Biblical Love #2
- I'd like to begin our time this morning by "coming up for
air" and talking about where we are in this series on
Basic Bible Truths
- for almost a year now, we've been trying to study those
topics that are most important for a believer in Christ to
know about and be applying.
- it's the basics - we've referred to it often as
- it's imperative for new believers to "get these
concepts down" and its helpful for all of us to
review them and sharpen our walk with the Lord
- we've talked about some very important issues
- 1) assurance of salvation - knowing for sure that
you're on your way to heaven.
2) growth - progressive - how a person changes and
- that’s one of the things that's set this series
off from some of the more traditional
approaches to discipleship.
- we're not talking about stuffing our heads with
- we're talking about taking God's truth and
applying it to everyday life.
- the goal of SS isn't to make us smarter or
- the goal is that we all be take measurable
steps of growth to become more pleasing to
- that’s the way we ought to evaluate how
things are going in our class.
- not, are we growing numerically -
though that’s nice
- but the issue is - are we growing
3) God's Word - the important place that ought to have
in each believer's life.
4) Prayer - and I trust each of us has taken steps of
growth in that critical area.
5) Church - and how the local church is central to
God's plan and program.
6) How to clear our consciences - the importance of
confessing sin to God and others.
7) Communication and taming our tongues - and hopefully
each of us is working on that area.
8) Witnessing - and how to tell others about our Lord.
9) The Holy Spirit - and what the Bible says about that
- the bottom line is this - Sure, there's a lot of other
important things in God's Word -- but if every person in
our class, and every person in our church, is actively and
aggressively seeking to implement these Basic Bible Truths
we've been studying--THEN WE"RE GOING TO BE HEADING IN THE
- over time, individually and corporately we'll be able
to see definite change and growth.
- now, it's no mistake that this series of lessons concludes
with the study of Biblical love.
- it's not at all like we were sitting around the office
trying to come up with one more topic to make a total of
13 lessons and we were completely out of material so we
said--"Well, let's just do something on biblical love--
that will be good filler!"
- we consider this subject one of the key issues in the
Christian life--and it definitely ranks right up there
with the other subjects I've mentioned as ones that every
believer in Christ must be working on.
- INPUT - why is that true? (Why is it true that growing in
biblical love is such an important part of the believers
(one reason - it sums up all the commandments - thou
shalt love the lord thy God with all thy heart, soul,
mind, and strength--and shall love thy neighbor as
- key question we're asking this morning is: "Are you growing
in biblical love?"
- not - are you more loving than the guy in the next
- surely not - are a "great lover" by the world's
standard or definition?
- but as you think about your life 5 years ago, 3 years
ago, last year--"Are you growing in biblical love?"
- and how would your spouse answer that question,
children, co-workers, etc.?
(pass out handouts to anyone that doesn't have one from last
- let's go to the Scripture now and try to answer the
III. How Important Is Biblical Love?
A. one of God's attributes - I John 4:8
- INPUT - why should that make a difference--why
should we be more motivated to grow in this area
because of this verse?
- theologians often speak about God's attributes as
being "communicable" and "incommunicable"
- communicable - can be found in a limited and
relative sense in man
- incommunicable - can be possessed by God alone
- INPUT - some of God's incommunicable
- some of God's communicable ones?
B. Expressed in Christ's work on Calvary - I Jn. 4:9
C. of God and born of God - I John 4:7
- therefore we don't have to "womp it up" or go
looking for it
- God has created love and exemplified love--the
question is - are we going to choose to be more
loving by sacrificing more the needs of others?
D. Essential to spiritual growth - Eph. 4:16
- INPUT - why is Eph. 4:11-16 important and what are
some of the important truths found there?
- purpose - that we be edifying one another
- goal - measure of the stature and fullness of
- stable, able to stand up to false
- cf. the Mormon church
- functioning well together as a body
- point is - this will only be accomplished by
members who are growing in love (v. 15, 16)
- let me just ask you to think about that for
a minute - are you a loving church member?
- is your life having the kind of impact
that's described in these verses?
INPUT - what are some ways a person can show
love in the church?
(hit issue of love when there's a
problem, when there's sin - ministry of
the team leaders)
(develop - growth doesn't take place in
some etherial way - growth takes place by
allowing the Bible to work on our minds
and hearts so that we'll be taking steps
to please Him)
- do you need to take some steps of
growth in this area?
E. The badge of discipleship - John 13:34, 35
F. A witness of Christ's incarnation - John 17:23
- cf the Living Nativity - that's one way to
demonstrate our belief that God truly sent His
Son into the world to see for our sin
- there's more to Christmas than trees and gifts
- that’s an important message and the Living
Nativity is a great way of getting it across-
- but this verse is saying that that message
can be communicated 365 days a year.
- see, do others look at the way you live and say--he is
living for someone other than himself. He really believes
that Jesus is God, and that Jesus died for our sins and
rose from the dead, he believes that Jesus is alive--he
doesn't even have to open his mouth to show that that's
what he believes.
G. Directly related to God's commands - Jn. 14:21, 15:10-
H. Commanded to husbands - Eph. 5:25
- INPUT - why do you think God especially singled
out this issue when he was talking to men about
their relationship with their wives?
- INPUT - what are some ways men can be selfish?
I. Taught to wives - Titus 2:4
- INPUT - This verse brings a lot of hope. Why is
that true? (can't say - because of my
background, I'll just never be a loving person)
J. Commanded to all - I John 4:11
K. Able to overcome evil - Rom. 12:20, 21
L. Able to defeat fear - I John 4:18
- the obvious point that we're trying to make is - this
subject is very, very important to our Lord.
- INPUT -what question do we need to ask ourselves, then, as
a result of studying this point?
(have I given this vital subject the priority God
(cf. counseling - folks who have put all kinds of other
things as the priority--then as they achieve those things
- no satisfaction -- marital problems)
- now let's talk about some practical steps we cab take to
grow in this area:
IV. What Does It Mean To Grow In Love?
A. Love God and His commandments - Jn. 14:21, 15:10,
I Jn. 5:3
- INPUT - what would be some evidences of a person
B. Sacrifice yourself for others - Phil. 2:3,4,
Rom. 12:20, 21, Eph. 5:1,2
C. Speak the truth in love - Eph. 4:15, 29
D. Perform loving deeds and actions as well as to speak
kind words - I Jn. 3:18
E. Learn the blessing of giving - Acts 20:35
F. Serve for God's glory - Eph. 4:16, Prov. 6:6-8
G. Say, "Please forgive me," and "I forgive you." - Eph.
4:32, James 4;6
H. Confront others - Gal. 6:1
I. Know that you are never unloved - Rom. 8:38, 39
J. Overcome selfishness and its emptiness - Gal. 5:19-23