Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Imperative of Christian Love

Temple Baptist Church - 10-14-2015
2 John 5-6


A.  Have you noticed how much the Bible says about loving one another in light of the apostasy of our times and the Second Coming of our Lord?  In a context of apostasy and the eminent return of our Lord, we find the commandment of brotherly love or charity.

1.  Charity is a gift of love that God gives to His children.  James 1:17  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turnin

2.  Love or, in this case, charity is given to God’s children in the person of the Holy Ghost in salvation.  Romans 5:5  And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

3.  Charity is the greatest of the three remaining gifts of 1 Corinthians 12-13.  1 Corinthians 12:31 – 13:13  But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way…And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”

B.  In today’s world, love has been redefined by society.  The greatest definition of love is found in John 3:16:  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”  (Love here is defined as devotion to the mankind that God created and giving His best for their salvation.)

C.  Biblical love is devotion, not an emotion.  I thank the Lord for emotion in love but a love that will last must be one of devotion.  I have seen it so many times illustrated in nursing homes as men and women push their spouses down the hallways, feed them, bath them, and—even when the mind of their spouse no longer recognizes them—remain faithful.

D.  Devotion defined:  loyalty · faithfulness · fidelity · constancy · commitment

1.  Our love for the Lord needs to be one of devotion.  We need to by loyal, faithful, constantly committed to the Lord.

2.  Our love for family needs to be one of devotion.  We need to by loyal, faithful, constantly committed to our families.

3.  Our love for each other needs to be one of devotion.  We need to by loyal, faithful, constantly committed to each other.

E.  Biblical love or charity is founded in truth and church unity is in the hands of each of us.  There are many things that we can do personally to insure love and unity.  I want to look at some of the results of Christian love that is founded in biblical truth.

John 13:34-35  A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  (35)  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

F.  The love of devotion to each other is the love that I want to look at tonight.  Love is many faceted and can be expressed in many different ways.

1.  True Christian love glorifies God instead of self - John 13:35  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

2.  True Christian love edifies the church - 1 Corinthians 8:1  Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.

3.  True Christian love evidences spiritual maturity - Colossians 3:14  And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

4.  True Christian love covers a multitude of sins - 1 Peter 4:8  And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.

5.  True Christian love prefers one another.  Philippians 2:4  Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

6.  True Christian love is compassionate toward the unfortunate.  1 John 3:17  But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

7.  True Christian love brings about the forgiveness of others - Ephesians 4:31-32  Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:  (32)  And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

8.  True Christian love will help to bear the burdens of others - Galatians 6:2  Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

9.  True Christian love maintains the unity of purpose - Acts 2:1  And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

10.  True Christian love will keep your feelings from being hurt - Psalms 119:165  Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.

It's SILENCE when your words would hurt,
It's PATIENCE when you brother is curt,
It's DEAFNESS when some gossip flows,
It's COMPASSION for a brother's woes,
It's COURAGE when misfortune falls,
It's FIRMNESS when one's duty calls,
It's WILLINGNESS to help another,
It's TRUSTING and especially a brother,
It's RESTITUTION made when due,
It's FORGIVING when asked of you.

Author unknown

G.  The best definition of charity is found in 1 Corinthians 13 with the Word of God giving it these characteristics:

Charity Suffers Long – “Charity suffereth long” 
Charity Is Kind – “and is kind”
Charity Is Happiness For Others - “charity envieth not”
Charity Puts Others First – “charity vaunteth not itself”
Charity Has A Proper Opinion Of Self – “is not puffed up”
Charity Behaves – “Doth not behave itself unseemly”
Charity Does Not Get Mad – “is not easily provoked”
Charity Gives The Benefit Of The Doubt – “thinketh no evil”
Charity Is Broken Hearted Over Sin – “Rejoiceth not in iniquity”
Charity Loves Right – “but rejoiceth in the truth”
Charity Is Forbearing – “Beareth all things”
Charity Hopes For The Best – “hopeth all things”
Charity Remains Constant – “endureth all things”
Charity Never Fails – “Charity never faileth”
Charity Is One Of The Greatest Of Christian Virtues – “the greatest of these is charity”

H.  In 1 Peter 1:22, we see the fervency of such charity: “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently.”
1.  Love “purified” – to set apart, innocent, clean.  1 Timothy 5:1-2  Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren;  (2)  The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.

2.  Love “unfeigned” – without hypocrisy, undissembled (the opposite of assembled, thus un-separating), a love that is sincere.  Romans 12:9  Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.

3.  Love “fervently” – intently (with the whole heart) and without ceasing.  1 Peter 4:8  And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.  (If others fail to mortify, putt off, or put on—charity will forgive and keep on loving!)

Proverbs 17:17  A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

I.  How do we have this fervent Christian love?

1.  Fervent Charity Must Be Carefully Cultivated - 2 Peter 1:5-7  And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6  And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;  7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.  (Even though it should come natural.)

1 Thessalonians 4:9  But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.

2.  Fervent Charity Must Have A Fertile Growing Place - 1 Timothy 1:5  Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:

2 Timothy 2:22  Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

3.  Fervent Charity Must Be constantly Maintained - 1 Corinthians 14:1  Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.

4.  Fervent Charity Must Be Our Motivation For Fellowship - 1 Corinthians 16:14  Let all your things be done with charity.

1 Peter 5:14  Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen.

5.  Fervent Charity Must Be Consistent Among The Members - 2 Thessalonians 1:3  We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;

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