1 John 4:19-21
We love each other because he loved us first. If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their Christian brothers and sisters.
This verse makes it pretty simple: the proof of our Christianity is found in how we love one another. If we love God, how can we NOT love one another? When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was, He gave them two: Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself (Mth 22:37-39).
If you slip up once in a while and are unloving towards your parent, sibling, or child, that doesn't mean you aren't a Christian. However, if you do it over and over again and don’t recognize it as sin and don’t feel bad about it, your salvation may not be real. As this verse says, “…if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see?” It’s impossible to truly love God but not show love towards each other…it’s like trying to get apple juice out of a lemon.
So, it might be a good time to affirm your salvation, or perhaps, acquire it for the first time. Becoming a Christian isn't about a prayer – it’s about being changed by the incredible power of God’s love when you place your faith in Him as your Savior. Christians should love one another well and regularly, simply because God has loved us so much more!
APPLICATION: Talk about the things you can do that prove you are a Christian. Not merely the “what” you can do, but the “why” you would do it. When are we acting like Christ…and when are we not? Finally, go around the room and see if each of you can clearly explain what it takes to go to Heaven in your own words. Parents – make sure it isn't about “being a good person,” but about accepting God’s free gift of salvation, made possible through the forgiveness of sins by: confession, repentance, and turning to Jesus in faith.
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