Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: https://sothrichfield.podbean.com/
John 15:9-15 (NIV)
9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 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.
Yesterday’s sermon studied an important theme within 1st John 3:16-24, how we can have the assurance of salvation, a rock solid confidence, even when the world or our own hearts judge us. That wasn’t the only thing John taught in that section. Verses 16 to 24 covered many vital themes of faith. Every one of them is actually referring to a teaching that John covered in the Gospel of John. This week we will walk through 1 John 3:16-24, and listen to all of the similar passages in the Gospel of John and elsewhere. This will give us a robust understanding of these important teachings.
In 1 John 3:16, we learned that because Jesus laid down his life for us, we ought to lay down our lives for one another. As we compare this to John 15:9-16, we see this teaching expanded. Our giving our lives to one another is a part of Jesus’ goal to complete our joy. Doing these, moves us from being Jesus’ servants to Jesus’ friends. Now obviously, we can die for somebody else only once, and that would be a rare, emergency occasion. However, we can die in a figurative sense every day. Take something as simple as carefully listening to somebody else. To do that, we need to die to our desire to control the conversation, get what we want, etc. A lot of times, it is more difficult for us to let our ego die than our body! So let Christ’s death for you, especially how he gave up his ego to serve us, inspire you to live for others.