Faithlife Sermons

Our New Lifestyle of Love

Pursuing Unity and Love in the Local Church   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Our understanding of Love is shaped not by our feelings but by the example of Christ. We are called to imitate his example!

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-Our text is a summary of everything that was previously said.
-The Text centers around an exhortation to Love! We guard the Unity of the Spirit, by pursuing Love!
What is Love?
Whatever it is, we are told that it is supposed to define us as Christians. So if we are going to show love, we must understand what it is!
Our culture defines love in myriads o ways, and yet never really achieves it. We think of love as unbridled expression of my deepest desires. Let me release my inhibitions and that is true love. Is that really what is happening in our culture? Are we more loving now that we are more free? NO! Violence is rising, and the attitudes present here are prevalent and spreading.

Love’s Truest Expression

Be Imitator’s of God

While natural expressions of love, natural men don’t have the truest expressions of love.
Love is not the free expression of my inner desires, it’s the disciplined imitation of God’s example. I am not the truest expression of love, God is! If I want to display love, he is where I look as my example. God is love!
-Holy Love
A key aspect of God’s love is that it’s Holy Love. That is that it is regulated, guided by what is right.
love- goodwill, benevolence
good-what is right, proper, moral
This is demonstrated in the OT law. In the 10 commandments
God gives us the framework for love in our previous chapter
!Notice the commands the “put off” in Chapt. 4!
Illustration:
Love=the road,
the law=the guardrails that keep you on the road.
Our culture has cast off the guardrails and are going off the cliff further away from love. The further we get from God’s law, the further we get from clear expressions of love.
“When iniquity abounds, the love of many grows cold.”

Jesus Is The Truest Example

He demonstrated true love! Jesus sought the welfare of others and did so by upholding the law of God!
Jesus didn’t just love his friends, but his enemies.
Romans 5:6–8 ESV
6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Jesus’s love is
forgiving=not holding others wrongs against you
unconditionally= without any reserve or stipulation
self-sacrificing= with not regard for self
“Love is not a pleasant emotion, but the giving of oneself for another’s welfare.” MacArthur

Love’s Transforming Experience

Our Unloving Attitudes and Actions

Bitterness: Sourness, grudge-filled attitude, an attitude that refuses reconciliation
wrath: fury, or rage, quick to be angry, and quick to subside
Galatians 5:21 ESV
21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Proverbs 15:18 ESV
18 A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.
anger: anger with a desire to punish, to get even with someone
clamor: bursts of out-crying, anger spilling outward “shouting”
slander: “from blaspheme” speaking with the intention to harm, or speech that harms another
malice: in general an evil disposition “ill will”
The First 3 lead to the next 2 and are all rooted in malice.
Paul’s point is that these are natural to fallen man and it’s what men live in naturally. If left unconfronted in the Church they are dangerous to the Unity of the Spirit.
Application
Membership=commitment to respond biblically to conflicts.

Experiencing the Love of God

Illustration:
If love is the road and the law are the guard rails, then the New Birth is the car that gets you down the road.
Titus 3:3–7 ESV
3 For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. 4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
We experience the love of God by faith and through the work of the spirit and it transforms us.
We know love, we know true love, because we know God!
“The Love of God is poured into our hearts”
Have you experienced God’s love?

Our New LIfestyle

Through the New Birth we no have new capacities for love! Even to our enemies.
New Capacities
Forgive
Parable of the Unjust Servant in
Un-forgiveness is inexcusable for a Christian who says he has known the vastness of God’s love and forgiveness. It’s profaning to the death of Christ, and shows that we don’t really know Christ.
Unforgiveness=no love=potential Church discipline.
1 John 3:16 ESV
16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.
2. Unconditional Love
Seeking the welfare of others, regardless of what they can provide for me and even if they do not deserve it.
“orphans and widows”
3. Self-sacrificing
1 Peter 4:8 ESV
8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.
Purse love, Imitate God in this way.
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