Summary: The Holiness that God provides always displays itself as perfect love, as Pure motives not perfect performance.
Holiness equals Perfect Love
The Beauty of Holiness Series
43 "You have heard that the law of Moses says, ’Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and on the unjust, too. 46 If you love only those who love you, what good is that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47 If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. 48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. (TLB)
It is time for the NFL draft, and NFL teams are about to spend millions of dollars on unknown commodities called college players. Some of them pan out and many don’t. In order to narrow the risk with so much money at stake they are now looking at the character of the players. They want some who won’t embarrass the organization or cost them a lot of money because of on or off the field episodes. Like the Bengals who had like nine players arrested one year, or Pacman Jones and his strip club fiascos, or Michal Vick’s dogfighting. To find out the character they want to know if he has been in trouble with the law, or with coaches or fellow players. Does he have a drinking or drug problem, or gambling addiction. They would never say it or even realize it, but they are looking for holy men of God. Where else do you get good character guys? Holiness is attractive but they don’t want to hear about God, Jesus or religion. They want good guys, but not God’s guys so much. Like a college friend who married another college preacher friend who was explaining to another friend why she divorced three years ago after over 20 years of marriage. “Mark is a good guy, but he is not for me...” Then goes on to moan that there arent any good guys out there. I think she was saying that she wanted a good guy who wasn’t a Godly guy. It’s Funny how attractive holiness is, but we want it without God.
Sermon in a Nutshell: Let me make a provocative statement.
"If you don’t love everyone you are not Entirely Sanctified, and maybe not saved."
Every Christian Church believes this is a desirable goal, but only the holiness churches believe it is achievable because of God sanctifying power.
-In v.48 Jesus said to be perfect just like Dad. What did He mean by that? In the language of the NT, perfect does not mean flawless or attaining perfection. It means being mature in a moral sense. It often carries the idea of being complete. God wants us to be complete in our character, lacking nothing. He wants us to be complete in our ability to give and receive love. If we only love those who love us, then the love of God is incomplete in us. Incomplete love shows that we have not received God’s love to the extent that it has changed us and made us like Him. So Jesus is really talking about the way we love others. Here is the main thought I’d like to examine today:
Prop: We can only love perfectly when we have been changed by God’s perfect love.
TS: Let’s take a look at 3 thoughts on perfect love that will help us get a sense of what God is calling us to.
I. The Twisting of Perfect Love
Love Proposes Marriage p16 Hermiz
Love is a four letter word with a lot of meanings. You may have heard of about the young man who was proposing to his girlfriend and started by saying, “ I’m not rich and I don’t have a hot sports car or a fancy boat like Jerome, But I do love you.” His girlfriend replied, “Well, I love you too, but tell me a little more about Jerome.”
Bible Love defined -
Phileo - Friendship - Strong emotion attached to it. Can’t be commanded -you have to feel it.
Eros - Sexual Love -Erotic
Agape -God’s kind, not primarily an emotional kind, but rather a volitional (willful) -spiritual
1 Cor. 13: Love chapter has all to do with acting not with feeling.
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’”
-In Matthew 5, Jesus has been fulfilling the Old Testament by bringing out its deeper meaning. He does it again here in verse 43: He says "You have heard that it was said, "Love your neighbor and hate your enemy."