Summary: The Bible teaches us that it is impossible to be a Christian with out love for your brother and neighbor. We are commanded in the epistle to the Hebrew Christian’s, to …Keep on Loving our Brothers.
“LOVING YOUR BROTHER (NEIGHBOR)”
INTRO: For the past several weeks we have been exploring the traits of a REAL Christian. We have examined the following:
· R-Righteous Lifestyle
· E-Evangelical Passion
· A-Authentic Walk
That now brings us to the L in Real-
· L- Loving Your Brother/Neighbor
ILLUS: Pastor Rick Warren, Pastor of Saddleback Community Church, in So. Cal, has come up with a slogan that He uses for the purpose statement of his church.
He uses the two great scriptures:
Matthew 22:37-40 Jesus replied: "’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’38 This is the first and greatest commandment.39 And the second is like it: ’Love your neighbor as yourself.’
40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
Matthew 28:19-20 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
“A Great Commitment to the Great Commandment and the Great Commission will grow a Great Church”- Pastor Rick Warren- The Purpose Driven Church, Pastor Rick Warren, Zondervan Publishing, 1995, page 102
If you will allow me to put a little twist to this slogan, to fit our purposes today, I would say:
“An Authentic Commitment to the Great Commandment and the Great Commission will grow an Authentic Christian!”
A couple of weeks ago, we discussed in detail the importance of having a Passion for Evangelism. Having an Authentic commitment to the Great Commission-
As a matter of fact, I mentioned that a Non- Evangelical Christian was an Oxymoron.
Let me be as bold, and as hermeneutically correct we I state:
PROP.SENT: The Bible teaches us that it is impossible to be a Christian with out love for your brother and neighbor. We are commanded in the epistle to the Hebrew Christian’s, to …Keep on Loving our Brothers.
I. IMPORTANCE OF LOVE
A. First Love!
1 John 4:19 We love because he first loved us.
I love this part of Scripture, because God takes all the pressure off. Husbands, Wives, remember when you were dating your spouse. Think back to the time when you wanted to say, “I love You!” but you had that little thing in the back of your mind that said, “What if she laughs at me?” “What if He does not Love me in return?”
One of the important things we need to understand about Love, is that “God loved us First”! And he proclaimed it loudly on Calvary’s Hill.
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
God himself put all the cards on the table, and said First of all- “I Love You!”
When we first started our relationship with Jesus Christ, what we did was, we simply said- “I love you too Jesus” and a relationship was started. Our relationship with God is based on the word Love- Without Love, we have NO relationship!
Now if you do not think that this is an important quality, or a mandate for the real Christian, let me remind you what Jesus told the Church in Ephesus.
To the Church in Ephesus he said: Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love.5 Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.
So what does this have to do with, Loving Your Brother/Neighbor?
1 John 3:16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.
The same type of Love that Jesus Showed us, we need to show our brothers! To the point of laying down our lives.
B. Fathers Love!
1 John 4:19 If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.
If I were to take a quick poll of today’s congregation, I am sure that there would be an overwhelming response that we would all say- We Love our Heavenly Father.
However, as we taught last week, we need to Walk the Walk, not just Talk the Talk!
How do we put feet to the thought of Loving our Heavenly father?
Simple according to this passage: LOVE YOU BROTHER!!!