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The Greatest of These is Charity (2)

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Sharing your faith as a result of love for Christ

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When your in love with Jesus you can’t keep it to yourself.

Intro: tell of our Alaska Trip, and God’s watch over us on our return.
Prayer
Please turn with me to 1 Corinthians 13:13 “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”
We will look at three forms of the word Charity as it is used in the Authorized Version (KJV)

26 ἀγαπάω (agapaō): vb.; ≡ DBLHebr 170; Str 25; TDNT 1.21—1. LN 25.43 love, (Jn 13:34–35); 2. LN 25.44 show love, demonstrate love (1Jn 3:17); 3. LN 25.104 take pleasure in, to love based on its regarded value (Jn 12:43)

27 ἀγάπη (agapē), ης (ēs), ἡ (hē): n.fem.; ≡ DBLHebr 173; Str 26; TDNT 1.21—1. LN 25.43 (Christian) love (Ro 5:8); 2. LN 23.28 Love Feast, the fellowship meal (Jude 12+)

28 ἀγαπητός (agapētos), ή (ē), όν (on): adj.; ≡ DBLHebr 3351, 3495; Str 27; TDNT 1.21—1. LN 58.53 only dear only one of a class, esp. loved, (Mt 3:17); 2. LN 25.45 beloved, dear friend, loved one (Eph 6:21

Agapao, Agape, Agapetos, three different word to describe what we translate in the word Love.
Agapao. Show love, demonstrate love, to take pleasure in, and to love based on its regarded value.
Agape, the one we are most familiar with but that we also mistranslate most of the time. Christian Love, love feast, and the fellowship meal. Bet you didn't see that one coming. Hang onto the words Christian Love we will be coming back to it.
Agapetos. only dear only one of a class, especially loved, beloved, dear one, or a love one.
Three words, expressions for the word we call love, this is why I have a high regard for the Greek and Hebrew languages. We call so many cheap things love, like sex, animals mating, how we love something sinful or illegal. We add covet to it by saying how we love others property, possessions, wife, husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, etc. and how we would love to have them, why we would even die to have them or it.
Three words in the Greek with wonderful, meaningful, definitions, we have the one and we have pretty much trashed it over the years destroying the meaning of a word that is supposed to convey all three of the Greek meanings, and more.
You are probably wondering by this time where am I going with this, right? Well I am going to try and explain it to you. We will be using two of the Greek definitions, for our propose here today.
First we will look at Agapao and only part of the definition, To love based on its regarded value. What does that mean or should mean to us as Christians?
Christ loved us based on our regarded value (“to have or show respect or concern for, to think highly of, to esteem, to take into account.) a value only He could see. From DA 19.1, 19.2 I qoute;
“His name shall be called Immanuel, ... God with us.” “The light of the knowledge of the glory of God” is seen “in the face of Jesus Christ.” From the days of eternity the Lord Jesus Christ was one with the Father; He was “the image of God,” the image of His greatness and majesty, “the outshining of His glory.” It was to manifest this glory that He came to our world. To this sin-darkened earth He came to reveal the light of God's love,—to be “God with us.” Therefore it was prophesied of Him, “His name shall be called Immanuel.” DA 19.1
By coming to dwell with us, Jesus was to reveal God both to men and to angels. He was the Word of God,—God's thought made audible. In His prayer for His disciples He says, “I have declared unto them Thy name,”—“merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,”—“that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” But not alone for His earthborn children was this revelation given. Our little world is the lesson book of the universe. God's wonderful purpose of grace, the mystery of redeeming love, is the theme into which “angels desire to look,” and it will be their study throughout endless ages. Both the redeemed and the unfallen beings will find in the cross of Christ their science and their song. It will be seen that the glory shining in the face of Jesus is the glory of self-sacrificing love. In the light from Calvary it will be seen that the law of self-renouncing love is the law of life for earth and heaven; that the love which “seeketh not her own” has its source in the heart of God; and that in the meek and lowly One is manifested the character of Him who dwelleth in the light which no man can approach unto. DA 19.2
Our second word is Agape, the one most of us are at least somewhat familiar with. The definition has in it Christian love, and the fellowship meal, which is also a description of the Lord’s Supper. Let’s break this down and we are also going to really concentrate on a couple parts of the Greek meanings as they apply to us.
First Agapao, Heaven saw a weak fallen race, a race God had created, as The God Head took counsel and devised the plan of salvation based on Agapao and Agape. They saw a value only they could see and taking into count our value, and their Agape for us. Because of their deep unconditional love for us, because they couldn’t bare the thought of spending eternity without us, Jesus pleaded with His Father to let Him pay the ransom so that as many that choose too could be with them throughout out eternity.
I am going to side track for a minute and take a quick look at what Jesus did. I am only going to touch on a little part of the plan of salvation. I do not profess to even begin to understand a tiny little bit of it. I will attempt to break down some of it.
Jesus, the Son of God, who was fully God and equal with and one third of the God Head, steeps down to become a human and choosing to come down and dwell with us starting off as a baby, born in a stable. His mother being impregnated by the Holy Spirit. He kept His word to King David that through his blood line He would establish his throne for ever. Turn with me to II Samuel 7:16 “And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.”
Now you would think that God would pick a perfect blood line for His Son to be born in, and one with means and status. Thats what we would have done, but not God no not even close. What a blood line, although it did start off very well, well at least after a bumps in the road. But when go forward from Abraham things went south in a hurry, with just about every sin you can imagine. Arn’t you glad we serve a forgiving God, a gracious God.
Jesus steps down, and goes with the plan as laid out, knowing that He could Fail, He could Sin by a thought or action, and be without His supernatural powers. That my friends is Love an unfathomable love, a love that we can only long for. A love we can only strive for.
Now I know that most if not all of us fell in love with someone and we felt at the time we could not love any deeper then that, not be able to love anther. Then came your first child and your heart exploded in your chest and you found love enough for both, then your child gets married and you find even more love. Your chest is so full of love it amazes you as you look at your family and you feel more love.
Just when you thought you had reached you limit on love, you look into the face of your first grandchild, and you feel such a surge of love you almost can’t stand, your knees feel weak as you fall deeply in love all over again.
Friends all that love I just explained is like one rain drop out of a torrential thunder storm compared to the love of Christ for us. And I dare say I am way off, not even close to the height, and depth of our Saviors Love.
Well could Jesus ask Peter do you love me , three times. Peter one of the inter circle, one of the three that Jesus always chose to you with Him. Jesus loved him deeply, trusted him, and I am sure He had big plans for him.
Peter, impetuous, loud, always the first to answer,, always the one with both feet in his mouth. Peter the one who drew his sword, ready to die defending his Lord. This peter who snuck in to the trail, this same peter who was ashamed to be identified as one of Jesus disciples. This same peter who denied his lord not once, not twice, bit three times. Who on the third time said with a loud voice, woman I don’t know this man, have never known him and I am certainly not his disciple, and ended with a string of curse words. And as he turned his gaze away from the woman and toward Jesus, he saw Jesus turn and look at him. At that moment he realized that Jesus had heard him along with everyone else in the room. He expected to see reprove, condemnation, something, but he saw love and compassion in those eyes he had always loved to look into. Suddenly the realization on what he had just done went through hid mind and mixed with the compassion in those eyes, broke his heart completely. Turning he fled from the room with tears streaming down his checks, his body racked with the sobbing of a broken heart. Running almost blind from the tears that wouldn’t stop, he found himself in the garden, and rushing to the very spot where Christ had plead with His Father, he fell on his face and wept. We are not told how long he wept there, but we know it was a long time.
Some days later John tells us that Jesus confronts Peter at the lake in front of the other disciples. Why, because public sin has to have public confession. Jesus asks him, do you love me, not once but three times. The third time peter, can I use a little sanctified imagination here, I think he realized fully what he had done, and it terrified him that he might loose Jesus, I can see him with tears streaming down his cheeks, pleading with Jesus. Lord I do love you, I really do, and you know all things, so you know I love you. Jesus reinstates him and gives him a leadership role.
Friends I ask you what would we have done as the church of Christ. I will tell you what we would do we would strip them of their position, disfellowship them, and make sure everyone knew it.
What did Christ do, He forgave them where there was genuine confession and repentance, He forgives, aren’t you glad He does. Amen. Aren’t you glad that we don’t have the responsibility of judging others. So why do we
Jesus looked down at all the worlds He had recreated and He saw one that was not shining and happy like the others. He saw a darkness that was spreading and would soon cover the entire world. Tears started streaming from His eyes as He looked forward and saw the pain and misery and suffering. He wiped the tears from His eyes, He knew what he would do. He would go to the two poeple he knew and trusted with his life.
Patriarchs and Prophets (Chapter 4—The Plan of Redemption)
The fall of man filled all heaven with sorrow. The world that God had made was blighted with the curse of sin and inhabited by beings doomed to misery and death. There appeared no escape for those who had transgressed the law. Angels ceased their songs of praise. Throughout the heavenly courts there was mourning for the ruin that sin had wrought.
The Son of God, heaven’s glorious Commander, was touched with pity for the fallen race. His heart was moved with infinite compassion as the woes of the lost world rose up before Him. But divine love had conceived a plan whereby man might be redeemed. The broken law of God demanded the life of the sinner. In all the universe there was but one who could, in behalf of man, satisfy its claims. Since the divine law is as sacred as God Himself, only one equal with God could make atonement for its transgression. None but Christ could redeem fallen man from the curse of the law and bring him again into harmony with Heaven. Christ would take upon Himself the guilt and shame of sin—sin so offensive to a holy God that it must separate the Father and His Son. Christ would reach to the depths of misery to rescue the ruined race.Before the Father He pleaded in the sinner’s behalf, while the host of heaven awaited the result with an intensity of interest that words cannot express. Long continued was that mysterious communing—“the counsel of peace” (Zechariah 6:13) for the fallen sons of men. The plan of salvation had been laid before the creation of the earth; for Christ is “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8); yet it was a struggle, even with the King of the universe, to yield up His Son to die for the guilty race. But “God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16. Oh, the mystery of redemption! the love of God for a world that did not love Him! Who can know the depths of that love which “passeth knowledge”? Through endless ages immortal minds, seeking to comprehend the mystery of that incomprehensible love, will wonder and adore.
Oh what love what amazing love. oh how can it be that thou couldest love such a one as me. What wondrous love a love we are to emulate and share with others. To rescue the Pershing now more than ever, we must work while the day last for the night is coming when we will not be able to.
Jesus came two to this world and lived as one of us foe 32 years with out sin. He can to show us a way of life that if lived we will inherit eternal life with Him for ever and ever. He went around helping people where they were seeing to their physical and spiritual needs. He made disciples and sent them out to do as he had show them. He left implicit instructions for us to do the same, to make disciples and to go about helping others. To heal the sick, to cloth the naked, to visit the prisoners. there are only two requirements, love like Him and to have faith like Abraham. Thats it, just love like Jesus, to love others more than ourselves, to love others an d because we do we can’t stand to see them hungry, naked, locked up, in the hospital, on their sick beds. To see them captives of satan, to see them sinking in the mire and quicksand of sin. To see all this and to remember that our Lord, our Savior, our God, stepped down from the throne of heaven. He who could bare the thought of humanity Pershing under the power of satan. Who gave up his throne, who gave up part of His powers to become a human for all eternity. To come to not as a conquering King but as a lowly carpenters son, living in poverty. To be rejected by his own people, to hounded day and night for three years, to be deserted by his disciples in his hour of need. To be betrayed by a kiss and 30 pieces of silver. He was beaten, spit upon, his hair and his beard had chunks of hair yanked out. he was mocked and called terrible names, oh the love that wondrous love. Lord let this mind be in me that was in Jesus, give me the heart that can love like him, oh precious Jesus. Oh friends we must love like that we need the heart of Jesus, we must have the heart of Jesus, and the faith of Abraham. It is time we woke up out of our laodicean sleep. We need to be able to say Lord when saw we you sick, naked, in prison, when did we comfort thee, and then hear him say you did it unto the least of these you have done it unto me. Enter thou in to the joy of the Lord.
Lets turn to Mathew 25 :31-46
King James Version (Chapter 25)
32 And pbefore him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall qseparate them one from another, as a shepherd qdivideth his rsheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep son his right hand, but the goats on the left.34 Then shall tthe King say unto uthem on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, winherit xthe kingdom yprepared for you zfrom the foundation of the world: 35 aFor I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was ba stranger, and ye ctook me in: 36 dNaked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye evisited me: fI was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And tthe King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, gInasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, hDepart from me, ye cursed, iinto everlasting fire, ykprepared for lthe devil and lmhis angels: 42 For I nwas an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not ominister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, pInasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46 And these shall go away into qeverlasting punishment: but the righteous into qrlife eternal.
I don’t about you but I want to be with the sheep and not the goats, amen.
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