"THE GOSPEL OF JOHN"
By This All Will Know (John 13:34-35)
1. How is the world to know that we are truly disciples of Christ,
members of His body?
a. Is it by the name we wear?
b. Is it by having the right doctrine, organization, worship, etc.?
2. It is certainly important to have all these things; but if we
a. That by these things alone we are truly the disciples of Jesus
b. That by these things alone the world will know we are Christ’s
…then we are sadly mistaken!
3. Shortly before His crucifixion, Jesus identified a key mark of
a. He gave what He called "a new commandment" – Jn 13:34
b. It was a command to "love one another" – ibid
c. He said "by this all will know" who were His disciples – Jn 13:35
Love – Strong’s #25; Grk: AGAPAO (ag-ap-ah’-o) to love (in a social
or moral sense); [comp. #5368 PHILEO (fil-eh’-o) to be a friend
to (fond of [an individual or an object]; i.e. have affection
for (denoting personal attachment, as a matter of sentiment or
4. Love (respect and care for) one another is how people will know
that we are truly the disciples of Jesus…
a. Do we know what kind of love that is?
b. How do we develop that kind of love?
c. How do we demonstrate this love?
5. How is this compared to worldly people?
a. Fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil desire or
lust, covetousness, which is idolatry Col 3:5
b. Anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication Col 3:8
c. Witchcraft, hatred, variance, strife, murders, drunkenness,
revellings Gal 5:19-20
[In this study we want to encourage the kind of love Jesus commands of
us, so that "By This All Will Know" that we are truly His disciples!
Let’s begin with…]
I. THIS LOVE DEFINED
A. IT IS A NEW KIND OF LOVE…
1. There had always been the love of family, friends, etc.
2. The OT taught to "love your neighbor as yourself" – Lev 19:18
3. But Jesus said, "A new commandment I give to you, that you
love one another" – Jn 13:34
a. This is not simply a command to love friend or family
b. But a command to respect everyone, near and far, friend or foe
— Jesus is calling us to a new and higher standard of love!
B. IT IS A SACRIFICIAL LOVE…
1. What kind of love does Jesus command?
a. "as I have loved you, that you also love another"
b. It is a love patterned after Jesus’ love for us
— This is what makes it a new and higher standard of love!
2. The love Jesus had for us can be summarized in one word:
a. As Jesus explained in Jn 15:13
b. As John wrote in 1 Jn 3:16-18
c. As Paul commanded in Eph 5:1-2
3. It was this kind of love manifested by the first disciples of
Jesus, as evidenced by:
a. The church in Jerusalem – Acts 2:44-45
b. The churches in Macedonia – 2 Cor 8:1-5
C. IT IS A VISIBLE LOVE…
1. By such love Jesus declared "all will know that you are My
disciples" – Jn 13:35
a. The implication is that such love will be visible and
b. And visible by ALL, not just by brethren!
2. To be a visible love, requires a love…
a. That goes beyond the four walls of the church building
b. That extends beyond the few hours we are assembled together
c. That can be observed by those of the world and in the world
— The world needs opportunities to see Christ’s disciples in action,
as they demonstrate a love that is patterned after Jesus’ love
[Being a "warm and friendly church" while assembled is commendable, but
it alone does not fulfill the command to have a new, sacrificial, and
visible love patterned after the love of Jesus!
If we wish to manifest this kind of love in our lives, where do we
II. THIS LOVE DEVELOPED
A. WE ARE TAUGHT BY GOD…
1. The Thessalonians excelled in this love – 1 Th 4:9-10
2. For they had been "taught by God to love one another"
3. Certainly God’s own love for us teaches us how to love
– cf. 1 Jn 4:9-11
— Think of the Father’s own sacrificial love for us, in sending
His Son to be the propitiation for our sins!
B. WE LEARN FROM JESUS…
1. Jesus’ own example of sacrifice teaches the true meaning of
love – 1 Jn 3:16
2. The more we contemplate upon the example of Jesus’ life and
death, the more likely we will love like He did!
C. WE ARE TO BE STIRRED UP BY BRETHREN…
1. We are to stir one another to love and good works – Heb 10:24
2. An important means of doing this is by frequent assembling
– Heb 10:25
— Perhaps one reason why some don’t love as they should, is
because they don’t assemble like they should!
[Through careful study of the Father’s love for us, the Savior’s love
for us, and through frequent assembling where we stir up another to
love and good works, we can develop the kind of love "By Which All Will
Know" we are Jesus’ disciples. Finally, a thought or two about…]
III. THIS LOVE DEMONSTRATED
A. IN OUR ASSEMBLY…
1. When we are assembled and have guests, we have an opportunity
to demonstrate our love for one another
2. What do our guests see? Do they see Christians who…
a. Are glad to see one another?
b. Are willing to take the time to visit with each other?
c. Even know each other’s name?
— Our assemblies may be the only time some guests have the
opportunity to see Christians interact; do they see an evident
love and concern for one another?
B. IN OUR COMMUNITY…
1. We often have the opportunity to be together in ways that
others can see…
a. Perhaps we work with other Christians
b. Or we have neighbors that are Christians
c. Or we gather to visit, or do things together
2. What do those in the world see? Do they see an interaction
a. Reveals a respect and appreciation for one another?
b. Shows a sincere interest in each other’s well-being?
3. Where there are differences, do we handle them as Christians?
Or with anger and suspicion, the way the world does?
a. Christians will often sin against one another, offend one
b. But are we long-suffering, with a quickness to forgive,
even as Christ forgave us? – cf. Eph 4:32; Col 3:13
1. Jesus has revealed a powerful tool to persuade the world that we are
a. Certainly we show our discipleship by faithfulness to His
doctrine – cf. Jn 8:32
b. But in a world that cares little for doctrinal distinctiveness,
a Christ-like love for one another is how Jesus would have us
convince the world! – cf. Jn 13:34-35
2. How is your love for your brother in Christ?
a. Is it Christ-like, i.e., a sacrificial love?
b. Is it observable, i.e., do people see your brotherly love in our
assemblies and community?
3. If you admit your love for your brethren needs work (and we all can
a. Look to God and Jesus as the ultimate teachers of what it means
to love one another
b. Utilize opportunities to be with brethren
1) Which provides occasions to grow and display your love
2) Which can serve to stir you to love and good works – cf. Heb 10:24-25
"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as
I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all
will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one
another." (Jn 13:34-35)
"Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another."
(1 Jn 4:11)