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The New Birth Tested By Love (6 of 9)
(Or what Cain needed most, but of what he couldn't boast)
I John 3:11-24
Cain and Abel were brothers. They were the sons of the first two people ever to live on the earth. Their parents had lived in the very presence of God in the Garden of Eden, but they decided to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season and discovered that it is much more difficult to get out of sin than it is to get into it. Many have discovered that same truth much to their sorrow.
Cain hated his brother and in a moment of rage while they were out in the field, rose up and killed him. The difference between these two brothers was not age; although Cain was the oldest. It was not profession; although Cain was a farmer. He tilled the ground, and Abel was a herdsman - he kept the flocks. The difference was the new birth. The Hebrew letter (11:4) tells us that Abel was a man of faith. He believed God. Cain did not. Because Cain was not a man of faith, he hated and killed. Because Abel was a man of faith, he loved.
John is telling us today that the test of the new birth is love, not hate. Remember, we are now in the second cycle in I John and the second message. Verse 10 of this 10th chapter gives us the first two tests. The third test of the new birth begins in 4:1. So the test of the new birth or Divine sonship is righteousness, love and belief. Today, the test is love.
I. THE REALITY OF LOVE FOR ONE ANOTHER. (Verses 11-15)
Love is a real thing. It is not a word, an idea, a concept, a feeling, or an attitude. Love is a reality. When something is real, it causes or forces response. There is a three-fold response in these verses.
1. IT IS A COMMAND. (Verse 11)
John 13:34 ... The new commandment is to love one another. It is difficult to define Christian love. Since it is not a feeling or an attitude, what is it to love? If it is a command, it can't be a feeling. You can't go up to someone and say, "Love me.' But John says Jes ...
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