Sunday, July 18, 2010

What is Sin - Part 11 : Anything that is not Love is Sin

Part 11 - Love or Apathy?
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |


1 John 4:19-21
 19We love because he first loved us. 20If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.


We are too often too easy on ourselves, and too condemning of others.

It is easy for us to overlook our “little problems”, and yet condemn others for their “big sins”.

We call ourselves Christians, followers of Christ, Bible Believers, but are we walking the walk or just filling the air with dead words?

Jesus told the Pharisees that they were beautiful white washed stones on the outside, but full of dead man’s bones.

Do we give concern to our outside, what others see, saying many words to “prove” or “convince” others and ourselves that we are living the way we are supposed to be?

There are people in this very room today, who by their own admissions, by the words they say, and how they treat others, are NOT followers of Christ, but followers of their own flesh and it’s sinful desires.

Many of them do not even know it.

It is easy to see the “do not’s” in our lives, but how many of us see that we are not living in love as the Lord has called us to, because we are too busy thinking of ourselves, and what is important to us, rather than others?
Every time you put yourself before someone else, you are sinning.

Every time you steamroller others to get your way, even if your way is something are sinning.

Every time you follow what “you want”, you are ignoring what God wants, and when you do that, you are sinning.

So how do we, as followers of Christ, live a pleasing life to God?

Let’s take a look at what the Lord says is the greatest command, and how we can examine ourselves to see if we are TRULY living for the Lord, or living for ourselves.

I.                   THE GREATEST OF COMMANDS

a.      What is the Greatest Command?

                                                             i.      Love God
1.      Mark 12:28-31 - 28One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?"
 29"The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' 31The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."

                                                          ii.      Love
1.      Loving God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength comes BEFORE loving others, BUT loving others is EQUAL to loving God!
a.      1 John 5:3 - This is love for God: to obey his commands.

b.      Jesus said; John 14:15 -  15"If you love me, you will obey what I command.

c.      John 14:21 - Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."

d.     1 John 3:24 - Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.

2.      You cannot truly love others until you love God.
a.      Heart = physical part of us
                                                                                                                                      i.      The original text does not speak of the heart.... it speaks of the bowels. In the language of that day, people considered the feelings to reside in the deepest part of their being and, to them, that place was the bowels. Today, we would never say "I love you with all my bowels." However in that day that would have been a very acceptable phrase.

b.      Soul = Spiritual part of us

c.      Mind = Our thinking

d.     Strength = To give 100% of our efforts

                                                       iii.      Everything depends on these
1.      Matthew 22:40 - All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

2.      Everything we think/say/do, must be in Love towards God, and towards others. (Both EQUAL!)

a.      This is living in love

b.      You CANNOT do anything for God, if you do not love Him and others!
                                                                                                                                      i.      If you are not living by the Spirit, you are living by your flesh... (Two Masters...)

c.      Romans 8:8 - Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

3.      Last week we spoke about two masters, the Spirit and the Flesh, which one is controlling you?

b.     God is Love
                                                             i.      God is Love
1.      1 John 4:7-8 -  7Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

                                                           ii.      I Corinthians 13:1-8 Love
1.        1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

 4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8Love never fails...

                                                       iii.      Opposite of love is...apathy (lack of concern)

1.      Apathy - is a lack of interest or concern, especially regarding matters of general importance or appeal.

2.      Not caring.

3.      If Jesus treated you the way you treat others, most of you would be crushed and devastated, yet you do not pause to think of how you behave towards others.

4.      Let us not forget what Jesus said; Matthew 25:40;45

 "...I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

 “...whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'

Do you have compassion for others, or are you too concerned about yourself and your needs to care?

Are you like the rich young man who thinks he is doing everything right, or are you like the man who beat his chest at the altar confessing he is a sinner and asking God to forgive him?

Only one of these is justified before God...

Only one is behaving like a child of God.

c.      Behave Like a Child of God

                                                             i.      Romans 12:9-21 - What is Love?
1.        9Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

10Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.

Honor one another above yourselves.

11Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.

12Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

13Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

 14Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.

15Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.

16Live in harmony with one another.

Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

 17Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.

18If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

19Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. 20On the contrary:
   "If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
      if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
   In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." 21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

                                                          ii.      The Test
1.      We have been commanded;
a.      1 Corinthians 11:27-32 - whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. 29For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep.

31But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment. 32When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world.

2.      Why am I thinking/saying/doing this?
a.      Does it bring God glory?

3.      Is what I am thinking/saying/doing good?
a.      Am I bringing anyone closer to God?

4.      Am I acting in Love or selfishness?

                                                       iii.      Jesus showed us;
1.      How to bring God glory...
a.      By using our lives to show His mercy and forgiveness.
                                                                                                                                      i.      1 Timothy 1:16 - But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.

2.      How to bring others to Him
a.      By sharing the Truth of God’s Word with others, and allowing the Holy Spirit to do a work with the seed we sew.
3.      How to act in love
a.      Having compassion on others, but most of all lost sinners.
                                                                                                                                      i.      John 3:17 - For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
                                                                                                                                   ii.      The Samaritan woman at the well.
                                                                                                                                 iii.      The prostitute who washed His feet.
                                                                                                                                 iv.      The adulteress who was going to be stoned.
                                                                                                                                   v.      The tax collector who stole.
                                                                                                                                 vi.      Jesus condemned none of them...but He loved them and showed them compassion.

                                                         iv.      Are you really acting in Love?
1.      Love or Apathy?

2.      Are you compassionate or heartless?


It is easy to say the words, more difficult to live them.

Let us, this week, examine ourselves closely.

Let us judge ourselves deeply, so that the Lord will not have to correct us, or judge us.