Summary: The evidence of our connection with Jesus is our loving connectivity with each other.
Commitment brings Connection
The evidence of our connection with Jesus is our loving connectivity with each other.
We are called to biblical connectivity:
1. Biblical connectivity is inconvenient
2. Biblical connectivity is messy
3. Biblical community is transformative
(Use the plasma ball as opening illustration—turn on ball--turn lights down) We’re finishing up our series, Better Together. Week 1 we discussed that the Triune God, Father, Son, & Holy Spirit is in community Himself. Since we are created in His image, we are created for community—and the most important community we can have is with Him (touch ball with hand).
Last week we discussed that being in community with God requires our commitment to each other. Being here together on Sundays is not just about you. When you show up and sing and participate, it encourages those around you. (hold up 2 long thin lights) We get encouraged and shine brighter and leave brighter than when we arrived.
(turn ball off—turn lights up) Now this morning we finish the series by naming another reality: we need another level of community—and that is being connected to each other in a regular and meaningful way; a connectivity that delivers power and strength to us that we can’t find anywhere else.
Turn to 1 John 4:10-12
Don’t know if you noticed: have Bibles for you in the overflows. If you forgot yours, you can always get one. If you don’t have a Bible, take it home with you.
“Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the •propitiation for our sins. 11 Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we also must love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God. h If we love one another, God remains in us and His love is perfected in us.” 1 John 4:10-12
v.10 “love” The love mentioned here is divine love; agape is the Greek word; it is a love that is not natural to human beings; it is a love that does not depend on the other person; it is innate in God; He loves the unlovable; He loves you and me. You may think you’re all loveable, and you are to someone. But to a holy & righteous God, you’re not as loveable as you think you are.
“He loved us” God loved us 1st. Don’t miss the sequence: He loved us and as a result, we love Him. We didn’t take the 1st step; God initiated it out of His infinitely flowing love.
“propitiation” propitiation( hilasmos): the sacrifice that satisfies the demand of Divine justice for breaking the Law Human beings are broken and broken people break things; daily, hourly, moment by moment, we break God’s divine Law. We’re selfish, we’re idolatrous, covetous, envious, impatient, angry, lustful—in a word, we’re depraved. Because one of God’s attributes is that He is just, it is impossible for Him to turn away from injustice. We count on our judges to render decisions based on the law, right? And to hand down sentences based on the law. Could a holy and just God any less? So Jesus stepped in to satisfy the divine demand for justice. He was the propitiation for our sinful condition.
All this is the set up for what is about to follow.
v.11 “if/since” If God loves us that much and initiated love for us, then we who bear His image and His name should show this same kind of love to other believers.
v.12 “seen God” Meaning no one has seen God in all His entirety. Jesus was God incarnate, but Jesus was in human form; finite form. So we have to wait to see Him totally and completely when we are brought into His presence in heaven.
“remains” remains (meno): to continue; to live in; to be at home in
“perfected” existing in fullness.
So can you connect the dots? God’s love for us demanded that He enter into our world to demonstrate that divine love—(build) and if His love abides in us, we must enter into each other’s world to demonstrate that love to each other.
So there is this connectivity between us. The common connector is our relationship with Jesus; and the evidence of that connectivity is love for each other. The evidence of our connection with Jesus is our loving connectivity with each other.
Are you connected with a small group of believers? It’s one thing to say you love everyone here this morning. That’s love in the abstract, right? That guy over there? Yeah, I love him. Sure. That’s pie in the sky love. But love on the ground—being connected to a small group of people that you love up close and personal—that’s what the Scripture is getting at.