Jesus Church
Called To Community (Part 5 – Love is the greatest)
February 13, 2022

Called To Community (Part 5 – Love is the greatest)

February 13, 2022

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Called to Community

(Part 5)

Welcome Jesus Church here and online

We are in a series talking about the value of community in body of Christ

  • Community isn’t just a good idea – It is expected by God in our lives
    • So we are looking at how Jesus did community
    • How the early church did community
    • And how we should be doing community
  • Last week we looked at how community changed the early church
    • This Physician named Luke see’s it all happening first hand
    • And he see’s this powerful change in 1000’s of people
    • Attributes it to the concept of fellowship or Koinonia
  • That in fellowship God did something in these believers
    • It really caused them to give of themselves for others
    • Physically/Mentally/Financially
    • And out of the church was contagious… and grew in numbers

There was a special… supernatural love that came for Spirit of God

  • Just sorta messed with all these people… from around the world
    • And absolutely changed the way the saw the world
    • It changed the things they valued – Each other over themselves

Jn 13:35

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love 1 another.

  • If there is one thing that can unify people: it’s love
    • Love unifies people into marriage
    • Love unifies people into mission
    • Love unifies people into protecting others
  • Because the Point/The Goal/The Reason… IS TO LOVE WELL

Phil. 2:1

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion…

  • Paul is using rhetoric: Saying therefore (or) In view of the facts…
    • Of course we are encouraged in our unity with Jesus
    • Of course we find comfort in Christ
    • Of course there is sharing in the Spirit… in light of all of that

then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interested but each of you to the interests of the others.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: (Here is mindset of Jesus) Who being in the very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage. Rather he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every know should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.

And every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

I believe primary job of church is to love well

Reason we are here as Jesus Church in Phoenix is to love well

  • And honestly… that’s not too dangerous of a statement right?
    • I’m not gonna get any emails over that statement…
    • As long as we leave it at that
    • Why – because it’s completely subjective
  • And Love can be interpreted a million different ways
    • So what defines loving well… if our goal is to love well
      • We need to clarify what that means
      • And why it’s so important
  • So when we look at community and the concept of loving others
    • Question is: What does love look like
    • And how do I do it

Bible shows us to love well – Must focus on 3 things

  • All three of them are interconnected to each other
    • Loving God well
    • Love each other well
    • Love those in the world well

Jn. 13:34-35

A new command I give to you, love one another.

  • And wouldn’t it be great if Jesus just stopped there
    • Jesus: “I just want you to love each other”
    • Us: “Totally Jesus this is going to be awesome”
    • Us: “Yay – I love everyone that I see right now”
      • It would be so simple
  • Because if he stopped there – Only thing matters is your def of love
    • But Jesus says: This is how I want u to do it
      • …As I have loved you, so u must love one another
      • Jesus says: Don’t love your way – Please: I’ve seen it
      • Love like I showed you

Goes on to define that more specifically in Jn 15

Jn. 15:12-13

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

  • So now we have a qualification
    • You can’t just “LOVE” anyway you want to
    • We have to love the way Jesus loved us
    • To love well is to follow the example of Jesus
      • Then it goes from bad to worse

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love

one another.

  • Jesus says: This is main way people will know you are a Christian
    • YOUR MAIN WITNESS TO THE WORLD…
    • Your effectiveness on reaching the world with Jesus
      • Its how you love one another

How many times do we pray – God show ________ you love them

  • This can be people you like or don’t like
    • Spouse / Neighbor
    • Boss / Enemy… people with Cardinal Jerseys on
  • This is a great prayer – But answer to that prayer is YOU
    • Be great if God just shot them with Cupid’s arrow
    • If they’d wake up: I all the sudden know Jesus loves me
      • AHHHH – I knew God would tell you that
  • Primary way God shows His love is through you & me
    • And how we love each other
    • If you don’t – They won’t

Everyone will know you are my disciples

  • You will reflect God well IF you love well
    • This is the main way how we tell the world about Jesus
      • Not if you can memorize scripture
      • Not if you can come to church 3x a week
      • Not if you sing the loudest
  • And if this is true: what would the opposite of that be
    • If u don’t love well – World won’t know u are disciple
    • And you won’t love God well

TAG: So much for the feel good sermon

1 Jn 4:20

Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.

  • So you can be the Spiritual model of church perfection
    • You talk bad about other people
    • You spew hate on social media
    • Go out of their way to attack someone
  • When this person says: “I LOVE GOD”
    • Bible says YOU ARE A LIAR
    • This person does not love God well
  • Why is Paul writing this?
    • Because he wants to the see church change
    • Because he knows what human nature is
    • Because he wants us to fulfill our call
      • This is a call to correction and realignment
      • Not condemnation

Loving each other is what every hinges on it

When we love each other well – We know we love God well

  • Because you can’t love God w/o loving each other
    • You cannot love God who you don’t see
    • Without loving your brother who you do see
  • If you don’t love your church family well
    • You cannot fulfill the call of God on your life
    • People will not know you are a follower of Jesus

Jesus ties his witness/authenticity to my ability 2 love well

  • This seems way too much responsibility to give to church
    • Jesus would tie his ministry to how we love…
    • Jesus would tie his witness to how we love
      • That is a huge risk
      • And it is a huge responsibility for us
  • And good thoughts aren’t enough to love well
    • Loving well is difficult… Loving well is hard work
      • Reason why: It’s a crucifixion of self / Denial of self
      • It’s realizing my life mission is not about me

Hardest thing to get – Our faith tells us that we aren’t the most important

  • Remember the movie “The Truman show”
    • I totally thought that was my life growing up
      • Buddy and I really believed it was all about us
      • We would even call other people “Non Existers”
      • Especially my sister… that’s our nature (survival of fittest)
  • We are to deny ourselves and in do so… love each other well
    • Not how we think we should love
    • Not how culture defines love (Love should make me happy)

TAG: If loving well is modeled by Jesus – Few things ruled out

Culture tells us that love is a feeling/emotion

It’s almost as if we can’t love someone we don’t like

  • We think: Love is an emotion – No… LOVE is an action
    • So I can act toward someone
    • Even if I don’t feel towards them
      • “I would love them… but I don’t like them”
  • Jesus said to even love your enemies
    • Command isn’t to be best friends w/ enemies
    • Command is the ACTION of showing love to enemies
      • The service of love
      • The forgiveness of love

Society is so self-centered we want to love people like us

  • So people we love listen to same music we do
    • You have the BEST taste in music
    • Why – Because its my taste in music
    • And my taste is the best taste – So I love you
      • You have the best taste in food/fashion/etc
      • I want to love you b/c you are exactly like me
  • Only action here is: Loving yourself
    • So love has been attached to
      • Emotion/Feelings
      • Familiarity/Like-Mindedness
    • Which has made it almost impossible to love everyone

1 Jn. 3:18 (NLT)

Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.

  • There time 4 talking… but biblical love is actions & truth
    • Love does something – It moves
  • This is why we can’t just stay in a building
    • We gather… AND we scatter
    • But we do both with a purpose showing God’s love

Culture also tells us love is tolerance

True or False depending on your definition of tolerance

  • Many think tolerance is subjective truth… each his own/live & let die
    • You aren’t wrong… and neither am I
  • Cultural will also say that to disagree means to hate someone
    • If I disagree with you – I must hate you (fearful of you)
    • But if I tolerate you – Then it means I love you
      • To disagree does not mean to hate
      • To disagree means to disagree
  • Jesus drew a line in the sand but was DEEPLY compassionate
    • To the same people at the same time
    • We must be able to love those we profoundly disagree w/

Alle Vesell (Holocaust Survivor/Professor said it this way)

The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of beauty is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy , it’s indifference. The opposite of life is not death, but an indifference between life and death.

Toleration can be a form of indifference or apathy

  • God is not tolerant of sinful humanity
    • And He couldn’t just leave people to die in their sins
      • God had to engage man – To show them the love of God
    • If God’s love was tolerance
      • Jesus would have never gone 2 the cross
      • If God tolerated us he would have left us in our sin
  • Love is moving into someone’s world w/ a mission
    • Loving someone even if u don’t agree w/ their world view
    • Not just leaving them alone because they are different
      • Keeping them at arms length through tolerance
      • It’s stepping into their world… like Jesus stepped into ours
  • Of course our model is Jesus
    • Jesus disapproved of the entire world
    • Laid life down for it

TAG: So love is not tolerance and its not a feeling — what is it…

Now back to Phil 2:14

Understanding what Jesus calls love – Look what Paul does

  • Paul see’s a church not loving each other
    • Saying I don’t want to see the fighting in the body
    • Saying I want to see unity
    • Saying I want to see love
  • Here is the model from God on what love looks like
    • It is not abstract… not emotions…
    • It is not just accepting all beliefs
      • Love is seeing what Jesus did… and doing the same

V.1-2

If u have any encouragement from being united in Christ (yes) If there is any comfort from his love (yes) If any common sharing in the Spirit (yes) If any tenderness and compassion (yes). Then make my joy complete by being like minded…

  • Saying church I want you to be united in ur mindset
    • Not saying we all have to agree all the time
    • He’s saying we need to be like-minded

V. 3-4 (Here is what our mind should be like)

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves. Not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

V. 5 – This is the exhortation (where everything hinges)

In ur relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus

This is call for every one of us who represent Jesus & His church

  • That we would know what love entails: Unity/Humilty/selflessness
    • And that we would walk it out
    • B/C when we love well – people are forced to see God
      • And God will bring people to place like that
      • God will heal people in a place like that
  • And it starts w/ our community here at Jesus Church
    • God will send people here
      • Because here they will see God
      • Because here people will love others well

Close w/ this: The Jesus Model for loving well

V. 6 (Paul changes lit. form to poetry)

Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage

  • So Jesus didn’t stop being God when he became human
    • And when we follow Jesus in loving our community
      • We have to do so by becoming one of them
      • Without loosing our identity
      • Without compromising

V.7

Rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.

That word Obedient: Means to come under

Jesus by no means had to submit to anything

  • But he did – he moved into our neighborhood
    • And submitted to that which had no power over him
    • Why – Because he loved well
      • Even when he was right and they were wrong
      • Even when he was tired and they wanted more
      • Even when they rejected him and killed him
  • Jesus still loved well… that is the love Jesus calls us to
    • Because he told us to love – But to love like he loves

Love well – and in doing so fulfill the command of Christ

 

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