Summary: This sermon defines Christian love as caring, helping, paying the price and expecting no reward.
cThe Christian Life Week 2
(A) The Foundation of Love Luke 10:25-37
1 Cor. 13:1f
WHAT IS CHRISTIAN LOVE?
The Parable of the Good Samaritan
“A man from Samaria then came traveling along that road. When he saw the man (Who had been beaten and robbed and not helped by two church people) he felt sorry for him (Caring and wanting what was best for the man) and went over to him. He treated his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put him on his own donkey and took him to an inn where he took care of him. The next morning he gave the innkeeper two silver coins and said, ‘Please take care of the man. If you spend more than this on him, I will pay you when I return.’” (Luke 10:33-35, CEV)
After Jesus told the Bible teacher God wanted us to love, He gave him a picture of what Christian love is in The Parable of the Good Samaritan.
1) This love means we care about our fellow man and want what is best for him.
2) We are willing to take action to help him and to pay the price to help.
3) We do all this because God wants us to and because it is right and we do it with no expectation of reward.
1. Christian Love is the Fountain of all
“The only obligation you have is to love one another. Whoever does this has obeyed the Law. The commandments- ‘Do not commit murder, do not steal, do not desire what belongs to someone else’ –all these, and many others are summed up in the one command, ’Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” (Rom. 13:8-9,TEV)
“If anyone loves me he will obey my teachings/ My command is this, love each other as I have loved you.” (Jn. 14:23)
“Love is patient. Love is kind, etc.” (1 Cor. 13)
The entire Christian life is the product of love. If I love you I will not steal from you or be jealous of what you have. In other words I will obey all the teachings of God and Jesus Christ. This is why Paul in 1 Corinthians 13 defines love by its actions-patience, kindness, forgivenss, etc. In section two of this work we will look at the primary Christian virtues listed in 5 places in the NT. -
1) Paul’s list in 1 Corinthians 13
2) The clothing of a Christian (Col. 3)
3) The Fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 5)
4) The Character of a Christian (Matt. 5)
5) The “One Another” Verses (Gal. 6:2, etc.)
See Section (B) The Fruit of Love
2. Christian Love is Caring
The New Birth causes us to care about our fellow man. Christian Love cares about and wants what is best for every person. This is the “good will” part of Agape. Every person is God’s creation and someone for whom Jesus died. They are people like us who are fighting difficult battles within, inner demons others know nothing about. Having the mind of Christ, we want what is best for them. If they are un-Christian we want them to follow Christ. If they are our loved one, we want them to be good and to be happy. If they are our enemies we want them to stop treating us and others badly and know the joy of having good relationships.
3. Christian Love is Acting, Doing, Serving,
“A new commandment I give you, that you love one another.” (2 Jn. 5)
God commands us to love therefore it is something we can choose to do or not do. It is an act of the will. It may not be something we particularly want to do but we do it for the Lord. (Who want to be nice to people who are not nice to them? Who wants to go to someone who doesn’t like him? Most of us would rather eat nails than to apologize. Who wants to witness to someone about Christ?)
Love is not necessarily a matter of feeling- Ninety percent of true Christianity resides in our wills. We cannot make ourselves “like” somebody or “feel like” being nice to them. If a man insults your wife, all hell will break loose in your soul. Your first victory will be to refrain from taking revenge. When time passes God will say to you if you meet him and he sticks out his hand, shake it. You will say, “God I don’t want to! I don’t feel like it.” God will say, “I know that Bob. Only I can make you want to do it or feel like it. But you can make yourself shake his hand so do it for Me.” Perhaps the feeling may come, but if it doesn’t, we should still do what God wants. We don’t have to pretend “friendship” or act like we like this person, but we do have to show kindness, courtesy and any other action that will lead this person to repentance. Remember this: . “We can never feel our way into acting but we can act our way into feeling.”