< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: Love One Another

Friday, December 15, 2017

Love One Another

John 15: 12-17 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.

We are commanded to love! And love like Jesus loved US! Sacrificially! To lay down our lives for others. Meaning to put them first and give up our rights and plans and wishes.

Then Jesus changed the status of His disciples from servants to friends. We are His friends! And He promises eternal fruit to His own who remain in Him. “I chose you…to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last.”

John 15:18-25 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin.23 Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. 24 If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. 25 But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.”

That last part is from Psalms 69:4 Those who hate me without reason
    outnumber the hairs of my head;
many are my enemies without cause,
    those who seek to destroy me.
I am forced to restore
    what I did not steal.

John uses the word “world” 77 times in his Gospel. And a lot in his letters. Because Scripture uses this word in several different ways, you have to determine its meaning based on the context it’s used in. So, in this verse it has four aspects: fallen humanity as a whole, the system of life as it is lived by the majority of people who ignore God, the short term as opposed to what lasts forever and the sphere in which fallen humanity finds its satisfaction apart from God.

The people who choose to reject Christ also reject His followers. We’re different then they are. They don’t want to be like us. His words and works condemn the world’s manner of life. And if we are like HIM, OUR lives condemn them too. So, take it as a compliment! 😊 The closer we are to Him, the more we are like Him, the more they will reject us.

Jesus also tells us we are CHOSEN by God.

And we’re not to retreat from the world. Jesus sent us into the world to make disciples. Invite them into your homes so they see you saying grace. Live a holy life so they can see what one looks like! Show them what it’s like to have joy in trials because of God.

John 15:26- 16:4  “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me. 27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.
16 “All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. 2 They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. 3 They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. 4 I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them. I did not tell you this from the beginning because I was with you,

Jesus didn’t leave them unwarned or unprepared. The Holy Spirit would be with them and they would have Jesus’ words.

If we continually come to the Bible the Holy Spirit will apply God’s Word to our changing life experiences.

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