Gospel of John [20:19]. Christ's Resurrection, part 35 (fellowship with Christ and the Father - Agape).

Class Outline:

Title: Gospel of John [20:19]. Christ's Resurrection, part 35 (fellowship with Christ and the Father - Agape).


Announcements/opening prayer:



1JO 4:19 We love, because He first loved us.


1JO 4:20 If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.


The statement expanded would be to say, "I fellowship with God," while the person hates his brother. This person is a liar per 1JO 1:6. Love for God in fellowship with God is the only way that agape love can flow to our visible brother in Christ. If he does not agape love his brother he does not fellowship with God whom he is not seeing.


1JO 4:21 And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.


The Lord told His disciples that if they loved Him they would keep His commandments, JOH 14:15. He laid down as His new and chief commandment that they should love one another as He loved them, so that everyone would know that they were truly His disciples, JOH 13:34. Similarly in this letter John has already emphasized that brotherly love characterizes the children of God.


When Adam and the woman fell Christ came to them. He announced the curses upon them and the earth as a result of their fall, but He also announced salvation and clothed them. He came to them as unsaved sinners. He came for them. He came to both Cain and Able; to Cain knowing what was in his heart, warning him, admonishing him. God does what He does for each individual, for them in particular, and not because He sees something good in them. Another example is Abram. What was he when God came to him but a worshipper of other gods like his father Terah, JOS 24:2. The total depravity of man excludes anything good in any person. This is agape and it is that very divine love that is within each believer and in that way he is to agape every person, for them, and not for any other reason. It is not shared because we see God in them or them in eternity or because of any other reason than God's agape has been poured into us through Jesus Christ our Lord.


1CO 1:9

God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.


EPH 2:13

But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.


2TH 2:13

 But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.


2TI 1:9

who has saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity


1PE 2:9

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light


God's love is the very love that we love our neighbor with. There is no other variety of agape that the agape that is God.


EPH 5:1-2

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.


To hate one's brother [fellow believer] is to proclaim one's kinship to Cain the murderer.


In this passage John is exclusively talking about love for the brethren.


1JO 3:10 By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love [agape] his brother.


The preposition is the same as in 1JO 4:13.


By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of [ek tou - out of] His Spirit.


"not of God" - ek tou = not out from God. He may be a believer but he does not abide with God so his thinking and deed are not out from God.


1JO 3:11 For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning [upper room], that we should love one another;


1JO 3:12 not as Cain, who was of the evil one, and slew his brother.


1JO 3:13 Do not marvel, brethren, if the world hates you.


1JO 3:14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides [fellowships] in death.


1JO 3:15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer [mental attitude of Cain]; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding [fellowshipping] in him.


1JO 3:16 We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.


1JO 3:17 But whoever has the world's goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?


Such a sacrifice is not remotely of the same magnitude as Christ laying down His life, but yet it is a manifestation of the agape love that accomplished it.


1JO 3:18 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.


He is not excluding words, but that the expression of God's love is not in words only. Christ stated that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, and it didn't stop with His words alone, but the deed was done as well.


1JO 3:19 We shall know by this that we are of the truth, and shall assure our heart before Him,


1JO 3:20 in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.

"condemns" - kataginw,skw[kataginosko] = literally: to know something against. It is to know something in my heart that is against God.


This is not the same word that is used for condemnation in ROM 8:1 that states there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. That word is katakrino which means to judge against. This word simply means identifying thoughts in the heart that are against God.


Ginosko means to come to know. The verb oida means to know intrinsically, but that word is not used here. We would use oida for the fact that we are sinners. We all intrinsically know that, but this is to come to know that I have opposing thoughts to God or that I have had opposing thoughts when learning about the command to agape my neighbor.


Professor Wilbur Smith is helpful here.


"The foregoing exhortation may have awakened a misgiving in our minds: 'Am I as loving as I ought?' Our failures in duty and service rise up before us, and 'our heart condemns us.'


John states this because of the magnitude of the command to love as God loves. This awakens a condemnation in us that we have not loved in such a way. John would have felt the same way since none of us are excluded from failure in this greatest of all areas of God's virtue. John saw it when he first saw the resurrected Christ. John returned to the cross but he scattered from the Lord in fear at His arrest just as the rest of them did. Yet as John found comfort so he follows this by a reassurance that is of God's love for us which made the reassurance possible through the blood of Christ.


So the apostle furnishes a grand reassurance: We shall know by this that we are of the truth, and shall assure our heart before Him, in whatever our heart condemns us (fill in the blank); for God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.


The reassurance may at first seem odd. It is that God is greater than our heart and in whatever our heart condemns us has been known to God for eternity.


The reassurance is twofold:


(1) The worst that is in us is known to God, and still He cares for us and desires us. Our discovery has been an open secret to Him all along.


God is not shocked. Not only has He seen any failure from eternity but He has judged His Son for all failures.


PRO 20:27

The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord,

Searching all the innermost parts of his being.


1PE 5:7

casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you.


(2) He reads everything — sees the deepest things, and these are the real things.


God doesn't give us a superficial once over and ignore the deepest darkest parts of us. It is true that He doesn't look upon your sin and iniquity, but that is so as to not judge them. He certainly sees all. He knows us fully, and more than we know ourselves. The question for the believer is when is he going to be ok with God seeing all and as such, when will he be ok with God revealing those things to him so as to not lie to himself any longer and to lay them aside and hunger and thirst for righteousness? When will he stop hiding from God and know that all things should be laid bare and open to Him, since they already are?