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New Testament Sunday School Lesson 44: "God Is Love"

C. What is the third way mentioned by John in which we show our love for the Father and the Son?
He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes (2:10, 11).
For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another . . . We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death . . . 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?  My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth (3:11, 14, 16-18).

If we claim to love the Father and the Son, but do not love our brothers, what does John say we are?

If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also (1 John 4:20, 21).

What are some of the ways we are instructed to show our love for our brothers?

John wrote: "For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another"  (1 John 3:11; see also 1 John 4:21). 

Note that it is not enough to declare our love.  Words are wonderful, but when works are needed, words will not supply their place.  When the handcart pioneers were stranded on the frozen plains of Wyoming, the Saints no doubt prayed for them, but in addition, they sent wagons to the rescue.  That is the kind of love we must be willing to offer.  John wrote, "My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth" (1 John 3:18, emphasis added).

There is a great difference between saying "I love you" and living "I love you." What is one of the great evidences that we have passed from death into life?

We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death (1 John 3:14).

 How much love should we have for our brethren?

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 (1 John 3:16).

What activities are suggested in D&C 123:13 that are comparable to laying down our lives

Therefore, that we should waste and wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness, wherein we know them; and they are truly manifest from heaven (D&C 123:13).

How do these endeavors manifest our love for our brethren?

Besides exposing the "hidden things of darkness" to those around us, what other things must we offer if we are partakers of this love?

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? (1 John 3:17).
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.  He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.  (1 John 4:7, 8)


CONCLUSION:

What are the blessings of living in a family whose members love one another as they have been taught?  John indicates that there are blessings if we learn to love as the Father and the Son love.  Note the blessings the following verses promise:

  • 1 John 3:21 — Confidence toward God
  • 1 John 4:17 — Boldness in the day of judgement
  • 1 John 4:18 — There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear

What does John indicate is the greatest joy of a righteous parent?

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth (3 John 1:4).

This verse suggests that you have the opportunity to bring great joy to the Father.  What must you do?

Will you do it?