Biblical Love #2

Faith Church August 22, 1992

- 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
    Christianity 101
      - 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
          grows
            - 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
              facts
            - 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
                  more knowledgeable
                - the goal is that we all be take measurable
                  steps of growth to become more pleasing to
                  God.
                - 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
                      spiritually
      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
           subject.

- 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
   RIGHT DIRECTION.
      - 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
    life?)
      (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
       thyself.)

- 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
          office?
      - 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
   week)

- let's go to the Scripture now and try to answer the
   question:

III. How Important Is Biblical Love?

    Love is:

    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
                       attributes?

                 - 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
                     Christ
                   - stable, able to stand up to false
                     doctrine
                       - 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-
        14)

    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
         has?)

(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
            doing this?

    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

Faith Church