Summary: This sermon is a clear presentation of the priority of evangelism; with an emphasis on loving others the way Jesus loves us.
[Sunday, October 29, 2000, Harrison Christian Church, Johnson City, TN Robbie Phillips, Minister]
“The Titanium Rule”
Everyone knows the story: The great queen, when told that her people are starving and have no bread to eat, replies, “Let them eat cake”. The almost comic shock of her comment comes from the extreme “out of touch” with reality mindset that her words reveal. This sermon is about a very simple truth; the church, the saved, you and I have and must share what the world is dying without, Jesus (any other position is shockingly cruel).
I. Jesus, in His last teaching time with His followers, said (JN 14:34f) “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another… (JN 15:9f) “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
Jesus instructed that our love for others is to be modeled after His love for us (which is His display of God’s love for us)
One author has pointed out that Jesus New commandment directs the way we are to “do unto others” far beyond the “Golden Rule”
The Golden Rule says, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”
Notice, you are the standard (and some of us wouldn’t have someone “bother over us” for any reason. Our privacy is the highest value).
There is another rule, this one championed by the business world (specifically a business consultant named Tony Alexander) It is the Platinum Rule (Remember, gold cards are trumped by platinum ones). This rule says “do unto others as they would have them do unto them”. You know, “the consumer is always right!” (Some churches are wrongly tempted to follow this rule and make it their ultimate goal to meets the needs of their “customers”, thus Happy members = success).
Jesus, in the passage read teachers His rule for treating others…
Not a Golden one—with your own preferences as the rule…
Not a platinum one with the “customer” (even “body”) deciding the standard…
But a titanium rule, as it has been called, “do unto others as Jesus would have you do unto them” 1
The question, the answer to which, needs to be clear in our lives is this
II. What would Christ have us do for others?
We can start answering that question with help from Paul, listen to his words in Galatians 4:19 “My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you,”
The # 1 thing we can do for someone else is introduce them to and encourage them in a growing walk with Jesus.
Some steps to take (as suggested by L Crabb 2 )
1. Enter a battle for their soul (realizing the priority Christ puts on your success and the value the adversary puts on your failure). In general, develop a vision for that person---see them as Christ sees them (right now) and see them with Christ fully using them (long term).
2. Give them a taste of Christ delighting in them. Change depends upon experiencing the character of God. Romans 4:19 “God’s kindness leads you toward repentance…”
3. Spot the Good in the person’s life. Affirm what God is able to do in their life right now! (The power of affirmation is huge; your attitude can be everything)
4. Expose the bad and painful. Notice this comes after the first two…Bring their sin in the presence of God’s healing light (see Eph. 5:13)
III. Remember, the beauty of the Gospel
A. “Concerning this salvation…Even angels long to look into these things.” (1 Peter 1:9, 12)
The basics are the beautiful because they are what God wants! His will, and purpose being fulfilled is that which the angels longed to see…and you and I get to enact it!
B. Notice also in John 15 Jesus said “If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.” Jesus is talking about us obeying His titanium rule, loving others the way he has loved us and do you realize that in doing that you and I put ourselves in the path of god’s tremendous love for his children in a special way. Don’t you like the idea of knowing a way to “dwell” in the Lord’s love? Jesus said He dwelt in God’s love by fulfilling God’s commands—loving you and me. And you and I do the same (dwell in God’s love) when we love others with God’s love! We step into the path of God’s tremendous love for the lost when we become a channel of that love.