Summary: This sermon shows how loving one another is the mark of a true Christian and once we surrender our lives to Christ everyone will notice.
Love One Another
I've finished another book called “stop asking Jesus into your heart” by J.D. Grier. The title makes it seem as if you shouldn't be a Christian. But it really deals with those who doubt their salvation so much that they feel like they have to constantly ask Jesus into their heart. "Oh I messed up again! - Jesus come back into my heart." Well in his book, He biblically explains how some people falsely assume their saved because they said a prayer or walk an aisle or made some other religious expression of faith years ago. But unfortunately they never repented nor believed. And on the other hand there are those who never said such a prayer but they did repent and believe and therefore are saved. Like the thief on the cross. (It is by no means condemning leading people to repentance through prayer, however)
We might have all seen the kid biting the coin to see if it is real on movies and TV shows. When real gold was used for coinage, you could bite into the coin and it would leave a tooth mark because pure gold yields to pressure more than other metals, so by biting it you could see if it was real. There are certain evidences that prove Christians are who they claim to be, one of which is loving one another.
Wilmot Buxton shared a story about the battle of Tel-el-Keber, in it he mentions that the troops had no sufficient plans. The general offered a young naval officer to lead the Highland Brigade by the light of the stars to their destined post. When the fight began the Highlanders were ready, and among the first to fall was their young leader. The victory was gained, and the general hastened to the tent of the wounded officer. The dying man smiled as he raised his trembling hand to his commander, and looking him in the face said “General didn't I lead them straight?” We are leading our fellow men by our example, the question is, are we leading them straight?
Brotherly love is the defining characteristic of Christians. By it we know each other, by it others know us and by it Jesus will know us. Those will be our three points for our sermon this morning.
I. By loving one another, We know we are Christians
By loving one another, we have an assurance that we are regenerated. We have an assurance that we have eternal life. We have an assurance that we are saved.
“We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers.” - 1 John 3:14
“We” is referring to “We, Christians”. Loving our brothers is evidence that we are saved. So we should take a moment and define love. In 1 Cor. 13 Paul defines love by what it is and by what it isn't. He said Love is patient, love is kind, it rejoices with the truth. He also said Love isn't proud or jealous, or rude or temperamental. Love shows itself through good works, love is charitable and forgiving. If you love one another you will be showing it. Love is a verb, an action word. Your action will support your profession, “..because we love our brothers” Charles Spurgeon said “We love them for Christ's sake, we love them for truth's sake, we love them for their own sake, we love them when the world hates them.” We love them in spite of their faults, infirmities, and inferiorites. We love them!
*We love their company
I Peter 2:17 commends us to “ ..love the brotherhood of believers..” There is a Turkish proverb that says “No road is long with good company” We are designed to be social creatures. We live in groups, work in groups, and socialize in groups. I mentioned Wednesday that Paul asks “what fellowship does light have with darkness?” The word 'fellowship' means partnership and we have a partnership with Jesus. Whenever we fellowship with each other we should remember we a partnership with Christ. We are all flock together but we are in his sheep pen.
As Peter calls us a 'brotherhood', it is a fraternity united to Christ, we are nearly related in the same interest, that's why we call one another brothers and sisters. We have communion with one another. We are going to be living in the same home soon and very soon – so we love one another's company and conversation with a unique and special fondness.
*We love their testimony
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” -Hebrews 10:24,25