Sermon Notes of the series: 10 Things for the church; What is Distinctive about Christian Love 1 Corinthians 13

 

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Again,  in order to help the listener at Poplar Springs North Baptist Church, I submit these rough draft notes from the sermon. Often, the sermon with deviate from this text.  You can find us online at psnbc.org 

INTRODUCTION

Jim was passionate about God.  His whole life was reconciled to the fact that God had saved him and a world needed to be saved.  He did EVERYTHING to the glory of God.  School, speaking, sports all mattered to make him useful for the Kingdom.  He almost did not marry because he thought he could serve God better as a single man.

Hungering for more than a mediocre existence, and believing the United States were well fed with the gospel, Jim moved to Ecuador on February 1, 1952.  But on Oct 8, 1953 he would marry his equal, Elisabeth. There, in the jungle, along with friends Ed McCully, Roger Youderian, Pete Fleming, and their pilot, Nate Saint along with their wives and families, they sought to take the gospel to the Auca people, a savage tribe.

On January 8, 1956. Jim Elliot was the first of the five missionaries killed when he and Peter Fleming were greeting two of those attackers that showed themselves pretending they were interested in taking plane rides with them. Elliot’s body was found downstream, along with those of the other men, except that of Ed McCully which was found even farther downstream.

He gave his life, in love for the Father that others would know Him as well.

 

Transition

WHAT IS LOVE?

Wikipedia (Just for reference)

Ancient Greek philosophers identified five forms of love: essentially, familial love (in Greek, Storge), friendly love or platonic love (Philia), romantic love (Eros), guest love (Xenia) and divine love (Agape). Modern authors have distinguished further varieties of love: unrequited love, infatuated love, self-love, and courtly love. Asian cultures have also distinguished Ren, Kama, Bhakti, Mettā, Ishq, Chesed, and other variants or symbioses of these states.[8][9] Love has additional religious or spiritual meaning. This diversity of uses and meanings combined with the complexity of the feelings involved makes love unusually difficult to consistently define, compared to other emotional states.

 

Today, we are looking at the love that Christ wants of the church.

Yesterday, much love.  I am overwhelmed at the love that you all have shown my family.

Now today, I do not offer criticism, but I offer a target, a goal that Christ has set before us as Saints to reach.

Yesterday, your love for us impacted several people.  They were overly impressed that so many FRIENDs would aid us. 

 

THE TEXT

Paul writes about the spirit of Christian love in 1 Corinthians 13.

1Co 13:1-13  If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  (2)  And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  (3)  If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.  (4)  Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant  (5)  or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;  (6)  it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.  (7)  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  (8)  Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.  (9)  For we know in part and we prophesy in part,  (10)  but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.  (11)  When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.  (12)  For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.  (13)  So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Explain Passage

  • Ability without love is annoying
  • Power without a heart of love is not honorable
  • Sacrifice without love is selfishness
  • Love is not about self.
  • Love is thinking about the other person for their joy more so than your own.
  • Love loves growth in truth and sees falsehood as harm.
  • Love deals with problems, setbacks, and the various stages of life with perseverance, bringing hope.
  • Love looks to the future, expecting greater treasures ahead.

 

You have already demonstrated a love for the Saints, a love for the church body locally, and a love for Christ.

THREE MORE TYPES OF LOVE

Love expecting nothing in reward.

“If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. (Luk 6:32-36)

  • Love is its own return. We love others and benefit them because it brings us joy ourselves.  Not a selfish love, but a love of unity, relationship.
  • If sinners can love each other, our goal is to out-love them. Demonstrating, that the love of God is worthy, compelling, and transformative

 

Love your enemies

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? (Mat 5:43-47)

  • Christian love requires action. We must initiate love especially to those who have wronged us, because the hope of our Master is greater that self-serving vengeance or insult.
  • This love does not ignore the wrong, rather it acknowledges it and chooses to act in a way that shows the superiority of Christ.

 

Love the unloveable

And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Mat 9:35-38)

  • He was moved with compassion
  • The church is to do the same, there is a harvest of sinners to love.

“To what then shall I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another, “‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not weep.’ For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by all her children.” (Luk 7:31-35)

  • Jesus was moved of heart for sinners. That is good news for me, for you, and all who call upon His name.

 

WHY THEREFORE LOVE?

Christ like love benefits others.  It is sacrificial, messy, and costly. Think of the good Samaritan.

Love is a heart issue.  The love you give reveals the condition of your heart.

Loving in Christian love is all about becoming like Jesus.  It is what we hold onto rather than the old man, we put on the new. We identify with His sufferings in our suffering in order to let His spirit work in us to recognize pain, abandonment, ridicule, misunderstanding, gossip, slander, and all the ills that came upon our Lord.

 

SUMMARY

Jim Elliot once said “He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”

Christian love is sacrificial because, ”while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

The love He has, has transformed our hearts, that we are now being made like Him.  And that transformation comes only through loving as He has.  Loving without expectation of return, loving enemies, and loving the unlovable.

To be on mission with God is to love without expectation of return, to love our enemies, and love the unlovable.

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