Summary: To discover the evidence of a real Christian life.
LOVE THY NEIGHBOR!
Rev. John W. Gerald
I. LOVE, A GODLY QUALITY
Lev. 19:18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I [am] the LORD.
Vengeance and bearing grudges are ungodly qualities, quite contrary to the kind of spirit the LORD wants His children to have. They must be like Him!
II. LOVE OVERCOMES PREJUDICE
Matt. 5:43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
The law allowed for people to exact the same kind of injury upon the perpetrator as he inflicted upon his victim. The grace of God changes everything.
Matt. 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
"...(F)or in so doing you will heap coals of fire upon his head". Doing good in return for evil done to you will be unexpected and disconcerting to our enemies. Their conscience will bother them, in that they have done evil, and you have only done good. It is the best way to make a friend out of an enemy. Then he is no longer an enemy!
III. LOVE DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE
Matt. 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
To be Godlike, we must exemplify Godly qualities. God has blessed his enemies as well as His friends. The benefits of the air to breathe, the rain to make things grow, the sunshine to brighten our days is given to all alike. This is the example we should follow in doing good!
Matt. 5:46 For if ye love them
which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same?
IV. LOVE, THE STANDARD OF PERFECTION
Matt. 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
The measure of Christian perfection is taken in how well we follow the example of God in loving one another.
V. LOVE FAMILY AND NEIGHBOR ALIKE
Matt. 19:19 Honour thy father and [thy] mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
These two things are much neglected today. Children are too eager to have their sick and feeble parents committed to homes in the care of other people, and neighbors squabble over petty complaints, and offend each other continuously.
Matt. 22:39 And the second [is] like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Self-love may be the strongest known human love. That is a huge requirement, that we should
love anyone else in the same manner, or with the same measure, as we love ourselves. We could hold anyone with great esteem, but, without the love of Christ in our hearts, we can not love anyone else as much, or in the same manner as we love ourselves!
VI. FOLLOW THE EXAMPLE OF LOVE
John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that
ye also love one another.
The new commandment that Jesus gave his disciples was that they should follow his example in love. Love ye one another as I have loved you! It takes the heart of Jesus to do that! We can not do that unless He dwells within us. We must love in the same manner, with the same kind of love, as he loved.
Rom. 12:10 [Be] kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
We should not have to be reminded to be kind to one another, but it seems that that warning is needed. Selfishness, pride, and greed undercut the good qualities of brotherly love. We should always consider the other fellow’s interest ahead of our own. We should always be glad when he is honored, for we wish to honor him, too.
VII. A DEBT OF LOVE
Rom. 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
We owe everyone a debt of love. We can not ever pay off this debt, though we must always be paying down on it! We must always keep our business in order, so that we may not offend a brother. If we borrow any thing, we must return it in good condition as soon as we have finished the job for which we borrowed it. If it is lost, stolen, broken or damaged, we must make payment, or be reconciled to its owner as soon as possible, for the sake of Christ!