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What's Love Got To Do With It?

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LUKE 10.33             “But a certain Samaritan… had compassion on him.”

          Our Lord Jesus Christ has done better than the Good Samaritan has, because our case was worse. The wounded man could not blame himself for his sad estate. It was his misfortune, not his fault. However, you and I are not only half dead, but also altogether dead in trespasses and sins, and we have brought many of our ills on ourselves. The thieves that have stripped us are our own iniquities; the wounds which we bear have been inflicted by our own suicidal hands. SPURGEON AT HIS BEST

LOVE                     In Christian theology, the ability to love is a vital aspect of being created in God’s image and regenerated by the Holy Spirit’s power. In 1 John 4.7-11 we read “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this, the love of God was manifested in us that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

Love is also one of God’s most important attributes. Four of the most common Greek words for “love” are (1) PHILIA, usually translated “friendship,” “tender affection”; (2) EROS, which often refers to sexual physical passion (never used in the NT); (3) STORGE, “family affection” (also not found in the NT); AND (4) AGAPE, which is best defined as “intelligently, intentionally willing the best for another,” the attitude of God toward His Son and toward us (John 3.16 / 13.34-35 / 14.21 / 17.26 / Romans 5.8 / I Thessalonians 3.12 / I Corinthians 16.14 / II Peter 1.7 / I John 4.18). See Matthew 5.44-46 / John 15.12-13/ Romans 13.8-10/ Galatians 5.6-22/ I John 4.7-20/ Revelation 3.19. See AGAPE

AGAPE        From the Greek word, that means “love.” This is a distinctly Christian term and has no counterpart in the Hebrew OT. It is used various ways in the NT

(1)  To describe God’s relationship to both individuals and groups in John 17.26 and

II Peter 1.17 toward Jesus; in John 3.16 and Romans 5.8 toward the human race; in John 14.21 toward those who believe. (2) It is used to describe God’s will concerning the attitude of His children in John 13.34 their attitude toward one another in

I Thessalonians 3.12 / I Corinthians 16.14 and II Peter 1.17 their attitude toward all people. (3) Finally, in I John 4.8 it is used to express God’s essential nature.

NLT John 17:26 And I have revealed you to them and will keep on revealing you. I will do this so that your love for me may be in them and I in them."

NIV 2 Peter 1:17 For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."

NLT John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

NLT Romans 5:8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

NLT John 14:21 Those who obey my commandments are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them, and I will love them. And I will reveal myself to each one of them."

NLT John 13:34 So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.

NLT 1 Thessalonians 3:12 And may the Lord make your love grow and overflow to each other and to everyone else, just as our love overflows toward you.

NLT 1 Corinthians 16:14 And everything you do must be done with love.

NLT 2 Peter 1:17 And he received honor and glory from God the Father when God's glorious, majestic voice called down from heaven, "This is my beloved Son; I am fully pleased with him."

NLT 1 John 4:8 But anyone who does not love does not know God-- for God is love.

          The ultimate expression of AGAPE is in the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5.14 / Ephesians 2.4/ 3.19/ 5.2). It is through God’s love and the gift of His Son (1 John 4.9-10) that people are able to understand AGAPE and to return this gift of love by obedience and self denial (John 14.15-23 / 15.10/ 1 John 2.5 / 5.3/ 2 John 6). Christian love means more than a love for the Giver of love. It is love in action among God’s children, toward themselves as well as those who do not yet know such love. AGAPE is the standard that guides Christian ethics. AGAPE in the NT could be defined as “intelligently, intensely willing the best for another.”

LOVE

The heart of God’s character and, along with faith and hope, one of the cardinal virtues, according to Christianity. Christian theologians often distinguish among different forms of love: erotic love, friendship love and the love for neighbor that most closely resembles God’s self-giving love in Jesus, who came down from heaven and sacrificed his life for humans who were in rebellion against God. See also agapism.

LOVE

In the Christian tradition love (especially agapē) is an expression of the essential nature of God, the perfect characterization of the relationship between God and humans, and the supernatural virtue or character of God reflected in the Christian community in relation to God and one another as shaped by the indwelling Holy Spirit. This connection between love and God’s own character gives rise to the Christian focus on love as the fundamental characteristic of Christian discipleship and hence of Christian ethics. Many Christian thinkers suggest that the essence of love is unconditional giving of oneself for the sake of others.

LUKE 10 Jesus sends out seventy disciples, to work miracles and preach: and pronounce a woe against Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum, 1-16. The seventy return with joy at their success; and Christ instructs them in what they should rejoice, 17-20. He adores the Father, for revealing his gospel to the simple only; and declares his own personal and mediatorial authority and glory, 21, 22; and the happiness of his disciples, 23, 24. A lawyer inquires what he must do to inherit eternal life; and Jesus refers him to the law of God, 25-28; and shows him by the example of a good Samaritan, who is his neighbor, 29-37. He commends Mary’s attention to his doctrine, and reproves Martha, who was “cumbered about much serving,” 38-42.

27. Thou. Dt ▶6:5. *10:12. *30:6. 2 K 23:25. Mt 22:37-40. Mk 12:30, 31, 33, 34. He 8:10. with all. Dt 4:29. 10:12. 11:13. 13:3. 26:16. 30:2, 6, 10. Jsh 22:5. 1 K 2:4. 8:48. 2 K 23:3, 25. 2 Ch 6:38. 15:12. 34:31. Je 32:41. heart. ƒ173, Ge +27:44. 2 K +*20:3. 1 Ch 12:38n. and. ƒ148, Ge +8:22. soul. Gr. psyche, ƒ121A9B, Mt +22:37. and thy. Le +*▶19:18. Mt 19:19. Ro *13:9. Ga *5:13, 14. Ja *2:8. 1 J 3:18.

Synonymia; or, Synonymous Words. Ge 27:44.

Polysyndeton; or, Many Ands. Ge 8:22.

121A1. Metonymy; or, Change of Noun. Metonymy of the Cause, the person acting for the thing done: the Spirit for the gifts and operations of the Spirit. Jn 3:34.

121A2. The Spirit is put also for His quickening, regenerating, and sanctifying work in man, in creating the new nature with its spiritual desires and powers. Ps 51:10.

121A3. The Spirit is put for special and extraordinary operations of the Spirit acting externally in various ways, publicly or privately. Nu 11:17.

121A4. The Spirit is put also for special revelations and visions communicated by Him. Ezk 37:1.

121A5. Parents and ancestors are frequently put for their posterity, and for children: and the name of the stock or race is put for the patronymic. Ge 9:27.

121A6. The writer is put for his writing or book. Lk 16:29.

121A7. Soul is put for life, which is the effect of it. Ge 9:5.

121A8. Soul is put for the person, as when we say a city contains so many thousand souls. Ps 16:10.

121A9. Soul is put for the will, affection, or desire, which are its operations and effects. Ge 23:8.

121A10. Spirit is put for the soul or life in its manifestations. Ge 26:35.

121A11. Satan is put for wickedness, etc. 1 Th 2:18.

Sermon Structure: 

I. We are commanded by God to love

II. We’ve been given the capacity by God to love

III. We’re Christians because of God's love

Sermonic Conclusion:

          I don’t know why He loves me. I don’t know why He cares. I don’t know why He sacrificed His life but I am so glad that He did. Where would I be if He didn’t love me? Where would I be if He didn’t care? Where would I be if He had not sacrificed His life but I’m so glad He did?  

The Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37)

"Who is my neighbor?" The question both then and now provokes debate and uneasiness. In Jesus' world, the religious often debated the limits of neighborliness, the Pharisees, rabbis, Essenes, and common people drawing the line at different places. Today, the question is even more difficult than in Jesus' world. Modern mobility makes thousands of people we see only for a fleeting, few moments our neighbor. We walk by them at a mall, sit next to them in an airplane, or jostle against them at a football game. Modern media makes the question even more difficult. At our dinner table, we are instantly aware of starving people in Ethiopia. There seem to be endless claims with no boundary.

The motive in which we ask the question is as important as the answer. "He wanted to justify himself" (v. 29). The expert in the Old Testament law desired to limit his responsibility rather than define his responsibility. He was more interested in theological speculation than in practical application. Where and how do we meet our neighbor?

We Meet Our Neighbor in the Troubled One Immediately Before Us

The road to Jericho reaches all the way to Fort Worth. The ancient road from Jerusalem down to Jericho was seventeen miles long. Highway robbers lived in caves along the road. The road has been a place of danger right up to this very moment. That reminds us that it is a road anyone can travel, anytime, anywhere. The hapless traveler was suddenly surrounded by vicious thieves. They took what he had, stripped him of his clothes, and beat him as he attempted to defend himself. The story Jesus told probably represents an historical event.

Who is my neighbor, the one near me? The specific, troubled individual is unavoidably before me alone. No one else is there to help. I must step to him, or around him, but he is unavoidably there before me alone. No one can be neighbor to everybody, but anyone should be neighbor in this instance.

We Can Avoid Our Neighbor Even in the Name of Religion

Two religious professionals walked by the wounded neighbor. The priest belonged to the elite of the religious professionals. The Levite belonged to the lesser group who did the heavy work of skinning sacrifices and cleaning up the leftovers. Evidently, Jesus saw two levels of callousness in their respective attitudes. The priest walked by on the "other side." The language suggested that the Levite came and looked carefully, but decided to go on after his careful inspection.

The religious law forbade touching a corpse for such religious professionals. This may have been the motivation, but they seem to be going away from the temple back to Jericho. Religious busyness often tramples right over human need. Formalism, ritualism, and institutionalism can drive religious machinery right over hurting people in the name of religion itself.

An Unlikely Person Often Cares More Than Anyone Else

Those who first heard Jesus' story would have expected the third character to be a righteous fellow-countryman. Instead, it was a despised half-breed, a Samaritan. It is difficult to reproduce in 1986 the shock of Jesus' story in the first century. The Samaritans had desecrated the Jewish temple by spreading dead persons' bones throughout. In turn, the Jew cursed the Samaritan, considered his food as swine's flesh, and was told to suffer rather than receive help from a Samaritan.

Help for the one immediately before me alone ought to be personal, particular, the total. The Samaritan did not report it to a committee, he did it himself. The detail of the story indicates the particular and meticulous care he gave. His willingness to pay for future accommodations indicates the ripe totality of his personal care. He did not hand the future to somebody else, he took responsibility himself.

No one can do this for everybody. Nevertheless, those who claim to have eternal life had better be doing it for somebody.                          —Gregory's Sermon Synopses

Sermon Skeleton

ESV Luke 10:25 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" 26 He said to him, "What is written in the Law? How do you read it?" 27 And he answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself." 28 And he said to him, "You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live." 29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" 30 Jesus replied, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, 'Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.' 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?" 37 He said, "The one who showed him mercy." And Jesus said to him, "You go, and do likewise."

Sermon: “What’s Love got to do with it?”

Sermon Scripture: Luke 10.25-37

Sermon Sentence: Hurting people matter to God.

Sermonic Tension: Aren’t you glad that God does not love us the way we love people. 

Sermon Subject: Christian Ethics (1 John 4.20/ John 15.12/ John 15.17)

Sermon Structure:

I.            We are commanded to love (Leviticus 19.18/ Deuteronomy 6.5/ Luke 10.27, 28 & verse 37)

II.           We are created to love (Luke 10.27)

III.          We are saved because of Jesus Christ love (Luke 10.30-36)

IV.         We are given multiple chances everyday to love (Luke 10.37)

Close:

What the world needs now is love, love sweet love.

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