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Christian love

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Christian Love

Actions rather than words

Doxology Hymn no 2 :             “From all that dwell below the skies”  (verse 1)

Announcements

Votum

Since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:28-29)

Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love. (2 John 3)

Hymn No 57:                               “The Lord God reigns

Invocation

Children’s Address                   “What’s in a cross”

Hymn No122:                             “I will sing of my Redeemer”

Scripture Reading                     Isaiah 53:1-12

Prayer of Adoration and Confession

Declaration of pardoning

Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him. (Psalm 32:1-2)

Hymn No 384:                            “How hopeless was our former state”

Offering and Dedication

Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. (Malachi 3:10)

All, remaining seated sing:  Hymn 365

Hymn 365

Lord’s Prayer

Scripture Reading:                    1John 3:11-24

Hymn 315

Sermon

Introduction

“Honk if you love Jesus” the bumper sticker says.  What do you do in traffic when you read some thing like this, especially if another down the road says, “Honk if you’re against gun control”.

The point is, what is love?  Further, what is Christian love?

Our world today is searching for love.  You only need to be on a train to read the graffiti on old buildings (and new ones) to see this outcry of a generation in need of love.  Unfortunately the search stops when a superficial and hollow sexual relationship is found.  And when that blows over, the search once again starts – leaving wretches on its way.

The reason is that no real love is found outside the love of Jesus Christ. In the sin-stained world after the fall of Adam and Eve we need a true heart transplant to lift us out of a life of futile egotism and selfishness into a life in Christ who not only demonstrated real love for us, but came to save us by love and, by his Spirit, give us a new life marked by love.

Let’s look at few basic points our Scripture reading from 1 John 3 makes:

8  A life without Christ

The Word of God takes us back to the very beginning.  After sin came into the world, the very first sin we read about in the Bible was murder.  The very nature of the man ruled by sin is to hate his brother.  The reason:  the Devil, under whose control we live if not under the blood of Jesus Christ is a murder from the beginning.

Look at the words of our Lord in John

You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44)

The life of a person not saved by the Lord Jesus Christ looks like this:

The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)

Now look at the reading of this morning:

–         8 1 John 3:14

•          “Anyone who does love his brother is a murderer”

This is a fact stated by the Holy Spirit as he led John to write it down.  Love and hate run as two opposites of one another, because it represents two opposite natures.  The Bible as we have heard this morning talks about two origins:  an evil origin – the Devil, who was the father of the lie and a murderer from the beginning.  The other is that of the Father, who is love (1John 4:8, 16).

As the Devil and his own hated Christ and murdered Him on the cross of Calvary, so world does not love the followers of Jesus:  they hate them.  This is the same thing Cain did to Abel.  Abel was a righteous man living in the right relationship with God and God accepted his offer.  Bur Cain hated Abel, even as his own blood-brother.  And here blood does not run thicker than water; here the real family lines counts:  because Cain’s father was the devil, he could not stand the sight of the righteous Abel, whose father was the Lord.

–         8 1 John 3:15

•          Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.

Once again we see this fact repeated. This of course begs the question:  is it possible for non-Christians to love?  Like the Devil, all those who belong to him can very easily parade as angels of light.  Non-Christians can do love-like acts.  They can do good works, but these works cannot lead to salvation, because it is deep in itself rooted in selfish ambition.  It is rather sad to also say that in some ways even these non-Christian acts of love and care, displays more empathy and genuiness and in may cases shames Christians.  But in a money-crazy society people are driven to do good and love one another not driven by pure motives:  about all raffles and drives to support for the underprivileged is made possible just because your raffle or entry ticket can get you a new car, boat, house or even all of them together.

That is why the Word takes us back to the test of our love:  Is it possible to call yourself a Christian and then still not love one another? No! 

8 Christ laid down his life for us

–         8 1 John 4:19

•          We love because He first loved us.

–         8 John 5:24

•          “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.”

–         8 1 John 3:14

•          We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death.

•           

8 The New Life in Christ

–         8 1 John 3:23

•          And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as He commanded us.

 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:33-35)

•          We need to understand that the Lord here does not only refer to the wishy-washy deeds of caring for one another:  it goes far deeper than this.  If we claim to be Christians our love for one another will set us apart from the rest of the world. Our love will be characterized by the same quality of love that Jesus Christ had when He came to seek and save the lost.  “As I loved you, so you must love one another.”  And then, when this quality of love is on display in the world by those who are made new and free by Christ, then, and then alone, will all men know we are followers of Jesus.

–         8 1 John 3:24

•          Those who obey his commands live in him, and He in them. And this is how we know that He lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us. (1 John 3:24)

8  New life in Christ:  love in action

–         1 John 3:23

•          And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as He commanded us.

–         1 John 3:18

•          Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.

Conclusion

Prayer

Hymn No 154:                            “Jesus your boundless love to me”

Benediction

Threefold “Amen”

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