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Summary: An examination into the heart of Christian relationships

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“Do You Love The Brethren?”

John 13:34-35

Introduction

· Ill. Rick Warren in his book The Purpose Driven Life says, “Life is all about love!”

“Because God is love, the most important lesson he wants you to learn on earth is how to love. It is in loving that we are most like him, so love is the foundation of every command he has given us; ‘the whole Law can be summed up in this one command; ‘Love others as you love yourself”

· When it comes to love, ‘Do You Love The Brethren? (other Christians)

· Gal. 6: 10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

· Ill. "Dearest Jimmy, No words could ever express the great unhappiness I’ve felt since breaking our engagement. Please say you’ll take me back. No one could ever take your place in my heart, so please forgive me. I love you, I love you, I love you! Yours forever, Marie... P.S., And congratulations on willing the state lottery."

· Do you love the brethren?

o Then why did you break up with us? (Leave the church)

o Why won’t you return our calls

o Why don’t you attend church anywhere? (Backslidden)

· I did a search on Google for the word ‘love’. 117 million websites were found!!

· They world is looking for love; including Christians.

·

I. The reason for the commandment, 33 & 36

A. Because Jesus was going away, but He wanted His love to stay

1. That’s why were called ‘Christians’

a. Acts 11:26 And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.

b. A ‘Christian’ is literally ‘a follower of Christ’

2. We are called to…

a. Say the things Jesus would say

b. Do the things Jesus would do

c. Believe the things Jesus would believe

d. Go the places Jesus would go

B. Because the disciples couldn’t go with Him, but their need to be loved remained

1. The disciples stayed in order to finish the work Christ had started

2. The disciples stayed so the world could see the effects of Jesus in a person’s life

3. The disciples stayed so that what they had learned could be practiced (loving others)

II. The nature of the commandment, 34

A. What it was, ‘a commandment’

* ‘An injunction’, ‘an authoritative prescription’

1. The first (most important) commandment is to love God with all of your heart, soul and mind

2. The second (second most important) commandment is to love others as you love yourself

B. Who it came from, ‘I give unto you’

1. This commandment is from the lips of the Commander and Chief of Love

2. This commandment is directed to the ‘little Christ’, the followers of Christ (a.k.a. Christians)

C. How it was to be kept, ‘that ye love one another …’

1. We are to love, in the same way Jesus loved

2. We are to love, the same people who Jesus loved

III. The effect of the commandment, 35

A. In order to be effective, it must be kept

1. Luke 6: 46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

2. Mt. 7: 21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

B. In order to be effective, it must be seen

1. I Pet. 2:12 Having your conversation (behavior) honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

2. In the book, No Bad Dogs, by British dog trainer Barbara Woodhouse, she says dogs understand love better than we do. She writes, “In a dog’s mind, a master or a mistress to love, honor, and obey is an absolute necessity. The love is dormant in the dog until brought into full bloom by an understanding owner. Thousands of dogs appear to love their owners, they welcome them home with enthusiastic wagging of the tail and jumping up, they follow them about their houses happily and, to the normal person seeing the dog, the affection is true and deep. But to the experienced dog trainer this outward show is not enough. The true test of love takes place when the dog has got the opportunity to go out on its own as soon as the door is left open by mistake and it goes off and often doesn’t return home for hours. That dog loves only its home comforts and the attention it gets from its family; it doesn’t truly love the master or mistress as they fondly think. True love in dogs is apparent when a door is left open and the dog still stays happily within earshot of its owner. For the owner must be the be-all and end-all of a dog’s life.” The real test of our walk of Faith isn’t seen in our work or activity, or even in our theological purity. It’s found in this: when we have an opportunity to wander away, to disobey, to leave His presence, do we choose instead to stay close to Him, to abide in Christ, to obey?

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