Summary: As dynamic disciples of Jesus, we have to do what God expects us to do. Even if it’s difficult, even if it goes against what the world says is acceptable, even if it means we have to be different, we need to choose to do what He has commanded us to do.
We are continuing our series on Dynamic Disciples or Dynamic Discipleship and this month our focus has been on The Lifestyle of a Disciple.
This morning I want us to consider together what it means for us, as disciples of Jesus, to have a Lifestyle of Love, and specifically I want us to think about Sacrificial Love.
The Bible clearly teaches us about how Jesus demonstrated His sacrificial love for each of us.
Jesus willingly left the glory of Heaven to come on a rescue mission to save us.
Jesus came because of His love for us.
Jesus came to restore our relationship with God the Father.
Jesus was incarnated into this world to do more than teach us and tell us how we should live - He came to die on the cross so that by the shedding of His own blood we could be forgiven.
The perfect one died for the imperfect, for us.
The shedding of His blood washed away our sins.
Christ’s sacrifice on the cross was sufficient to pay the price for the sins of everyone who repents and trusts in Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.
When Jesus rose from the grave, He conquered death, He conquered hell, He conquered the grave.
Then He ascended into Heaven and He has gone to prepare a place for those who believe and trust in Him as Saviour.
Before He ascended He gave His followers some final instructions, instructions that are as relevant to us today as they were to His first disciples.
In Matthew 28:18-20 Jesus told His disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
This morning, if you have been saved by repenting, by turning away from your sins, by asking God to forgive you and accepting Christ as your Lord and Saviour then you are a disciple of Jesus.
His sacrificial love for you has saved you, it’s set you free from the burden of your sin, by trusting in Him and Him alone you are assured of a place in Heaven.
And Jesus commands us, His disciples, you and me to tell others about His sacrificial love. Jesus said in John 13:34-35 “Now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
Love. A simple four letter word in English.
I think the original Greek is a little more expressive and helpful to our understanding of what Jesus is saying here.
Love each other... In the Greek the word translated as Love is agapaó literally it means actively preferring to love.
Prefer to love each other - Perhaps easier said than done.
Great in theory but sometimes hard in practice.
Prefer to Love each other. Just as I have loved you... The Greek word for loved used here is ēgapēsa the full meaning is about making a choice to love.
Prefer to Love each other. Just as I have chosen to love you.
How has Jesus chosen to love you?
He loves you so much He was willing to sacrifice Himself for you.
Prefer to love each other. Just as I have chosen to sacrificially love you, you should sacrificially love each other.
Do we really love each other in the way that Jesus has told us to love each other?
Maybe some people... Some of the time...
Maybe if it fits into our schedule...
Maybe if it does not demand too much...
Maybe if there is something in it for me...
But sacrificial love... Really? YES!
Why? Because Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
The Greek word for love here is agapen - literally your expressed love, your demonstrated love.
Prefer to love each other. Just as I have chosen to sacrificially love you, you should sacrificially love each other. Your expressed and demonstrated love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.
Ah! See the context, its not just saying, its doing.
It’s not passive it’s active and it’s sacrificial.
Christ has shown His sacrificial love for us and we are to show our genuine love for each other.
The Apostle Paul expressed it like this in Romans 12:9-10 Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honouring each other.