Welcome Valley Bible Studies

                                                                                        Lesson 12: 1 John 3:16-18

1 John 3:16-17
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. But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

Background Information
The term “bowels of compassion” sounds a bit strange to our modern ears. This is a very old way of describing great tenderness or love As we consider the working out of love in the Christian’s life, it might be well to keep in mind that the Bible recognizes different levels of love. In fact, there are two Greek words translated love in the New Testament. The word for the kind of love found between friends is one of these words. On the other hand, the highest level of love goes beyond mere friendship. It is the quality of love that God has for us, a love that is concerned for someone’s well being. This love is willing to sacrifice for the one loved even when that person isn’t doing anything to generate loving feelings. It is love that goes beyond mere emotion and takes action.

We are told to love the brethren or brothers. It might be tempting to say that this applies only to our families or to the brothers (and of course sisters) of the church. But trying to limit our love only to family members or to Christian friends is not in keeping with the spirit of Christian love. Jesus told the parable of the “Good Samaritan” in response to a man who was trying to evade the command to love our neighbors. Love isn’t something that can be put in a box and limited. A person with God’s love will have at least some concern for everybody in the world.

Related Scriptures
Mark 7:9-13 (Jesus is speaking here.)
Luke 10:29-37
John 15:13
Romans 5:7-9
1 Timothy 5:8
James 2:15-17
James 4:17
1 John 4:10-11

1. How are we able to know that God loves us?

2. What does our text say we ought to be willing to do for the brethren?

3. What practical illustration is given to show the way love or its absence works between people?

4. Does God allow us to turn away from a needy person whom we could legitimately help?

1 John 3:18
My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

Related Scriptures
Matthew 21:28-31 (Jesus is speaking.)
John 14:15 (Jesus is speaking.)
1 Corinthians 13:1-13 (If you are using the King James Bible, remember that charity means love in this chapter.)
Philippians 1:12-17 (The Apostle Paul is writing.)
1 Peter 1:22

1. In what two ways are we told not to love?

2. In what two ways are we told to love?

3. The “Related Scriptures” section has two quotations from Jesus. Which of these two directly speaks to loving “in deed” or as we might say with our actions?

4. Who will know if we fake (feign) our love for God or others?

5. List several of the characteristics of true love from 1 Corinthians 13.

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