humbly, cherish the good hope through grace that you are numbered among Christ's people? Here is the way, "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren." If that be right, then everything is right. It was the index that registered how everything else was; even as the pulse at the wrist can tell the skilled observer something as to how all the functions of material life are going on. More than this. Sometimes the index that registers a great thing is itself but a little thing. The tremendous pressure on the boiler of the locomotive is indicated by an ascending and descending drop of water in a little glass tube. The state of hundreds of solid miles of atmosphere is revealed to us by the movements of a slight pointer upon the dial of the barometer. But this testing pulse of the soul is not a little thing that indicates a great one; it is a great thing in itself. As love to God sums all our duty to God, so does love to our neighbour sum all our duty to man. Let us think whether St. John did not give this counsel so earnestly and so often because he knew that it was, and is, and always will be, a difficult thing to "love the brethren." Yes, there are many feelings and tendencies in poor sinful human nature that must be held tightly in check, before Christian people will succeed in loving one another. Many human beings find it much easier to feel a general dislike to those with whom they come into anything like competition, than to feel anything like love towards them. Now let us think what it is that is really required of Christian people in these days, in this very artificial state of society, amid these separations of class from class, by this great gospel command, to "love the brethren," "love our neighbour as ourselves." Now, in interpreting such directions, we may take two things with us. One is, that God's service is always a "reasonable service"; that there is never anything extravagant in what Christianity requires of us. Another is, that when God gives us a law, He always gives us one that is accordant with the nature and constitution of the souls He has given us. In the light of these things, we can see what is the love God requires us to bear to our fellow Christians and fellow creatures. St. John does not tell us that we are all to think exactly alike; nor to persuade ourselves that those things are of no consequence about which we cannot agree. That is not what is meant by gospel love towards all. No; it means, See a man's faults and failings, and bear with him. Hold your opinions strongly, yet agree to differ, without quarrelling. Be ready to help a poor overburdened creature to bear his burden; and a sympathetic word will go far here. Do not exaggerate the faults of your friends; rather try to see something good in them; and if you try hard, you may perhaps find a good deal. But besides that general kindliness, let us mark the little things in which Christians are found to fail in obedience to the law of love. You know it is very easy, and it sounds smart to dwell, in conversation, upon the faults and follies of the people you know; to exaggerate these, and dwell on them with weary iteration. Now, never have anything to do with that wretched ill set tattle. Do not join in it; do not listen to it. You know when the first Christians died the martyr's death, rather than offer sacrifice to idols, what was it they were called to do? Why, the whole thing was to take up a pinch of incense with their finger and thumb, and throw it into the fire on the altar of Jupiter or Minerva. But that little act signified that they apostatised from Christ, and so they died rather than do it. And even so, what an awful light is cast on little unkind sayings and doings, when we call to mind St. John's solemn words, "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren"! Train yourselves to bring the whole force of your religion to bear upon this matter; the thing is vital.

(A. K. H. Boyd, D. D.)


1. Love to Christians for the sake of their Christianity; or, love to the Church for the sake of Christ, the Head of the Church.

2. St. John does not speak of any partial affection we may entertain for individuals, or even classes of men, within the Church of Christ.

3. Nor is it enough that we love, however cordially, all Christians of our own Church or sect.

4. The "love" to the brethren, which is so sure a proof of our own safety, is not merely a universal love to the Church of Christ, but to the Church of Christ in its spiritual character.


1. It is, perhaps, the strongest of all proofs that we love God; and it affords a sort of demonstration that we do so, which, when considered, is conclusive to the weakest mind, or to the most hesitating faith.

2. It demands a constant sacrifice, and so constantly displays the strength of that Divine principle of faith which unites us to the Lord; for the love in question is not a mere sentiment of respect and admiration, but it is a bond of the closest union.

3. It exposes us to constant suffering for the sake of Christ; at least this was the case in the apostles' days, and, in some degree, is so still, or else "is the offence of the Cross ceased?"

(J. B. Marsden, M. A.)


1. We were without feeling when law and gospel were addressing us.

2. Without hunger and thirst after righteousness.

3. Without power of movement towards God in repentance.

4. Without the breath of prayer, or pulse of desire.

5. With signs of corruption; some of them most offensive.


1. The reverse of the natural change from life to death.

2. No more easy to describe than the death change would be.

3. This change varies in each case as to its outward phenomena, but it is essentially the same in all.

4. As a general rule its course is as follows —

(1)It commences with painful sensations.

(2)It leads to a sad discovery of our natural weakness.

(3)It is made manifest by personal faith in Jesus.

(4)It operates on the man by repentance and purification.

(5)It is continued by perseverance in sanctification.

(6)It is completed in joy, infinite, eternal.

5. The period of this change is an era to be looked back upon in time and through eternity with grateful praise.


1. We know that we are not under condemnation.

2. We know that faith has given us new senses, grasping a new world, enjoying a realm of spiritual things.

3. We know that we have new hopes, fears, desires, delights, etc.

4. We know that we have been introduced into new surroundings and a new spiritual society: God, saints, angels, etc.

5. We know that we have new needs; such as heavenly breath, food, instruction, correction, etc.

6. We know that this life guarantees eternal bliss.

IV. WE KNOW THAT WE LIVE, BECAUSE WE LOVE. "We love the brethren."

1. For Christ's sake.

2. For the truth's sake.

3. For their own sake.

4. When the world hates them.

5. We love their company, their example, their exhortations.

6. We love them despite the drawbacks of infirmity, inferiority, etc.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Dr. Raymond told us the other night about those geysers flowing with boiling water. The ice and snow come down from the mountain tops, and then they pour down through subterranean channels, and in some strange places, but where no man knows, they are heated, and come bubbling to the surface of the earth again. We know they are warmed, but we know not how. And we do not need to wait until we find out how, before we believe that they are warm. And so the hearts that are cold and sensual and proud and selfish, whenever they are brought in contact with the heart of God through the Lord Jesus Christ, are warmed. They come into con tact with Him and become different men. The nation is a different nation, the civilisation is a different civilisation, the type of character is a different type of character. Christian character is not Hindu character. It is not African character. It is distinctively Christian character; a character warm with love, because it has been warmed in the secret places of the Most High.

(L. Abbott, D. D.)

If you love an absent person, you will love their picture. What is that the sailor's wife keeps so closely wrapped in a napkin, laid up in her best drawer among sweet smelling flowers? She takes it out morning and evening, and gazes at it through her tears. It is the picture of her absent husband. She loves it because it is like him. It has many imperfections, but still it is like him. Believers are the pictures of God in this world. The Spirit of Christ dwells in them. They walk as He walked. True, they are full of imperfections; still they are true copies. If you love Him, you will love them; you will make them your bosom friends.

(R. M. McCheyne.)

As it would be impossible for the insect in its chrysalis state to observe the laws which are made for its transformed state — for the worm to know the laws which make the summer fly seek the sunshine and live upon the flower — as it must be "born again" and enter upon a new existence before it can keep the laws of that new existence; so only the new creature can keep this new commandment.

(C. Stanford, D. D.)

He that loveth not his brother abideth in death
I. "HE THAT LOVETH NOT HIS BROTHER ABIDETH IN DEATH." The very form of this statement demands attention. It charges as a crime the want of a grace and not merely the perpetration of evil.

1. The complaint is, "he that loveth not his brother." He is devoid of the natural affection which close affinity should create. As for counting anyone a brother because he is a child of God, although he has no earthly relationship to him, he neither apprehends the idea, nor is sensible of any obligation upon him, arising out of it.

2. His condition is supposed to be the most deplorable. "Death" is the term that is used to describe it. It is descriptive at once of his guilt and depravity, and his insensibility to both. Mark the emphasis of the phrase, "abideth in death." Such a one was and continues to be dead.

II. "WHOSOEVER HATETH HIS BROTHER IS A MURDERER, AND YE KNOW THAT NO MURDERER HATH ETERNAL LIFE ABIDING IN HIM." This statement is stronger than the former. That was negative, while this is positive. That consisted in withholding what was due, this in the infliction of evil. We are reminded in this comparative statement of the progress of sin. It is never stationary. The want of a grace will soon become the germ of a great sin. The man that loveth not his brother will soon learn to hate his brother. In finding out arguments to justify his neglect, he will not fail to dis cover reasons to inflame his hatred. The conclusion of the apostle respecting such a one is irresistible — "Ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him." The two things are incompatible and cannot dwell together.

III. "HEREBY PERCEIVE WE THE LOVE OF GOD, BECAUSE HE LAID DOWN HIS LIFE FOR US; AND WE OUGHT TO LAY DOWN OUR LIVES FOR THE BRETHREN." This is the strongest argument yet advanced. It is drawn from the conduct of God Himself, and from the obligation that rests on us to be followers of Him as dear children.

(J. Morgan, D. D.)

Cain, John
Abides, Abideth, Already, Anyone, Brethren, Brother, Brothers, Conscious, Continues, Dead, Death, Destitute, Doesn't, Love, Loveth, Loving, Passed, Remains
1. He declares the singular love of God toward us, in making us his sons;
3. who therefore ought obediently to keep his commandments;
11. as also to love one another as brothers.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
1 John 3:14

     4018   life, spiritual
     6610   adoption, descriptions
     8298   love, for one another
     9313   resurrection, spiritual

1 John 3:11-15

     8298   love, for one another

1 John 3:11-21

     5017   heart, renewal

1 John 3:14-20

     8105   assurance, basis of

The Purifying Hope
Eversley, 1869. Windsor Castle, 1869. 1 John iii. 2. "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." Let us consider this noble text, and see something, at least, of what it has to tell us. It is, like all God's messages, all God's laws, ay, like God's world in which we live and breathe,
Charles Kingsley—All Saints' Day and Other Sermons

Second Sunday after Trinity Exhortation to Brotherly Love.
Text: 1 John 3, 13-18. 13 Marvel not, brethren, if the world hateth you. 14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not abideth in death. 15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. 16 Hereby know we love, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoso hath the world's goods, and beholdeth his brother in need, and shutteth
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. III

The Growth and Power of Sin
'And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock, and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel, and to his offering: But unto Cain, and to his offering, he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Love that Calls us Sons
'Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God....'--1 John iii. 1. One or two points of an expository character will serve to introduce what else I have to say on these words. The text is, I suppose, generally understood as if it pointed to the fact that we are called the sons of God as the great exemplification of the wonderfulness of His love. That is a perfectly possible view of the connection and meaning of the text. But if we are to
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

The Unrevealed Future of the Sons of God
'Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.'--1 John iii. 2. I have hesitated, as you may well believe, whether I should take these words for a text. They seem so far to surpass anything that can be said concerning them, and they cover such immense fields of dim thought, that one may well be afraid lest one should spoil them by even attempting to dilate on them. And
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

The Purifying Influence of Hope
'And every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.'--1 John iii. 3. That is a very remarkable 'and' with which this verse begins. The Apostle has just been touching the very heights of devout contemplation, soaring away up into dim regions where it is very hard to follow,--'We shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.' And now, without a pause, and linking his thoughts together by a simple 'and,' he passes from the unimaginable splendours of the Beatific Vision
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

Practical Righteousness
Little children, let no man deceive you; he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous.'--1 John iii. 7. The popular idea of the Apostle John is strangely unlike the real man. He is supposed to be the gentle Apostle of Love, the mystic amongst the Twelve. He is that, but he was the 'son of thunder' before he was the Apostle of Love, and he did not drop the first character when he attained the second. No doubt his central thought was, 'God is Love'; no doubt that thought had
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

The Meaning of Sin, and the Revelation of the True Self
"In this we have come to know what love is, because He laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren."--1 JOHN III. 16. It is important that we should arrive at some clearer understanding of the nature of sin. Let us approach the question from the side of the Divine Indwelling. The doctrine of the Divine Immanence, in things and in persons, that doctrine which we are to-day slowly recovering, is rescued from pantheism by holding fast at the same time to the Christian
J. H. Beibitz—Gloria Crucis

How to Fertilize Love
Love is the greatest thing in earth or heaven. Out of it flows most of the things that are worth while in life. Love of relatives, love of friends, and love of the brethren (1 John 3: 14) make life worth living. There is no heart so empty as the heart that is without love. There is no life so joyful as the love-filled life. Love puts a song in the heart, a sparkle in the eye, a smile on the lips, and makes the whole being glad. And God's love is greater than all else. He who has God's love has a
Charles Wesley Naylor—Heart Talks

Vanity of Human Glory.
"The world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not."--1 John iii. 1 Of St. Simon and St. Jude, the Saints whom we this day commemorate, little is known[1]. St. Jude, indeed, still lives in the Church in his Catholic epistle; but of his history we only know that he was brother to St. James the Less, and nearly related to our Lord and that, like St. Peter, he had been a married man. Besides his name of Jude or Judas, he is also called Thaddaeus and Lebbaeus in the Gospels. Of St. Simon we only
John Henry Newman—Parochial and Plain Sermons, Vol. VIII

The First Fruits of the Spirit
"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Rom. 8:1 1. By "them which are in Christ Jesus," St. Paul evidently means, those who truly believe in him; those who, "being justified by faith, have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." They who thus believe do no longer "walk after the flesh," no longer follow the motions of corrupt nature, but "after the Spirit"; both their thoughts, words, and works are under
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions

The End of Christ's Coming
"For this purpose was the Son of God manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil." 1 John 3:8. 1. Many eminent writers, heathen as well as Christian, both in earlier and later ages, have employed their utmost labour and art in painting the beauty of virtue. And the same pains they have taken to describe, in the liveliest colours, the deformity of vice; both of vice in general, and of those particular vices which were most prevalent in their respective ages and countries. With equal care
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions

The Great Privilege of those that are Born of God
"Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin." 1 John 3:9. 1. It has been frequently supposed, that the being born of God was all one with the being justified; that the new birth and justification were only different expressions, denoting the same thing: It being certain, on the one hand, that whoever is justified is also born of God; and, on the other, that whoever is born of God is also justified; yea, that both these gifts of God are given to every believer in one and the same moment. In one
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions

The Beatific vision
"Millions of years my wondering eyes Shall o'er thy beauties rove; And endless ages I'll adore The glories of thy love." We are rejoiced to find such a verse as this, for it tells us that our curiosity shall be satisfied, our desire consummated, our bliss perfected. "WE SHALL SEE HIM AS HE IS." Heaven shall be ours, and all we ever dreamed of him shall be more than in our possession. By the help of God's mighty Spirit, who alone can put words in our mouths, let us speak first of all concerning the
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 2: 1856

A Present Religion
It is astonishing how distance blunts the keen edge of anything that is disagreeable. War is at all times a most fearful scourge. The thought of slain bodies and of murdered men must always harrow up the soul; but because we hear of these things in the distance, there are few Englishmen who can truly enter into their horrors. If we should hear the booming of cannon on the deep which girdles this island; if we should see at our doors the marks of carnage and bloodshed; then should we more thoroughly
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 4: 1858

The Death of Christ for his People
"He laid down his life for us."--1 John 3:16. COME, believer and contemplate this sublime truth, thus proclaimed to thee in simple monosyllables: "He laid down his life for us." There is not one long word in the sentence; it is all as simple as it can be; and it is simple because it is sublime. Sublimity in thought always needs simplicity in words to express itself. Little thoughts require great words to explain them; little preachers need Latin words to convey their feeble ideas, but great thoughts
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 46: 1900

The Warrant of Faith
We sing, and sing rightly too-- "My soul, no more attempt to draw Thy life and comfort from the law," for from the law death cometh and not life, misery and not comfort. "To convince and to condemn is all the law can do." O, when will all professors, and especially all professed ministers of Christ, learn the difference between the law and the gospel? Most of them make a mingle-mangle, and serve out deadly potions to the people, often containing but one ounce of gospel to a pound of law, whereas,
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 9: 1863

The Way of Life.
(Second Sunday after Trinity.) 1 JOHN iii. 14. "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren." The writings of S. John the Evangelist breathe forth love as a flower garden does sweetness. Here lies the secret of S. John's title, "the disciple whom Jesus loved." Love begets love, and the disciple was so near to the heart of his Master because he loved much. When the text was written he was a very old man, and Bishop of Ephesus. It was in that fair and famous
H. J. Wilmot-Buxton—The Life of Duty, a Year's Plain Sermons, v. 2

"But Ye have Received the Spirit of Adoption, Whereby we Cry, Abba, Father. "
Rom. viii. 15.--"But ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father." "Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God," 1 John iii. 1. It is a wonderful expression of love to advance his own creatures, not only infinitely below himself, but far below other creatures, to such a dignity. Lord, what is man that thou so magnified him! But it surpasseth wonder, that rebellious creatures, his enemies, should have, not only
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

"Whereby we Cry, Abba, Father. "
Rom. viii. 15.--"Whereby we cry, Abba, Father." As there is a light of grace in bestowing such incomparably high dignities and excellent gifts on poor sinners, such as, to make them the sons of God who were the children of the devil, and heirs of a kingdom who were heirs of wrath; so there is a depth of wisdom in the Lord's allowance and manner of dispensing his love and grace in this life. For though the love be wonderful, that we should be called the sons of God; yet, as that apostle speaks,
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

"And for Sin Condemned Sin in the Flesh. "
Rom. viii. 3.--"And for sin condemned sin in the flesh." The great and wonderful actions of great and excellent persons must needs have some great ends answerable to them. Wisdom will teach them not to do strange things, but for some rare purposes, for it were a folly and madness to do great things to compass some small and petty end, as unsuitable as that a mountain should travail to bring forth a mouse. Truly we must conceive, that it must needs be some honourable and high business, that brought
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

What is Sanctification?
Scripturally, the word sanctification has three meanings: First, separation; second, dedication; third, spirit-filling. Webster's definition of it is as follows: "1. Sanctification is the act of God's grace by which the affections of man are purified, or alienated from sin and the world, and exalted to a supreme love of God; also, the state of being thus purified or sanctified. 2. The act of consecrating, or setting apart for a sacred purpose." "Sanctifier. One who sanctifies or makes holy; specifically,
J. W. Byers—Sanctification

The Sinner Arraigned and Convicted.
1. Conviction of guilt necessary.--2. A charge of rebellion against God advanced.--3. Where it is shown--that all men are born under God's law.--4. That no man hath perfectly kept it.--5. An appeal to the reader's conscience on this head, that he hath not.--6. That to have broken it, is an evil inexpressibly great.--7. Illustrated by a more particular view of the aggravations of this guilt, arising--from knowledge.--8. From divine favors received.--9. From convictions of conscience overborne.--10.
Philip Doddridge—The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul

The Solidarity of the Human Family
Every man has worth and sacredness as a man. We fixed on that as the simplest and most fundamental social principle of Jesus. The second question is, What relation do men bear to each other? DAILY READINGS First Day: The Social Impulse and the Law of Christ And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question, trying him: Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law? And he said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is
Walter Rauschenbusch—The Social Principles of Jesus

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