Summary: We are not only to love Christ but to love like Christ. We must ask ourselves “Do we love?” Do we love Christ more than we love the world? Our brothers and sisters in Christ? The lost and dying world? Do we really love?
Do We Love...?
As believers we have been called to a life of love. We are not only to love Christ but to love like Christ. With that thought in mind let us ask ourselves “Do we love?” Do we love Christ more than we love the world? Do we love our brothers and sisters in Christ? Do we love the lost and dying world? Do we love as God would have us love?
I. Do we love the world and the things of the world more than we love Christ?
A. 1 John 2:15-17 (ISV) “Do not love the world or the things that belong to the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. Because everything that belongs to the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s lifestyle – is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world with its lust is passing away, but the one who does God’s will remains forever.”
B. Love - to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of, to love dearly
C. That which we most love—we worship as our God. As a result love for the world precludes and even "pushes out" our love for God.
D. What scripture means by “the world” is given in John’s epistle and includes earthly possessions, positions and pleasures.
E. As they sat around looking at Simon’s fishing equipment and watercraft, Christ said to Simon Peter in Matthew 21:15 “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?"
F. Someone has said “The "world" is whatever cools our affection for Christ!
G. In 2 Timothy 4:10 Paul speaks of Demas. He deserted Paul because he “loved this present world”.
H. “The Christian in the world is like a boat in the water. The boat is in the water but the water is not supposed to be in the boat. Likewise, the Christian is in the world but the world is not supposed to be in the Christian.” - copied
I. There are two reasons why we are lured by the world today - influence of living in a materialistic society and desensitization through the entertainment industry.
II. Do we love our brothers and sisters in Christ?
A. 1 John 4:7 “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.”
B. In verse 11gives us a definition of what He means by drawing the comparison to Christ’s love. God’s example of self-giving, sacrificial love – the giving of his own Son – serves as the model for believers to follow in loving one another.
C. 1 John 4:20 “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?”
D. In an engine-room it is impossible to look into the great boiler and see how much water it contains. But running up beside it is a tiny glass tube, which serves as a gauge. As the water stands in the little tube, so it stands in the great boiler. When the tube is half full, the boiler is half full; when the tube is empty, the boiler is empty. Do you ask, "How do I know I love God? I believe I love Him, but I want to know." Look at the gauge. Your love for your brother is the measure of your love for God.—S. S. Chronicle.
E. John 13:34-35 "A new command 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."
F. Alan Tilson of Palm Bay Christian Church has said, “While we are often nice to our guests and we enjoy being with those who are close to us economically or socially, too often we find ourselves at odds with someone in the church who we disagree with.”
G. It is easy to love those who agree with us, like the things we like, think the way we think. But do we love those Christian brothers or sisters that we may not agree with or who may have offended or hurt us?
H. To dwell above with saints we love,
That will be grace and glory.
To live below with saints we know;
Well, that's another story! - copied
I. Ephesians 4:31-32 “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”