Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Love of God - Part 2 "Love your Neighbor"

Our Great Commission
The Love of God
Part 2: Loving your Neighbor
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith – |


6:00PM Evening Service at the church –
“Seminary Students will be preaching”


† Maturing in Christ
† Understanding in Christ

This Series: The Love of God

Part 1: The Love of God

TODAY’S SERMON: Our Great Commission
The Love of God
Part 2: Loving your Neighbor


Loving your Neighbor

• Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey my commands.”
• The Great Commission, Jesus said “Teach them to obey all that I have commanded you.”

Jesus was asked by a Pharisee what the greatest commandment in the Law was.

This test was given to try and prove Jesus was a false prophet.

Jesus had just silenced the Sadducees a moment earlier when they tried making Him look like a fool.

This is where we pick up in today’s Scripture Reading.

Matthew 22:
34Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:
36"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" 37Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'[b] 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'[c] 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

Last week we talked about loving God with all of your heart, soul and mind.

This week we will speak on the second part of what Jesus calls the Greatest Commandment from the Law.

“Love your neighbor as yourself.”

All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commands.

I. Who is my neighbor?

Luke 10:25-37
25On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

26"What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?"
27He answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"
28"You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live."

29But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"

30In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. 35The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.'

36"Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?"

37The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him."
Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."

• The expert in the Law quoted Deuteronomy 6:5 & Leviticus 19:18 … love the Lord your God…and your neighbor as yourself.

• 28"You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live." Which means the expert was NOT doing this!

• This shows that he KNEW what to do, but was not doing it.

• We see in the following verse the expert wanting to justify himself…he was self-righteous

• He was determined to win heaven by religious self-efforts…which is impossible.

Jesus paints a picture of our neighbor…

In the parable he was a man who was stripped and beaten, and left for dead.

A priest passed him by…

A Levite passed him by…

But Jesus uses a Samaritan (who was detested by most Jews) as the one who stopped and helped the man who was in need.

Do we, help those we see in need?

Or do we spend more time judging them?

In the parable, Jesus shows us the right response we are to have for our neighbors, or those who are in need.

He didn’t ask whether or not the beaten man was a believer.

He didn’t ask for anything in return for his help.

He didn’t look at the man and say, “Well you must have done something wrong to deserve this”

He didn’t say to himself, “Well I would help you, but you don’t go to church like you should.”

He didn’t run around telling everyone he knew about this man who was attacked…probably because he lives in the world.

This story is about loving those in need…not judging them.

The Lord is the Judge, not us.

Yet we judge all the time with the words of our mouths…usually in gossip masked as concern.

II. How do I love them?

How do we love our neighbors?

Jesus said the greatest command was to love God with all your heart, mind and soul and the second was like the first…

Do we love our neighbors with ANY of our heart, mind or soul?

Or do we constantly stand in judgment over anyone who doesn’t measure up to our standards?

Every time we open our mouths and set a standard for someone, we are raising the standard of judgment on ourselves…the scriptures tell us that.

We can learn a lot from the parable Jesus taught here.

III. Why do we love them?

a. Because the Lord Commands us to

b. Because the Lord does

I come not to judge, but to save…

If we are to continue our Masters work as we are instructed to, then shouldn’t we be doing what He was doing?

Not to judge, but to save…