Summary: We are proven His followers when the love our Master taught, practiced, and proved for us is reflected in our lives and shines through us to this world.
The Love of Christ
Text: Philippians 2:3-8
ILL: TV scene of spoiled rich kid (the one who has been given all the advantages but rebels against their parents.)
We recognize this caricature of a person because we all feel that there should be reciprocity of goodness that a person has received.
I know that you all have known someone for whom you have done good things, maybe a few, maybe a lot, but that person has not shown an ounce of gratitude let alone responded in kind. I’ve known a few people like that; to be honest I have on occasion been that person.
Even when we don’t expect anything in return we have a certain level of expectation that the goodness done for that person would in some way be reflected in their own actions our outlook.
We all know what I’m talking about so I wonder why it is that we are so slow to see that God has the same expectation for those of us who call ourselves His children.
Read Philippians 2:3-8
In these verses, Paul encourages the church in Philippi, and all believers, to follow the example of Jesus and in particular Paul mentions the love of Jesus (v1, 2.)
I.Jesus Taught Love
A. Love is what brought Him to us
John 3:16 (NASB) “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
1. Jesus taught the greatest commandment is wrapped up in love Mark 12:28 - 32 (NASB) One of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, “What commandment is the foremost of all?” Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’
a. He made the second most important commandment to love those around us:
V31 “The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
b. He even taught that we are to love our enemies and those who persecute us. (Matthew 5:44)
2. We are told in 1 Corinthians 13 that love:
a. …is patient and kind; eliminates envy, pride, arrogance, selfishness, and resentment.
b. Peter wrote in 1 Peter 4:8 that love covers a multitude of sins.
1) Peter is not suggesting that one Christian’s love atones for another Christian’s sins.
2) He is quoting a proverb from the Old Testament
Proverbs 10:12 (NASB) Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.
3) Peter is reminding us that love does not stir up sins. We can demonstrate our love for our fellow believers by truly forgiving them and not talking openly about their past sins.
3. As faithful followers of Jesus we need to reflect the love our master taught: loving others as we have been loved.
II.Jesus Practiced Love
A. His life radiated love in every aspect
1. We see love in the relationship with Jesus, Lazarus, Martha, and Mary
John 11:5 (NASB) Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.
a. in v36 He was moved by the grief of the mourners.
2. One several occasions John refers to himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved (John 13:23. 19:26)
3. He spoke of Jerusalem in terms of love:
Matthew 23:37 (NASB) “…How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings…”
4. He tells His disciples to love:
John 15:12 (NASB) “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.
5. We see His love throughout the gospels in the way He interacted with the crowds which followed Him.
[As faithful followers of Jesus we need to reflect the love our master practiced: loving others as we have been loved.]
III.Jesus Proved Love
A. His ultimate proof was to die upon the cross
Romans 5:6 - 8 (NASB) For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
1. In His death He proclaimed His love for the entire world.
a. Paul wrote of the love of Jesus to the church in Galatia:
Galatians 2:20 (NASB) “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.