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How to Keep From Falling Series

2 Pet 1:5-10

5          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.

8          For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

9          But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

10         Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

            Sometimes the word “love” is misused.  Some of its value has been lost in that misuse.  Think about the following use of the word “love” and I think you will agree with me.

Dearest Jimmy, No words could ever express the great unhappiness I’ve felt since breaking our engagement. Please say you’ll take me back. No one could ever take your place in my heart, so please forgive me. I love you, I love you, I love you! Yours forever, Marie... P.S., And congratulations on willing the state lottery."


John 13:34-35

34         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.

How can anyone, even God, command love? At least how can anyone command what most of us call love -- that emotion, that feeling of attachment or endearment to others? Maybe Jesus wasn’t talking about that which we typically call love today.
a. What is love anyhow?

Modern man loves everything from women to fried chicken -- at least he says he does. To some, love is no more than sexual desire.

Our present society has the connotation of love as being only an emotion or a feeling. It’s that lump in your throat, or knot in your stomach when you’re in the presence of that certain girl or guy. It’s a warm and passionate embrace between lovers, it’s the desire to have or to possess someone as your own for all of life.

But this isn’t what Jesus is talking about at all. Jesus isn’t saying that the world will know we’re Christians because we’re always going around kissing and hugging each other. Others aren’t to know we are his disciples because we always tell each other -"I love you," or because we "feel" warm feelings toward them.

The love Christ commands is not so much something to feel, as something to do. It isn’t so much an emotion as it is an action.

 Jesus is talking about our behavior, about how we act toward others, how we treat them. That’s why Jesus could say: "a new commandment I give to you." you can’t command an emotion -- but you can command an action.

The love Jesus is talking about here is an act of the will. It represents not so much an involuntary response to conditions, as it does a deliberate choice, a calculated set of the mind. Love is not an emotion. It’s a policy.
          Christian love is not something you fall into. This is why it can be commanded. We need to begin thinking of love as a concept of action and service and ministry governed by the will and intellect, rather than, as an emotion governed by fickle feelings and deceptive desires.
            One of the greatest temptations on earth is to reduce love to human terms -- to talk love instead of living it. Love is something you do!  Words are cheap. It’s easy to talk love.

Not only is loving one another a command.  Not only is it a sign that we are a Christian.  It is also a sign that we are saved.

I Jn 3:14-16

14         We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.

15         Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.

16         Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.


Aristotle said, "a man cannot expect to be loved unless he is deserving of love."
But the kind of love that Jesus teaches us to have says: "I love you -- with no strings attached."  It is a love that is the result of being devoted to one another.

Rom 12:10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. (NIV)


This kind of love should be nurtured so that it will grow.

1Thes 3:12 May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. (NIV)


Paul’s admonition to the church is that brotherly love is a given.  It is a part of Christian living.  It is a lesson that God himself teaches us.

1Thes 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.

Paul’s description of love in I Corinthians is not just for marriages.  It is the Bible description for real love.

1 Cor 13:1-13

1          If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

2          If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

3          If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

4          Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

5          It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

6          Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

7          It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8          Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

9          For we know in part and we prophesy in part,

10         but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.

11         When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.

12         Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13         And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (NIV)


When we truly love others, No laws will need to govern our behavior or conduct, for love goes above and beyond any law.
Gal 5:14-15

14         The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself."

15         If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. (NIV)


It may be significant that Jesus uses a verb tense that should be translated "KEEP ON LOVING." Our love for each other isn’t to be a one-time act, or an occasional thing, but a constant and continuous endeavor. Elsewhere, Paul says: "Let love of the brethren continue." (Heb 13:1)

The people JESUS commands us to love are those who are unlovely, stingy, nasty, dull, selfish, or downright mean. They are the people in our families, our workplaces, yes, Even in our churches, that we have a hard time liking and getting along with.
           We all know those people who can brighten up a whole room --- just by leaving!! People who are so exasperating, they could give an aspirin a headache!! These are the ones we are commanded to love, to care for, to minister to.

All people need love, especially when they don’t deserve it. And, if we who are called by the name of Christ don’t love them, who will??  They are the ones whose personalities clash with ours. The poet said it this way:
to live above with those we love,
oh, that will be glory.
but to live below with those we know,
well, that’s another story!!!

Supposedly a true story from the time of Oliver Cromwell in England. a young soldier had been tried in military court and sentenced to death, he was to be shot at the "ringing of the curfew bell."

His fiancé climbed up into the bell tower several hours before curfew time and tied herself to the bell’s huge clapper. at curfew time, when only muted sounds came out of the bell tower, Cromwell demanded to know why the bell was not tolling.

His soldiers went to investigate and found the young woman cut and bleeding from being knocked back and forth against the great bell.

They brought her down - and, the story goes, Cromwell was so impressed with her willingness to suffer in this way on behalf of someone she loved that he dismissed the soldier saying, "curfew shall not ring tonight."

Jesus told His disciples that the mark of their authenticity would be whether or not they loved one another as He loved them.

True Christian love is the source of compassion (Good Samaritan) and mercy.

John 13:34-35

34        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.  (KJV)


Three things to observe in these, verses:

1. The EXAMPLE of loving: Jesus loved and manifested it, demonstrated it, and showed it.

2. The COMMAND to love:

a. Our life is not right unless we are loving.

b. When a person is saved, born again of the Spirit of God, they become a possessor of the Divine Nature which is the nature to love.

c. A Christian is to lead a spiritual life and bear the fruit of the Spirit, which means we must love.


3. The EVIDENCE of love to others.

a. As Jesus stood by Mary and Martha He wept and onlookers exclaimed, Behold, how He loved him."

b. When people in the world see authentic, biblical love within God's family, they will believe.

c. One of the greatest sin of Christians today is the sin of withholding love.

This love makes no demands or sets any prerequisites before the love will be rendered. It chooses to love even when that same love is rejected and not given in return. This love, loves, regardless.

This is why there is such power found in John 3:16, "for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life." There’s power because God chose to give his love without even considering whether or not we would love him back. He loves whether rejected or accepted. This is the kind of love in which Christians are called to serve, to minister and to live.

It is also a strong type of love that has eternal patience. This is one who has the capacity that, when wronged, does not retaliate.

Through the unfailing love of agape may we strip ourselves of envy because we have directed our love from ourselves to others.           

We have made it our ambition to seek the welfare and success of others before we find them for ourselves.
1 Pet 1:22  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 Pet 1:22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. (NIV)

I Jn 3:14-16

14         We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.

15         Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.

16         Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

John 15:12-14

12         This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

13         Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

14         Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

John 15:17  These things I command you, that ye love one another.

Rom 13:9-10

9          For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

10         Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

Rom 13:8-10

8          Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.

9          The commandments, "Do not commit adultery," "Do not murder," "Do not steal," "Do not covet," and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself."

10         Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. (NIV)


Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,


Eph 4:2  With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;


James 2:8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:


I Jn 3:10-12

10         In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

11         For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.

12         Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.


I Jn 3:18  My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.


I Jn 4:7  Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.


I Jn 4:11-12

11         Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

12         No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another,


I Jn 4:20-21

20         If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

21         And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.


II Jn 1:5  And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another.


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