Summary: A look into the sacrificial love that Christ calls us, as His children, to have for others.
WHAT ABOUT OUR SACRIFICIAL LOVE: 1 Corinthians 8
I want to start out this morning by reminding you of a couple of things that you already know!
First, you know about the sacrificial love of Jesus.
· He left the glory of Heaven
· Came and lived among men to show us how to live!
· He also came, because of His great love for us, to die on the cross so that His blood would be the perfect covering for our sins.
· How He rose again to conquer death, hell & the grave and has gone to prepare a place for those of us who believe and abide in Him.
Second, you know that Jesus has called us to be His disciples and (like I just said) to abide in Him!
· We’re to walk in His love ~ enjoy the presence of His Holy Spirit in our lives ~ and to sit back and relax and wait for Him to come again (no, wait, that last one isn’t right)…
· We know that we are to go and make disciples!
But what does that mean?
· I think Jesus summed it up in Matthew 16:24-27 (read)
· But even before that, Jesus gives us a warning: Look at Matthew 10:38, “He does not take up his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.”
See, we know about HIS sacrificial love ~ but what about OUR sacrificial love?
· That’s what “taking up our cross” is all about ~ sacrificial love!
· Some people think that “sacrificial love” is giving up their Sunday mornings to come to church.
The church at Corinth had some of the same problems that our churches do today:
· Paul explains to them that the root of their problem was a lack of the understanding of and practice of LOVE.
· One of the examples he uses is in the question the church had about eating meat that was sacrificed to others gods (idols).
· The sacrifice of animals in worship was more than just an Old Testament, Jewish ritual.
Animals were offered as sacrifices in pagan temples, and the unused portions of meat were either sold in the market places, or served during the public feast days.
· Some of the Christians in Corinth were going to these feasts to eat ~ they didn’t see anything wrong with it because they had the knowledge that these gods that were being worshipped really didn’t exist, so it was no big deal!
· However, Paul gives them a spiritual principle to live by here:
I). Our knowledge of God is useless unless it leads us to love others (read vv. 1-3)
A). Their knowledge had led to pride!
· “You think that everyone should agree with your perfect knowledge.”
· In the NKJV, verse 1 says, “We know that we all have knowledge.”
· Then it goes on to say, “Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.”
B). Later on, in chapter 13, verse 4, Paul writes, “Love is not puffed up.”
· People who truly love God are not proud of their attainments, knowledge or deeds ~ we know where our knowledge and strength comes from!
C). True Christians, those who practice the love of God, edify, or build up, their fellow believers!
· Our ministry within the church is not a ministry of destruction!
· Our ministry is one of construction ~ we are to “add to” the Church with our time ~ our talents ~ our gifts ~ our service ~ and our witness!
II). Second spiritual principle: Freedom isn’t free.
A). This is true in our nation and in our spiritual life (v. 9)
· John 8:36 says, “Those whom the Son sets free are free indeed.”
· So many Christians use that verse to mean that they can go out and do whatever they please ~ and that’s okay with God!
· But what’s that verse really about ~ what’s that freedom from?
· John 8:34 Jesus says “Anyone who sins is a slave to sin.”
B). So Jesus (the SON) sets us free from the slavery of sin!
· We were in bondage to sin ~ we couldn’t help it! We did what our sinful nature told us to do!
· NOW however, we have been set free by Jesus ~ we have freedom IN Christ.
C). So our freedom is free: It’s the freedom (and the honor, and the privilege) to abide in Christ ~ to have the strength and desire, through the Holy Spirit living within us, to be obedient to His Word!
· It’s not a freedom to go out and do whatever we want to do, and that’ll be okay with God…
· It’s the freedom form sin that gives us the desire to live the way that God would have us to live ~ a life of righteousness, motivated by love!