Summary: Was John talking only about our appearance when he said, “We shall be like Him” - especially when the Bible urges us to become more & more like Jesus in the ways that we think, talk & behave? (Powerpoints Available - #428.)
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER
RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
(Powerpoints used with this message are available free. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and request #428.)
A month or so ago someone put a request into the offering box asking me to preach a sermon on the 13th chapter of 1 Cor., which is often called the “Love Chapter” of the Bible. That chapter contains so much for us to consider that just one sermon could not cover it all. So this morning will be the first of several sermons during the next few months dealing with 1 Cor. 13.
ILL. Have you heard the story of the Jim twins? Jim Springer & Jim Lewis were twin sons of a 14-yr-old Italian girl. She gave birth to them in a small town in Ohio & then disappeared.
Having been abandoned, they were adopted into two separate loving families, & each one grew up knowing he had a twin brother somewhere.
Jim Lewis was driven by a desire to find his twin brother. Although they both lived in Ohio - one in Lima, & the other in Dayton – they had never met. Finally, after 39 years of separation, through the help of a probate court judge, they found one another.
Picture this scene in your mind. Jim Lewis drove to Dayton to meet his brother for the first time in 39 years. When he found the house he was so nervous that he drove around the block three times. Finally, he parked, walked up to the house & knocked on the door.
When Jim Lewis & Jim Springer met for the first time they stood staring at each other, speechless. They said it was like looking into a mirror. They discovered that they talked, looked, thought, & acted alike. It was almost spooky.
Both men also had the same hobby – woodworking; & both had just finished building wood furniture for their homes. Even stranger, the first wife of each man had been named Linda. Both had divorced & remarried. Both men’s second wife was named Betty. And of course, both had been given the first name “James” by their adoptive parents.
Though separated for 39 years, they were amazed to find so much similarity in their lives. (Adapted from Ed Sasnett on Sermon Central)
A. Well, while we may also be amazed at their story, may I suggest that God has a desire for an even more wonderful display of similarity in our lives – where we, as Christians, find ourselves beginning to think & talk & act more & more like Jesus?
In fact, the Apostle John may be suggesting the same idea in 1 John 3:2. “Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”
Now I realize most of the time when we read that verse we think that the Apostle John means we will be like Jesus – with the same kind of heavenly body that Jesus has. And that is probably correct.
But was John talking only about our appearance when he said, “We shall be like Him” - especially when the Bible urges us to become more & more like Jesus in the ways that we think, talk & behave?
B. You know, sometimes it is hard for those who profess to be Christians to behave like Christians should. We try, but sometimes we may lose our tempers & behave much like the world behaves.
But the Bible teaches that we are to be people who exhibit love in our relationships with one another.
Listen to these words, "Be completely humble & gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love" (Ephesians 4:2). And again, "Make every effort to live in peace with all men & to be holy..." (Hebrews 12:14).
SUM. Now each of these verses say the same thing. It may be difficult sometimes, & not everybody will be easy to love, but if it is possible as far as we’re concerned, we are to live in peace & harmony with everyone.
PROP. So, as I said, in the next few months I’ll prepare a few sermons dealing with how to get along with other people, focusing on 1 Cor. 13, the "love chapter" of the Bible.
This morning we'll look at the first 3 verses which Paul begins by saying, "Now I will show you the most excellent way." (1 Cor. 13:1)
I. THE IMPORTANCE OF LOVE IN OUR LIVES
He is saying, "I want to show you the best way to take care of virtually every situation, & that is the way of love." Then he points out that love is more important than four other things that Christians consider very important.