Sunday, July 24, 2011

To Build Up, or Tear Down: Part 2 - Building Up Sinners


To Build Up or Tear Down
Part 2 – Building up Sinners in Love
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org

INTRODUCTION
Last week we spoke about John 3:16, and why Jesus came.  We saw that it was God's love for sinners that prompted the giving of His Son to pay our debt because of sin.  Verse 17 tells us that God did not send His Son into the world to condemn it, but Jesus came to seek and save the lost.

Jesus' mission on earth was to build and strengthen a body of believers through the power of the Holy Spirit, and call these followers of Christ, the church.

Jesus did this through love, as described in I Corinthians 13.  We see many examples of the biblical love we are to have towards others, whether they be sinners, saints or enemies.  We also learned from I Corinthians 13, that if we do not operate and walk in love, that everything we do is for nothing, and we ourselves are nothing without love.

How can this be?

I John 4:16 “God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. “

If you are not living in love, you are not living in God, and He is not living in you.

I John 4:20 “If 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.”

You cannot hate others, whether it be for selfish reasons, or because they are sinners, or you don't like their personalities, or for any other reason. 

You say you love God, what do the scriptures say that statement actually means?

I John 5:3 “This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome...”

If God's commands have become burdensome to you, it is because there is an area of your life where you are not obeying.

The biggest reason people struggle with something from the Bible is because of self. 

If you place your wants above God's, your will above God's, you are living in the same selfish place satan was when he wanted to place himself above God.

If you want to damage your relationship with God, behave like satan rather than Christ.  This will work every time.

So we know from Romans 5:8 that God demonstrated His love for us by dying WHILE we were still sinners.

If we truly follow Christ, we must live in love REGARDLESS of others.  This is obeying what Christ commands.

If you are waiting for someone to change before you will love them, you are living in disobedience.

If you are waiting for someone to stop sinning before you love them, you are living in disobedience.

If you are waiting for someone to apologize to you for some wrong they did to you before you will show them love, then you are living in disobedience.

God loved the lost so much He sent His Son.
Jesus showed His love for us by dying for us WHILE we sinned against Him.
Jesus asked the Father in heaven to forgive the ones crucifying Him as they did it...not after they apologized, not after the repented, not after they saw the err of their ways.

Our obedience, and walking in love has to do with following Christ, and serving Him.  It is not based on others behaviors.

Why do the scriptures say in I Corinthians 13 that love never fails?

Because it's not based on others character, but God's.  We do these things because we are command, not because someone may deserve them.  Because in reality, as Paul said, “None are righteous.”

Are you obeying what Christ commands, living in love?Are you obedient, or living in disobedience?