Sermon Illustrations

Foundational Love

In the Book of John 13:34-35, Jesus makes a powerful statement, “A new commandment 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.” (emphasis ours)

God has given clear instructions on how to achieve this commandment to love one another. They are found in what is known to many born again Christians as “The One Anothers” in Scripture. Through the Holy Spirit, the Lord has given us what we need to know on how to express God’s love toward others in at least thirty-four passages of Scripture. However, there is one foundational principle that must be applied if we are going to effectively show the love of Christ to all men.

The beloved John wrote, “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God, because God is love.” (1 John 4:7-8) There is a truth here that must be understood. Though the “One Anothers” in Scripture are actions that we do, they are first and foremost an attribute of God that is experienced by us and then expressed through us in a way that will point people to Jesus Christ. It is a necessity, therefore, that we first repent of sin, receive forgiveness, and accept Jesus Christ into our hearts to be both Savior and Lord.

The source of our enabling will determine the end results of any outward expressions of love--whether it be false or true. Religious cults and false teachers are masters at showing a false love that feeds on the desire of each person to be “good enough” to save himself--that fleshly need to have all attention drawn to self. While at the same time these wolves in sheep’s clothing are feeding an inward pride of being able to control and have an influence over the lives of others.

True expressions of love come as an outflow of knowing, living and abiding in God’s love, the results of which will be actions and testimonies that glorify Jesus Christ alone, not testimonies that glorify an individual, a church or a certain religious group. Without Him, we can do nothing good!

The true Body of Christ, “God’s elect,” are those who “…through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, [are surrendered to] obedience to Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:1-2). Their desire is to work through the “One Anothers” in Scripture in a way that causes people to say, “Now, those people are followers of Jesus Christ.” These Christians live in such a way that causes people to realize that they are being accepted, forgiven and comforted as Christ accepted, forgave and comforts all God’s children. They are Christians who live a life expressing such a love for the Lord and their fellow man, that people can see what sacrificial love is all about. Christians who have revelation and illumination of the “One Anothers” do not neglect themselves; they are fully able meet the needs of their family while being involved in helping others. Jesus has revealed to them that, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). They do not “…look only to [their] own interest, but also to the interest of others. (Php. 2:4)

Unless you live by the foundational principles found in the Word of God, selfish love will prevail. You will be unfulfilled and out of fellowship with the Lord. Christ said, “I have come that you may have life abundantly.” Find God’s foundational love through Christ today and learn all you can about how to express His love through the “One Anothers”.

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