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The Commands of Love (1 John 3:16-18)

May 6, 2015

Reflecting on the Passage:

Here at East Point Church, we had the pleasure of welcoming our brother Trip Lee (Assistant Pastor at Cornerstone Church) to bring the Word of God this week. This week’s sermon shows the power of the Gospel to cultivate genuine love among an unlovable people. Pastor Lee exhorts with a hearty reminder of the sacrificial love Christ displayed at the cross, for those He loved. The focus of this sermon is on the commands of love based on the example Christ left for His Church, namely, love is active and attentive.

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Genuine Love is Active: Self-Sacrificing

By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers (1 John 3:16;ESV).

Pastor Lee opens with an exhortation to look at the cross of Christ as a vivid expression of genuine love. Jesus Christ laid down His life for His sheep. Thus, those who follow Christ ought to have this same mind and love for others, especially with those who too bear His Name (Galatians 6:10; Philippians 2:1-21). Some are willing to die for a cause, but how many are willing to live to meet the needs of others (cf. Romans 5; Philippians 1:20-26)?

Genuine Love is Attentive: In Word and Deed

But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth (1 John 3:17-18; ESV).”

The world views their possessions differently than the way God says we should (cf. Luke 12:13-21). Genuine love requires that we are attentive to the needs of others; this not mean they should be eased and we burdened, but we certainly should tend to what is needful for the body (cf. 2 Corinthians 8; 2 Thessalonians 3). Genuine love also requires a willingness to be transparent to those who are willing to assist, which provides both parties with an opportunity to serve one another as the Body of Christ (cf. 1 Corinthians 12:12-27). If we want to grow in our love for one another, then we must continue to mediate on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Do we really love one another?

Love shows up in our actions. If you do not know Jesus, you may do some loving things, yet without Him your love is shallow at best. Genuine love requires us to live not for ourselves, but for the glory of God by being attentive to the needs of others and being willing to share what God has given us. Jesus Christ sought us out and met our needs with love, when we were unlovable, so that we, who are in Christ, would live according to His example (Romans 7:4; 2 Corinthians 5:14-15).

Listen to this week’s full sermon for free and check out the sermon note below.

For more information concerning Pastor Lee and Cornerstone, please visit their website at http://www.cornerstoneatl.org/about/our-leaders/.

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