Summary: Sermon on Christian affections
The lived a Greek writer by the name of Lucian who lived around 120-200 AD. This man was an unbeliever, who notice a certain thing about Christians. He wrote the following, "It is incredible to see the fervor with which the people of that religion help each other in their wants. They spare nothing. Their first legislator, (Jesus) has put it into their heads that they are brethren."
What Lucian had noticed about the Christians of his day was that they shared a amazing love for one another. A love that was so very clear to the rest of the world. Now in the past 900 years we can say that the church as come a long way. Now a days you would be hard pressed to find someone who could, let alone would write such a thing about today’s Christian church. With all the in fighting between denominations, fighting within denominations, and fighting within individuals churches themselves, we certainly have moved away for the fact the Jesus "has put it in our heads that we are brethren".
I firmly believe we need to get back to the biblical principals of loving one another as the scriptures teaches. That includes loving other Christians no matter what church they attend and certainly loving each other right here in our own fellowship.
Last week we began talking about the command we have for loving one another. And we began this whole study by looking at Paul’s word in Philippian chapter 1 verses 7&8. Let us just look at that passage again,
"just as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as both in my chains and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers with me of grace. For God is my witness, how greatly I long for you all with the affection of Jesus Christ."
Her Paul makes mentions of the affections of Christ that he has for these people. From there we began to look at what kind of love it is that we are to have for one another.
To very briefly review what we saw last week. We noted that to love one another is a command of the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact as was pointed out the command to love for fellow brothers and sisters in Christ is given more often the any other command in the New Testament with the exception of the command to receive Jesus as our personal Saviour.
We also saw that it is a love which God enable us to give, scripture states that God has given us his love through his Holy Spirit. We saw that this is a love taught to us by God, through his word and example.
We saw that is a love of concern and action. That it is as the scripture states a love not of "word and tongue" but a love a deeds. So we need to put the love we have for one another into action. I just want to ask how many accepted that challenge I gave you last week to show a brother or sister in Christ that you loved them. (Don’t have to answer it but just think about it.)
We also saw that it is a love which shares in the suffering and affliction as well as the joys of our brothers and sisters in Christ. As was noted, no Christian should ever have to go through any suffering alone.
And finally last week we saw that it is a love which puts that needs of others before ourselves, it is an unselfish love.
So that is where we left off. Today we again will be looking at several passages, and I again encourage you to jot these down an refer to them as you look at yourself and how you should be loving one another.
The love Christians should have one another is a love that continues on and on. It is love which needs to continue regardless of circumstances, a love which continues weather that person has offended us or our family or friends. It is a love which like God’s love is eternal.
Hebrews 13:1 "Let brotherly love continue." Too many times we find reasons for stop loving each other. We grow to love another brother or sister in Christ, then he or she will do something that offends us, or we do something that offend them, so we decide that we will with hold our love, because that person is no longer worthy.
But Scripture states that is not how it ought to be. Our love for each must continue if we are to be obedient to God. Could you imagine if God withdrew is love every time we did something that offended Him. If God decided to withhold his love based on weather we offend him or not I will tell you know that there would be not one person alive here today.