Go to“Summer of Love” // 1 John 3:1-24 ministy at a specific location.
or view all locations .

“Summer of Love” // 1 John 3:1-24

Mary Ellen Ermis July 3, 2022 Devotionals, sermons, 1 John, cityrise, houston, Roger Patterson, Summer of Love, West U Baptist,

The following is a manuscript of the sermon presented by Senior Pastor Dr. Roger Patterson on Sunday, July 3, 2022 at our West U Baptist Church campus. To view the sermon in full, check out the link below.

July 4th…Independence Day weekend.  It’s a time for bbq and gathering with friends and family.

Speaking of family get togethers…  what are your family get togethers like?

If you’re like most people, it’s a bit chaotic… kids.. Noise… food… drama… It’s just what family get togethers are.

Drew Holcomb’s song “Family”-   Listen to his lyrics…

You don’t choose em,

you can’t lose em;

We all have a song to sing; 

Some are crazy,

some are amazing;

they All got a little bit of everything.” 

Boy, he nailed that one, didn’t he? Every family has some blessings in it.  And Every family has issues in it, right?!

Every family has a little bit of crazy… a little bit of drama…  but we are family!

And we keep getting together, and through it all we love each other because family is family.


Mother Teresa: “If you want to bring happiness to the whole world, go home and love your family.”

Mother Teresa knew something that we must know.  She knew that changing the world starts at home and it accomplished through love.

The Apostle John, as he writes to the churches he has heavily invested in, uses the picture of the family and God as our Father, to help us understand his call to love.

Review…summer of love… recall John’s big themes are that God is light and God is love.

And He is calling us to walk in the light and to walk in love. Week by week, we are learning more and more about God’s love for us and our love for each other.  Today’s passage is no exception.

1 John 3:1-24 – and we are going to take it a section at a time. Please note that there is a lot in here and we aren’t going to be able to handle every point from every verse. No, instead, let’s look at this chapter from a high level…Here is my simple outline for you.

Three truths about being a part of the family of God…

  1. We are adopted into God’s family.
  2. We should each have a family resemblance.
  3. There is a lot of love in this family.

Let’s look at this first truth in verses 1-3…

I. We are adopted into God’s Family (v. 1-3)

1 John 3:1-3

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.

We are adopted into God’s family – I love where he says, “We are called children of God…and so we are… But notice how he starts out.

  • See what kind of love…” “See how great (NIV)”
  • GK- potapen, — this adjective only occurs in the New Testament 7 times and always implies ASTONISHMENT and carries with it a sense of ADMIRATION.

The adjective originally meant “of what country…”

John Stott says…

“The idea behind this is that the Father’s love is so unearthly, so foreign to this world, that John wonders from what country or what place it could possible come from.”

John gives us a visible, tangible illustration here of how much God loves us…  ADOPTION! “We are called children of God, and so we are!” vs. 1 …and then in verse 2, “We are God’s children now!”

 The rest of the NT concurs in John’s proclamation here:

Ephesians 1:4-6  

even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.

John 1:12

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,

On this Independence Day weekend, we celebrate our nation. We celebrate our citizenship, if you have it. It is the greatest country in the world. Do we have our problems? We certainly do. Do we have our challenges? Yes.

But if you were born here, you are a citizen. You have been given a birthright that people all over the world long for. And that birthright is FREEDOM!

In the same way that you were born with a birthright of freedom if you were born in the United States, when you place your faith in Jesus Christ, you are born into the family of God.

You are born of the Spirit. You are adopted into God’s family. You move from an orphan to a place of being a daughter or a son.

And John 1:12 tells us that it is those who believe on His name that are the ones who are called children of God.

Galatians 3:26 tells us that it is those who come to Christ in faith who are the children of God.

Galatians 3:26

…for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.

It’s through faith…it’s believing that Jesus is God’s son who died for you and rose again, and it is placing your faith in his work on the cross to pay the just penalty for your sin.

Before we came to Christ…

  • we had no spiritual family,
  • we had no divine rights,
  • we had no spiritual inheritance,
  • we had no divine sonship,
  • we had no spiritual home,
  • we had no place at the table…

But now in Christ, we have a family…

Mephibosheth’s story in the OT…

Mephibosheth was the son of Jonathan, the grandson of King Saul. He was to be king one day.

But because of Saul’s sin, Jonathan and his line lost the right to be king of Israel.

You may or may not know what happened to Mephibosheth…but it’s a sad story. Mephibosheth became a cripple when he was just five years old.

At the death of King Saul and his son Jonathan, Mephibosheth’s nurse heard of their death and took the boy and fled. The thought was to get him to safety, in case anyone came to kill him. As she was fleeing to take him to safety, she fell. And in her haste, he too fell and his got injured in such a way that he was crippled for the rest of His life.

And for many years, Mephibosheth lived in isolation.

But David remembered his covenant with Jonathan to bless his household forever.

Let’s pick up the story in 2 Samuel 9.

2 Samuel 9:1-13

And David said, “Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” Now there was a servant of the house of Saul whose name was Ziba, and they called him to David. And the king said to him, “Are you Ziba?” And he said, “I am your servant.”And the king said, “Is there not still someone of the house of Saul, that I may show the kindness of God to him?” Ziba said to the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan; he is crippled in his feet.” The king said to him, “Where is he?” And Ziba said to the king, “He is in the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, at Lo-debar.” Then King David sent and brought him from the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, at Lo-debar. And Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan, son of Saul, came to David and fell on his face and paid homage. And David said, “Mephibosheth!” And he answered, “Behold, I am your servant.” And David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan, and I will restore to you all the land of Saul your father, and you shall eat at my table always.” And he paid homage and said, “What is your servant, that you should show regard for a dead dog such as I?”

Then the king called Ziba, Saul’s servant, and said to him, “All that belonged to Saul and to all his house I have given to your master’s grandson.10 And you and your sons and your servants shall till the land for him and shall bring in the produce, that your master’s grandson may have bread to eat. But Mephibosheth your master’s grandson shall always eat at my table.” Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants. 11 Then Ziba said to the king, “According to all that my lord the king commands his servant, so will your servant do.” So Mephibosheth ate at David’s[a] table, like one of the king’s sons. 12 And Mephibosheth had a young son, whose name was Mica. And all who lived in Ziba’s house became Mephibosheth’s servants. 13 So Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, for he ate always at the king’s table. Now he was lame in both his feet.

What a clear picture of the Gospel!!

David loved Mephibosheth’s father, Jonathan and had committed to always show him kindness and faithfulness.

And here we have a crippled man who gets brought to the king, not just to visit, but to live and whose grandfather’s land is restored to him…

And remember, this grandfather was the man hunting David’s life for many years…

And he doesn’t just have him eat at his table, but he builds him a glorious future.

Friends, because we are in Christ, we are in God’s family! And when you are in God’s family, you have a glorious future! (Vs. 2b-3)

Notice this in 1 John 3:2b-3.

1 John 3:2b-3

…and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.

Mephibosheth had a great promotion! But here is what is true: An even higher status awaits the children of God! We have some inkling now of what life is like in the family of God, but we cannot even comprehend what it will be like when Christ returns and we enter into our final and future hope in God’s family.

What’s this second principle about the love of God and being a part of His family?

Three truths about being a part of the family of God…

  1. We are adopted into God’s family.
  2. We should each have a family resemblance.
  3. There is a lot of love in this family.

II. We should each have a family resemblance. (v 4-10)

In most cases, it’s not hard to spot who’s related to who because they look alike.

Families Resemble Each Other

In vs 4-10, John is saying, “if you’re in God’s family, your life ought to look like it!” 

Look at these verses together.  Some strong language here and a clear message!

1 John 3:4-10

Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God. 10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.

Notice the language in verses 5-7…

  • Makes a Practice
  • Keeps on Sinning
  • Practices Righteousness

What are you practicing?  What are you continuing in?

This is the idea of habitual. It is your practice and lifestyle to live in sin. That’s the point John is making here.

He already told us that you can’t say that you won’t sin…remember chapter 1.

But if you make it your practice to flippantly go against God’s commandments and live in sin, then you don’t belong to him.

Verse 5 says, “He appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin.”

Verse 8 – “…The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.”

Now look at verses 9-10 as John is saying we can tell who’s family you’re in by how you act…

1 John 3:9-10

No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.

country music often talks about the “chip off the ole block” concept…

“He’s mine” by Rodney Atkins-

“I said, he’s mine that one,

Got a wild-hair side and Then some,

There’s no surprise what he’s done,

He’s ever last bit of my old man’s son,

If you knew me then, There’d be no question in your mind,

You know he’s mine.”

What family does your life look like? The family of God, or the family of the world?   What family resemblance do you have?

  • If we are in Christ’s family, all of our lives should carry a resemblance of Christ!
  • We demonstrate our christ-likeness when we resist sin and we pursue righteousness.

1 Peter 2:24

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

We are called to:

  • Die to sin…   the power of sin is broken on the cross!
  • Live to righteousness…  we have a new nature and new desires…
  • Our most important task every day is to look a little more like Jesus!

If you are in Christ, you should have a family resemblance.

Let’s look at this third principle about being a part of the family of God.

III. There’s a lot of Love in this Family. (vs. 11-24)

1 John 3:11

For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.

Remember the Mother Teresa Quote?

John says…“This is the message!” —  Love is the message.

  • Cain’s bad example (vs. 12-15)
    • Cain’s fundamental problem was a lack of love.
    • Cain was warned by God, “Sin is crouching at the door.”
    • A loveless heart is fertile soil for every manner of evil to grow in!
    • A lack of love is at the root of all sin toward another person.
  • Christ’s great example (vs. 16-18)

1 John 3:16-18

By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

David Hiebert says…

“Since one’s life is an individual’s most precious possession, Christ’s willingness to lay down his life on behalf of others constitutes the greatest possible expression of love.”

We are called to follow Christ’s example in tangible ways in meeting needs and demonstrating love. And we are to do this with one another first.  We are to love each other deeply first and foremost.

Then, we are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Loving others through the Great Commandment helps us gain the audience to share the gospel and fulfill the Great Commission.

So, we have Christ’s example of what love looks like and we are called to love one another.

So, how do we do this?

Let me give you three words…

  1. Believe
  2. Dwell
  3. Walk

Look at verse 23-24 and we will be done.

1 John 3:23-24

And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. 24 Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.

Believe – believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ.  Have you taken Christ as Your Savior? Come experience God’s Love. Come and receive his love and forgiveness. Put your trust and faith in Him.

Dwell – The word here is Abide. It means to remain, to be found there.  Sit with our Lord and learn from him. See his ways. Allow him to shape your character to look more like him…remember, we are to resemble him. So, sit with him so He can fill you up.

Walk – Walk with His Spirit. Walk with Him. Listen for his voice so that He can pour out His love through you to others.

Good news- there’s a lot of love in this family!  It’s commanded. It’s insisted upon.

Do you want to change the world? Love your family!  Your family and home, and your family at church!