Demonstration of Love
Love God, Love People – Message 7
June 4, 2023
. Introduction: Today we conclude Love God, Love People message series.
- Matthew 22:37-39; John 13:35; 1 Corinthians 13:1-5
A. Bryan taught from Matthew 22:37–39 (NLT)—37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment.
- I followed up with loving people from Matthew 22:39 (NLT)—“A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (our theme verse)
- Last week, we looked at the Description of Love from 1 Corinthians 13:4-5.
- Today, we will reflect on the Demonstration of Love (title) from 1 Corinthians 13:6-7.
B. Love people by… (1 Corinthians 13:6-7)
1. Rejecting evil. (1 Corinthians 13:6a. C/R: Isaiah 5:20; Matthew 5:43-44; Romans 12:9)
- 1 Corinthians 13:6a (NLT)—[Love] does not rejoice about injustice…
- NIV (and others) say, Love does not delight in evil… (other translations: unrighteousness)
- Reason: Greek ἀδικία [ad-ee-kee´-ah] is a legal term referring to an unjust or unrighteous act (which violates God’s law); by extension, it refers moral wrong, iniquity, sin or evil.
- 1 John 3:4 (NLT)—Everyone who sins is breaking God’s law, for all sin is contrary to the law of God.
- Love not rejoicing or delighting in unrighteousness or injustice refers to our relationship with, our attitude toward, what is wrong.
- Because we love God, we are committed to His standards of rightness, fairness, justice.
- If we love God, what offends Him will offend us, and what grieves Him will grieve us, so we won’t be amused or entertained by what’s wrong, we will reject and avoid it.
- We love others by rejecting sin in our own lives that could cause other Christians to stumble (Luke 17:1-2; Romans 14:20-21) or lead an unbeliever further away from God.
- But we are also unloving when we delight in our rejection of immorality, becoming self-righteous (like a Pharisee), condemning others.
- Feeling proud for not practicing sin is not loving, not really caring, for the wounded, confused, people engaged in these practices. (Pride is the foundation of all sin.)
- Christians must be careful not to engage in practices personally that we know violate the Scripture, but this also includes not being entertained by the disobedience of others, which I think would include TV, movies and media.
- They say it’s just acting, pursuing their craft, but it is acting immorally.
- There are many things that have a corrupting influence in our culture that are presented as harmless and normal, such as the portrayal of homosexuality in media, transsexuality in drag shows, sexualizing children in television, displaying Satanism in music and media.
- When we are exposed to it repeatedly, we become desensitized to its evil; our participation, even passively, justifies it as acceptable.
- These things offend God and should concern us because we love God, but also because we care about our culture and love people who are being affected by these practices.
- I do think we have a role in combating these corrupting influences by eliminating them from our homes (cancelling subscriptions, Netflix), refusing to buy products from businesses that deliberately offend our faith. (“We can’t have any effect!” We can!)
- APP.: Do you ever feel compassion for people, including celebrities, who are exploited into shameful public displays of immorality on TV, in movies, in marches—even though they arrived there by their own misguided decisions? Have you ever prayed for them?
- Delighting when someone’s own wrongful actions damage their lives is not loving, even, perhaps especially, if it is someone you dislike or disagree with.
- Enjoying telling about the weakness, sins, or downfall of someone’s life is never loving—even if it’s their fault. (People aren’t helped by spreading news of their sins.)
- Matthew 5:43–44 (NLT)—43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!”
Love people by…
2. Rejoicing in truth. (1 Corinthians 13:6b; C/R: Psalm 26:3; 86:11; John 8:31-32; 2 John4)
- 1 Corinthians 13:6b (NLT)—…but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.
- The truth Paul is referring to is God's truth, God's revealed Word, the Bible.
- Righteousness (being right with God) is based on obeying, following, God's truth about beliefs and behavior.
- God alone determines right and wrong, not our culture and not ourselves.
- It is not loving to say that it doesn't matter what people believe or how they live.
- What people believe affects their souls, controls their lives, determines their eternal destiny, and influences others, so it must be of great concern to us if we love them.
- We live in a culture that celebrates and glorifies sin, justifying and even glamorizing, immoral activity that violates the Scripture, and praising people who reject God’s Word.
- Isaiah 5:20 (NLT)—What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter.
- Our culture declares that every person sets his own standards of right and wrong; what is right is doing what you want.
- Compromising the truth by indulging someone’s immoral lifestyle is not loving, because we are misleading others by our failure to stand firmly (humbly, not angrily) in the truth.
- By supporting someone’s disobedient lifestyle, we are joining in sin (delighting in evil), which is wrong, because of the consequences it will have on their lives.
- Sin always harms the lives of those practicing it.
- Affirming the lifestyle of someone who has rejected God’s truth and is separated from Him, is not loving, it’s cruel.
- Satanic forces in our culture exploit people who are driven by wounds, abuse or neglect into sexual addiction or confusion. (This isn’t freedom; it’s enslavement. John 8:32)
- Emotional needs for intimacy can’t be satisfied by physical means (might be distracted).
- The people who are caught up in this transexual social experiment, manipulated and exploited by counselors, physicians and politicians, will pay a high price after the attentive adoration ends.
- Loving people includes praying for them but also trying to help deliver them from a self-destructive lifestyle.
- We may say, “I love him/her too much to confront their lifestyle,” but in reality, you love yourself more, and may fear that person’s rejection if you are honest with them.
- Confronting sin in another person is a loving thing to do because it may help that person repent and return to God. (Matthew 18:15-20; 1 Corinthians 5:11; Galatians 6:1; James 5:19-20)
- APP.: Are you willing to risk rejection by attempting to help someone experience freedom in Jesus?
Love people by…
3. Refusing to quit. (1 Corinthians 13:7. C/R: Romans 12:12; Galatians 6:9; 1 Peter 4:8; 1 John 4:7)
- 1 Corinthians 13:7 (NLT)—Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
- ESV: Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
- Love never gives up (Greek stĕgō, to bear, put up with, cover, support, and protect.)
- Love doesn’t give up on people, it continues to support, to cover, loved ones who have disappointed you, are pursuing a destructive path and even want you to leave them alone.
- Covering, supporting, protecting, means not rejecting the person in rebellion, not exposing their life to ridicule, continuing to speak of them in the best possible, but honest, way.
- Love doesn’t indulge a sinful lifestyle, but it supports the person in the lifestyle.
- Love doesn’t protect sin, but it protects the sinner.
- Love doesn’t criticize and gossip, because ridicule and shame don’t help, and certainly don’t qualify as covering and protecting.
- 1 Peter 4:8 (NLT)—Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.
- Love never loses faith. (ESV: believes all things).
- Love is not suspicious or doubtful or cynical; it believes in the best outcome!
- Love exercises faith, believing the wrongs will be confessed and repented of, the loved one will be forgiven, restored to righteousness, returned to relationship with God and you.
- If there is a question about a person's guilt or motivation, love will always choose the most favorable possibility, considering the loved person innocent until proven guilty.
- Love trusts; love has confidence; love believes.
- Love is always hopeful. (ESV: hopes all things)
- Even when belief in a loved one's goodness or repentance is shattered, love still hopes.
- When we see no evidence of change on which to anchor our faith, we still hope.
- As long as God's grace is operative, human failure is never final.
- The parents of rebellious children, the spouse of an unbelieving marriage partner, the church that has members who walk away from God, cling to hope, because God lives!
- Love endures through every circumstance. (ESV: endures all things.)
- “Endure” (Greek hupŏmĕnō, remain, persevere) is a military term referring to an army holding a position at all costs; withstanding every hardship and suffering to hold fast.
- Love holds on to those it loves, enduring difficulties and disappointments, resistance, even rejection, without releasing or surrendering.
- After love bears, it believes. After it believes it hopes. After it hopes it endures. And endurance doesn't end because love doesn’t end.
- 1 Corinthians 13:13 (NLT)—Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. [Love will not stop loving! APP.: Will you continue loving?]
Questions for message series Hearing God:
Have you ever heard God speak?
What did He say?
Submit responses to brookwoodchurch.org/hearingGod.