We must have 100% love of God in us so we can have love for our fellowman. Our actions show if we have the love of God.
I John 3:18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
James 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
John was known as an apostle, as John the Revelator, and as John the evangelist. After John and his brother Andrew heard John the Baptist say of Jesus, “Behold the lamb of God,” they followed him.
John 1:35-40 Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! And the two disciples heard…and they followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned, and saw…and saith …What seek ye? They said…Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou? He saith…Come and see. They came…where he dwelt, and abode with him that day…One of the two…was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.
John and Andrew’s mother was Salome. She was the sister of Mary, Jesus’ mother. John and Andrew were Jesus’ cousins. James and John were partners with Peter as fishermen. They were not wealthy but were educated and had a business. They forsook all and followed Jesus. When we get saved we have a lot of things to forsake and that need to be refined.
Luke 5:1-11…as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret, And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen…were washing their nets. And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s…And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship. Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon answering…Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. And…they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. And they beckoned unto their partners…in the other ship…should come and help them. And they …filled both the ships, so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. And…brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.
The apostles needed refined or corrected. They argued about being the greatest in the kingdom. Jesus said whoever “shall humble himself as this little child” (Matthew 18:1-4). Some didn’t receive them so they asked should they “command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them.” Jesus rebuked them and said they didn’t know the “manner of spirit ye are of” (Luke 9:53-55). Some were casting out devils in Jesus’ name so the apostles forbid them. Jesus said, “Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us” (Luke 9:49-50). James and John were called sons of thunder and maybe were outspoken so needed refined. Refining doesn’t happen overnight. We don’t know our heart so need to ask God to search us.
Mark 3:17 And James…and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder:
John was 24 years old and James was 30 when they followed Jesus. James was killed when he was 44, at the same time Peter was put in prison by Herod (Acts 12:1-7). Peter and John followed Jesus to the palace when the soldiers took Jesus. John knew the high priest which shows that he had some wealth or he wouldn’t have known the high priest.
John 18:15 And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple: that disciple was known unto the high priest, and went in with Jesus into the palace of the high priest.
John was the only apostle at the foot of the cross with Jesus’ mother Mary and the other women. Jesus asked John to take care of Mary and she went to live with him and his mother.
John 19:25-27 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!…to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And…that disciple took her unto his own home.
John was the first apostle at the sepulcher after Jesus was arisen and the first to believe he had risen.
John 20:1-8 The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene…unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away… she runneth…to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith…They have taken away the Lord… we know not where they have laid him…So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre…looking in, saw the linen clothes lying…Then cometh Simon Peter…went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie…Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.
John stayed at Jerusalem for a while. He and Peter left to pray for the Samaritans to receive the Holy Ghost.
Acts 8:14-17…the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them…Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.
John was there when Peter (14 years after his conversion) came to Jerusalem for a disagreement about circumcising Gentiles. John, James, and Peter gave the right hand of fellowship to Paul and recognized that he’d been sent to help the Gentiles.
Galatians 2:1-9 Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem…and communicated…that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them…because of false brethren…who came in privily to spy out our liberty…that they might bring us into bondage: To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour…But of these…added nothing to me: But…saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me…James, Cephas, and John…perceived the grace…given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen…
John wrote John, I John, II John, III John, and Revelation. His focus was to show the love of God. He taught that we can’t dislike anyone if we have the love of God. We can dislike their actions but need to genuinely love everyone.
I John 2:4-6 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar…But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected…He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
I John 2:9-10 He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.
God has to be ideally first in our life. Lust for the world isn’t part of the love of God. Lust is a longing, craving, eagerness to enjoy. Any pleasure, desire, or interest that makes us forget God, makes him less, or puts him in second place is worldly.
I John 2:15-17 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh…lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
Our actions need to show love to our neighbors. We’re just a bunch of noise if we have no actions to show our love.
I John 3:14-18 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer…Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life…we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso…seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion…dwelleth the love of God in him?…let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed…
If we have all faith and great works but don’t show love, we’re nothing. Our works can’t be for our own personal gain. It’s the wrong motivation. Our works show in our actions by our longsuffering, patience, and kindness.
I Corinthians 13:1-4 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have…all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing…Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not…vaunteth not itself…
Pride is not part of the love of God. Pride only displays the flesh or how important we are.
I Corinthians 13:4 (Amplified Bible) Love endures with patience and serenity, love is kind and thoughtful, and is not jealous or envious; love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant.
God doesn’t want to act like everything is ours. God wants us to give him everything and put things on the altar. He doesn’t want us to fight for our rights, be touchy, resentful, or defending ourselves. God handles problems when we need defended.
I Corinthians 13:5-8 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but…truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth…
(Notes from the Mature Class Bible Study, teacher Edith Tolbert)