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What is Christian Love

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I have been thinking alot lately about what is truly important in our faith
What REALLY will be important when we stand in front of Jesus
What is a leader supposed to be teaching about and leading you into
What is it that will allow us to be successful Christians
What is it that will cause us to utterly fail as Christians
Today I want to talk about what I feel is absolutely the single most important thing in our faith
Is knowing the greek
I have often said Christianity is not for the weak
What Christianity requires of us will go to the very core of our intentions and true feelings of who we are
Hebrews says
It (scripture) exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God.
God will put his finger on everything that stops Christ from being seen in us
God also promises to give us the necessary strength and ability to be what he wants us to be
Ephesians 3:16 NLT
I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.
If we are willing!!!
If we are willing!!!
Why would God focus on these broken parts of our character?
Because our purpose as Christians is to reflect Christ’s character in the world
We are to go into the whole world and reflect the gospel of Christ
The characteristic that is the most powerful reflection of Christ is love
Christian Love
It is the characteristic that defines a true Christian
Of all the things we are called to be in scripture…Christian Love this is the most important
If I teach anything
If I give you any truth
If your time at Mosaic shows you anything
I want it to be Christian Love
With Christian Love....nothing will defeat us
Without Christian Love…the smallest thing can rip us apart and kill the church.
1 John 3:14 NLT
If we love our brothers and sisters who are believers, it proves that we have passed from death to life. But a person who has no love is still dead.
1 John 3:
The thing that will show that we have gone from darkness to light, from death to life, is Christian love
1 John 4:7–8 NLT
Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
It is a very specific kind of love that is being spoken of here…we will get into it
1 Jon
Mark 12:33 NLT
And I know it is important to love him with all my heart and all my understanding and all my strength, and to love my neighbor as myself. This is more important than to offer all of the burnt offerings and sacrifices required in the law.”
There is nothing else you can do in the service of God that is more important than Christian Love
John 13:35 NLT
Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
It is the one thing that Jesus chose to use as the defining characteristic that we are truly his disciples
Not our community works (united way does those too)
Not our slick fancy services ( the world is good at that too-concerts)
Not our great famous preachers who visit the president and go to prayer breakfasts
Christian Love is seen only when you get to know someone closely (church)
see their reactions
How they handle adversity and conflict
How they handle insult
How they respond to criticism
How they react when they want to be the leader…but are asked to be a servant
I did not ask to be a leader.....I was asked to be a leader (last guy standing)
Colossians 3:14 NLT
Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.
If we allow it, Christian love will lift us above our differences and bring us into Harmony around Christ’s mission to reach the world
This costs something
We need to be willing to apologize even when we did nothing wrong
Because the work of the church is more important than us being right
We need to treat people kindly and with love even when they treat us badly
Because the harmony and health of the church is more important than our idea of what is fair
We need to be willing to be wronged and not retaliate passively or directly
Because reflecting Christ is more important than us getting vengeance
Churches fail when they focus on their differences instead of their purpose
Churches fail when they focus on their differences instead of their purpose
We will do whatever is required in order to achieve that.
David Wilkerson
So it
If I am not Christ-like at heart—if I’m not becoming noticeably more like Him—(remember God is love) then I have totally missed God’s purpose for my life. It doesn’t matter what I accomplish for His kingdom. If I miss this one purpose, I have lived, preached and yes, striven in vain.”
David Wilkerson’s recent Times Square Pulpit Series
What is Christian Love

Agapē. Of Greek words available, eros (sexual love) does not occur in the NT; phileō, spontaneous natural affection, with more feeling than reason, occurs some 25 times, with philadelphia (brotherly love) 5 times, and philia (friendship) only in James 4:4; storgē, natural affection between kinfolk, appears occasionally in compounds. By far the most frequent word is agapē, generally assumed to mean moral goodwill which proceeds from esteem, principle, or duty, rather than attraction or charm. Agapē means to love the undeserving, despite disappointment and rejection; the difference between agapaō and phileō is difficult to sustain in all passages. Agapē is especially appropriate for religious love. Agapē was long believed to be a Christian coinage, but pagan occurrences have recently been claimed. The verb agapaō was frequent in the Greek OT. Though agapē has more to do with moral principle than with inclination or liking, it never means the cold religious kindness shown from duty alone, as scriptural examples abundantly prove.

Here are the words used for love in the greek
eros (sexual love) does not occur in the NT;
eros (sexual love) does not occur in the NT;
phileō, spontaneous natural affection, with more feeling than reason,(marriage) occurs some 25 times,
Agapē. Of Greek words available, eros (sexual love) does not occur in the NT; phileō, spontaneous natural affection, with more feeling than reason, occurs some 25 times, with philadelphia (brotherly love) 5 times, and philia (friendship) only in ; storgē, natural affection between kinfolk, appears occasionally in compounds. By far the most frequent word is agapē, generally assumed to mean moral goodwill which proceeds from esteem, principle, or duty, rather than attraction or charm. Agapē means to love the undeserving, despite disappointment and rejection; the difference between agapaō and phileō is difficult to sustain in all passages. Agapē is especially appropriate for religious love. Agapē was long believed to be a Christian coinage, but pagan occurrences have recently been claimed. The verb agapaō was frequent in the Greek OT. Though agapē has more to do with moral principle than with inclination or liking, it never means the cold religious kindness shown from duty alone, as scriptural examples abundantly prove.
storgē, natural affection between kinfolk, appears occasionally in compounds.
By far the most frequent word is agapē,
moral goodwill which proceeds from esteem, principle, or duty, rather than attraction or charm.
Agapē means to love the undeserving, despite disappointment and rejection;
This kind of love comes from the Holy Spirit
This kind of love comes from the Holy Spirit

Agape is not the urge to possess and to enjoy but the readiness to serve without condition.

As soon as we say..
I will be loving if...
I will serve if.....
I will follow if.....
The Apostle Paul gives us very specific definitions of what this love looks like
Ist Corinthians 13
If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing.
If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
Paul is saying NOTHING is more important than this fact
There is NOTHING else in who you are as a Christian that is more important than this characteristic
No community work
No great work of literary brilliance
No missions work that is feeding thousands
No great spiritual gifting
The following actions describe God
We can say God is alot of things, but his actions will define him
We can say we are many things, but our actions will define us in the eyes of others and God
Love is patient and kind.
Patient....will take everything we have
Patient with the weak
Patient with the immature
Kind.....“to furnish/provide what is needful”.
To see a need and fill it
finances
physical help
teaching
Correction
Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.
It does not demand its own way.
It is not irritable,
and it keeps no record of being wronged.
Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.
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