Last week we looked at one of the cautions John gave concerning fellowship. In v1-6 we were warned concerning lying spirits, and tonight we want to consider the true and loving spirit. Once again John returns to his favorite topic of discussion, love.
I. Concerning a True and Loving Spirit. v7-21
A. Love is the believerís identification mark. [7-11]
1. The exhortation. v7
a. "Beloved..." this is our position, we are loved by God.
b. "...Let us love one another..." this is our responsibility toward other members of the family.
c. "...Everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God"...
d. This is our characteristic or our identification mark.
2. The Explanation. v8
a. "God is love"
b. God can be known by those whose lives are characterized by love.
c. However, we could not know how, nor be able to love without knowing God.
d. He is the essence of love.
3. The Expression of love. v9-10
a. God sent His Son as a manifestation of His love for us.
b. He sent Christ that we might have life.
c. He loved us and sent the Son to be the propitiation (satisfactory payment) for our sins.
d. He loved us FIRST.
4. The Example of love. v11
a. God loved us therefore;
b. We ought to love one another: following our example in Christ.
c. Since God loves us, then we ought to love one another.
B. Love is the believerís assurance. [12-16]
1. Love evidences Godís presence. v12
a. No man hath seen God at anytime.
b. God is love.
c. How can the world know that truth?
d. When we love one another we manifest His love and His presence.
2. Love evidences Godís presence within the believer. v13-16
a. We know we dwell in Him and He in us.
b. He has given us of His Spirit. Romans 8:16, "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:"
c. He has given us His Son to be Savior.
d. God dwells within those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God.
e. To live a life filled with love is to live a life filled with the presence of God.
C. Love is the believerís confidence. 
1. The believer who has practiced love during his earthly life will be able to approach the judgment seat of Christ without any shame.
2. Love like Christ is the basis for this confidence.
D. Love is the believerís comfort. 
1. There is no fear in love.
a. Love Ďcasteth out fearí
b. They do not exist together
2. This is not reverential fear such as fear of the Lord...
3. This is fright and terror of judgment or punishment.
4. Perfect (or mature) love does away with that sort of fear.
5. The love of God, lived out and experienced in the believerís life brings comfort.
E. Love is the believerís commandment. [19-21]
1. We love because we were loved first by Him.
2. Our walk must be in accordance with our talk.
3. Remember: Godís presence is manifested in the life of the believer.
4. If we do not love our brothers in Christ then we do not love God.
5. And we have been commanded by our Lord to love one another.
In this chapter John has contrasted the Ďlying false spirití with the Ďtrue and loving spirití. He has reminded us that love is the believerís identification mark, the believerís assurance, the believerís confidence, the believerís comfort, and the believerís commandment.
Jesus said, "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." (Jn. 13:35) What kind of Ďspirití do we display to this lost and dying world?