Summary: We love immoral people by holding on to what we believe and sympathizing with the weaknesses of others because we know what our weaknesses are.
Jesus says the most important command of God for us to obey is this, “To love God with all our heart, soul, strength and mind and to love others.” So for the last few weeks we’ve taken some time to define what this kind of love is. We can summarize our last few lessons this way, “Genuine love is faithful especially in very difficult and painful circumstances and full of joy. It’s impossible to love others and God without making sacrifices. And the only way to really love God and love others is to disown yourself and follow Jesus.”
It’s one thing to define love, but, now that we know what God says it is, the bigger question is, “what do we do this love?” How do we put love into action as Jesus followers. I believe that the best way for us to show love is to do it the way Jesus did. Today we’re going to talk about how to love and share truth with those who are immoral. Hebrews 4:14-16 says, "So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most."
Last Sunday we discussed the first part of this Scripture,” let us hold firmly to what we believe” The Bible teaches us that the best witnesses for Jesus to an unbelieving world are followers who hold on to what they believe in every circumstance.
Today we’re going to focus on the second part of this Scripture, "This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all the same testings we do, yet he did not sin." Jesus Christ and His resurrection from the dead sealed our identity. His victory over death is the proof of our home in Heaven. As Jesus followers we belong to God, we are not our own because we've been bought with the blood and sacrifice of Jesus. This means that our actions are motivated by our choice to deny who we are and to take up the cross of Jesus. We don't help people because they need help, we serve people so we can show them who Jesus is. Everything we do and say is about loving God and others through our faith in Jesus Christ. This is the life of a follower.
I like how the Message translates this, “Use your heads as you live and work among outsiders. Don’t miss a trick. Make the most of every opportunity. Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out.“ Colossians 4:5-6
Jesus followers don’t point the finger at people who haven't made a decision to disown themselves for the cross of Jesus, because, they don't live by the same standard of morality that we do. According to the Scripture we’re looking at today, we love the unbeliever by holding on to what we believe, and