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Walking in Love, Part 1

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
November 16, 2021 3:00 am

Walking in Love, Part 1

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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November 16, 2021 3:00 am

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If your life is characterized by love you logo if you don't love your brother the love of God doesn't dwell in you. So the apostle Paul is saying. Walking is no love in your life is offering the love the world talks about bears little resemblance to the love Scripture calls us to. So how does the Bible define love, the love Christians should have and should demonstrate what should it look like at home at the office in your neighborhood and at church find out today on grace to you as John MacArthur continues his study called the portrait of a new life showing you how in the Christian life. Love gets radically redefined. And here's John now with today's lesson in Ephesians chapter 5 verses one through seven. We have one of the most wonderful and helpful passages in all of the book of Ephesians. It touches on the very heart of the Christian life.

The subject of love and you will note in verse two. The little phrase walk in love. Nothing could be a more beautiful or direct definition of how we are to live as Christians in terms of behavior than that. Obviously this is a practical passage just as a brief overview, let me say this. If you are a fornicator or an unclean person or covetous person. You have no inheritance in the kingdom of God and of Christ. It seems to me that no matter what passage we come to it seems to be the heart of an inverse six. Again, there are some people who wanted to see there are people who wanted to see by selling a counterfeit kind of love in the world's counterfeit love involves fornication and adultery, and covetousness and uncleanness in all of that stuff but we are not to divide the counterfeit it were true Christians, our lives will be not characterized by the counterfeit but real love that you know it it haunts me all the time.

Even my own life, but in first John chapter 4. John said this God is love and he that loves knows God. And if you don't love you don't know God no matter what you claim. If your life is characterized by love. You don't know God. If you don't love your brother thought of God doesn't dwell in you, and so the apostle Paul is saying the same thing with the learning a saying in the sense walk in love, and if there's no love in your life or if it's the counterfeit stuff that the world is offering you're not in the kingdom.

No matter what you think.

No one to go to this passage. Look with me at verse 1B therefore followers of God, as dear children, I want to let phrase at followers of God, the Greek word is memo time from which we get mimic the minutes of God in a mimic is not someone who picks up general patterns but someone will copy specific characteristics be imitators the mimics of God never let me say this to the whole of the Christian life could be summed up in that one statement the mimics of God.

That's it reproducing you everything that is true of God.

It all began that way, didn't it in Matthew chapter 5 verse 48 when our Lord said be perfect, even as your father in heaven is perfect. That is essentially what Peter was saying in first Peter 115 and 16, and in that wonderful passage, Peter says this, but as he who hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of life because it is written, be holy, for I am holy.

Peter said you be like God.

The apostle Paul said you be followers of me as I am of God. The apostle Paul said, gazing to the glory of the Lord and allow the spirit of God to change you into his image.

The ultimate goal of the Christian life. In first John is in chapter 3 that one day we should be like him, for we should see him as he is. In other words, the whole of the Christian life is summed up in this be imitators of God, like God. Your fumbling around trying to get a handle on what God wants you, it's that which means it the more you know God, the more you know what you're to be and so what is the primary pursuit that of any believer to know who God.

No wonder Paul so that I may know him. If we are to be like God, we must know what God is like. If we are to know what God is like about a study God's character and so as we study the Bible we see on unfolded God's character by the way the whole Bible is the revelation of God. God self-disclosure. This is just a New Testament principle be holy, for I am holy comes out of the Pentateuch.

Leviticus 1145. That was the way it was from the very start. God says you are my people, and I'm your God, and this is where it all begins be holy as I am holy. Leviticus 1145. It all started their. It's the same only three say well that's easy for you to say. Be imitators of God tough to do. And you can't do in your own strength. You can't just grit your teeth and grunt muster up on your courage and be like God and that's you see what Jesus was saying in the sermon on the Mount and I start to be like God, start by realizing can't be like God, you start with a broken a contrite spirit you start mourning over your sin, you start in meekness. You start with such an overwhelming sense of sinfulness that you hunger and you thirst for righteousness, and so there's a fabulous paradox here on the one hand you are to be like God. On the other hand you are to know you can't be like God and that's just the point when you know you are to be like God and you know you can be like God, then you know there's got to be some other power to make that possible. That's the beauty of chapter 3 of Ephesians in verse 17/60, where he prays God would grant us to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man.

In other words, I am a vile evil sooner I can be like God. God says I must be like him. If I can't be, but I must be then somebody's got to get inside of me and do what I can do and who is that the Holy Spirit strengthens us with might in the inner man. And you know what the result of that is the result of the universe. 19 and it says this in order that in our purpose clause in order that all with the result that are to the effect that you would be filled with all the fullness of God. Listen Paul is saying here you can be like God, you can be filled with the fullness of God. You can be everywhere in terms of God far as his qualities are concerned, but you can't do it on your own.

You must be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man. It is the Spirit's work so there's the resolution to the paradox whole God, oh God, I'm broken over my sin. I mourn over my sin, my sin is ever before me said David and in meekness. I hunger and thirst for that which I must have and it is in the midst of that brokenness that you depend upon the work of Christ in the ministry of the spirit to do what you can't do, but must that's the heart of it all's so he says you be a mimic of God, but realize that that's God's work, but years and therein lies your dependence on the spirit of God and by the way, beloved, if you're really a Christian. The spirit is at work in you moving to make this a reality. Moving to make you like Christ moving to conform you to God not you might even take that little thought in 51 and you could try to spread it both direction.

In chapter 4 verse one. This whole section of Ephesians the whole second section which is the practical section. The first is the doctrinal this whole practical thing began, either for the prisoner of the Lord beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation to which are called the walk concept is the whole deal in the last recheck your walk. That's daily life. This is your lifestyle. This is your doctrine and verses are chapters 1 to 3. This is Dr. Neiers practice.

This is who you are.

This is how you live is what God has done. This is what you do, walk worthy and what is that worthy walk involved involves a lot of things. It involves a walk in humility verses one through three. Chapter 4 involves a lock-in unity verses four through 16. Chapter 4 involves a different walk chapter 4 verses 17 to 32 different like the world. Look at verse 17 you walk, not as other Gentiles walk so it is a humble walk is a unity walk is a different walk and now in chapter 5 is a love walk and then in verse eight is a light walk and then in verse 15.

It is a wisdom walk and then in verse 18 it is a spirit walk and then in chapter 6, verse 10 is a warfare walk. In other words, he simply delineating different elements of the walk, but at the heart of it all.

I just love this right at the heart of little is this beautiful phrase.

Be imitators of God just brings all their God humbled himself in Christ, you become if God in his Trinity is one that you be one if God is different, set apart from this evil world and you be different if God is love the new beloved of God is like the newbie light of God is wise then you be wise if God is guided and directed by supernatural spiritual principles than you be if God is the victor over Satan.

Then you beat the victor over Satan. You be like that's it. Give her something about everything you have in Christ. This incredible it's incredible. Christ is given us first three chapters in your mind. They tell us these things with a new standing before God, a new life anew righteousness a new father, new inheritance of new citizenship, a new master new freedom, a new victory. A new security a new piece of new unity and fellowship.

A new joy a new spirit new power a new ability and new calling a new purpose and a new love. That's a lot of new stuff that's all ours in Christ, and you can't help but see this concept of love woven through the first three chapters.

It's in chapter 1, and love having predestinated us.

It's in chapter 2 why do you show us mercy, for his great love where with he loved us.

It's in chapter 3. To know the love of Christ which passes knowledge moving through the whole deal.

Our whole position is predicated on God's lap. If this is true says in chapter 5 been walking this out to be characteristic factor other places in the Bible tell us love is the key to everything. Right now, by the faith, hope, love, and the greatest of these is what love.

Love is the greatest so we are to walk in love, show your four points of the seven verses four points to please the pattern. The perversion of the punishment we see here please a pattern, a perversion and a punishment and then a final warning so we sent the first two points are positive. The second two points are negative. Verses one and two very positive versus 3 to 6 very negative verse seven a warning. The plea first verses one and 28B.

Therefore, children or other followers of God mimics of God, as dear children and walk in love, separate, there's the plea. The plea is for us the level of life. The please simple verse one.

It's a command. Be imitators of God is not suggested.

It's a command for sure.

You have to start from the point of sinfulness. Shortly after starting the fact that you can't do it, but that doesn't change the command you got me what you can be. That's where the Spirit of God comes in but you know is the therefore what is the therefore therefore to take you backwards. I watch what it's going to show you verse 31 let all bitterness and wrath and anger and public yelling and private whispering, be put away from you, along with all malice nonadjacent people. Those of the opposite of love seat. All of those things preclude the fact that there's no love when you're bitter toward somebody and you have a grudge against man and you are angry and there's two different words use their whether it's an outside lasting display of anger or an internal smoldering anger, or whether it's clamor where you where you slander somebody publicly while you whisper behind their back.

Whatever kind of malice it is. That's the opposite of what he stuck on the other. Josť shouldn't be there. What should be theirs. Verse 32 kindness you kind one another tender heartedness and forgiveness was a characteristics of love love is trying of his tender and most of all, love is what forgiving is forgiving you see is a lack of forgiveness that makes bitterness is an ability to forgive that makes wrath and anger is an ability to forgive admixture slander people and whisper behind their back and hold mouse against them because you don't forgive them that you hold those bitterness is in those wretched in the regional forgiving folks. Frankly, is that you know what 11 so what he saying here is put away all of the anti-love stuff.

Don't let that characteristically manifest don't have characteristics of an unloving hard but have characteristics of a loving heart doesn't mention love in verse 32 dimensions, kindness, tender heartedness and forgiveness and just to be sure you don't miss where that comes from he says. Therefore, in order to be kind. In order to be tenderhearted in order to be forgiving you must imitate God in this regard, you must walk in what love because it is love that is kind. It is love that is tenderhearted. It is love that is forgiving is nine love that is bitter, angry, wrathful, clamorous, vicious and malicious source of therefore takes you right back. Central thought is forgiveness. People let me take that force it in your mind listening. Measure your love today. Would you there'll always be to talk, let's deal with the text as it appeared measure your love today by the thought of forgiveness with because I really believe now hang on. I really believe that as far as we're concerned the greatest measuring rod of love in your life is forgiveness.

That's why God even presents his seat, we could say all God lost soul love the world he made pretty flowers.

God's will of the world he made beautiful ladies and some God's were already made delicious food God's all the world. He said nice words, God's hold of the world he made trees and mountains where it's nice, but it doesn't start missing God so loved the world that he took a whole bunch of dirty rotten vial of God hating sinners and died of a cross to bear their sins so that he could bring them into his eternal heaven and fellowship with him forever. Some is better trees and flowers and pretty ladies spirit anything. See what I'm saying is this love is best measured in its ability to forgive. See that's the thing you see. Here's what he says is God's forgiveness tells us is love even when we were dead in trespasses and sin. God made us alive together with Christ and why because of his great mercy based on his great love with which he loved us the most magnanimous act that love can ever do is forgive the greatest evil as you look below so that God loves you don't love first John forces are not of God. So how do I know if I don't love just ask yourself questions you have any bitterness against somebody for some they did you get angry with people smoldering side you speak maliciously behind her back. You verbally assault them. Clamorous sleep. She those are the characteristics of non-love is the old life and you can put your life away right that's cool that's cool. Look at the end of verse 32 we are forgiven.

Here's the key to this whole passage in its use twice, once in verse 32 and once in chapter 5, verse two, we are to forgive as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you, no matter what anybody does to me this is interesting, matter what anybody does to me, and in the family of believers in the community of believers matter how they hurt me or harm me or slander me or crush me or bruise me or wound me or offend me or whatever it is, Christ has already paid the penalty for that sin to get that boy with the did to me. Want to make them suffer wasn't better think twice. Christ already suffered for what they did to you what you want us and that's this revolutionary thought, what you what you asked out of God Jesus bore his own body.

So if somebody sends against me and somebody violates me and somebody offends me, and my reaction in the human flesh would be to be angry and bitter and wrathful and malicious and slanderous and I stop and wait a minute I don't want anything out of him. After all, Jesus already bore that's in his own body on the tree. Jesus already spilled his blood for. That's where Mike and asked when one wasn't what more could there be so next time you think you don't have vengeful latitude next time you want to lash back at somebody. Next time you will see an unkind word want to be bitter toward somebody. Next time you want to slander somebody or whisper behind her back or retaliate or seek vengeance to somebody. Remember that the very sin that they used against you. The very thing they did you.

Jesus already borne his own body. Ross and that sin is paid for and you don't have to add any more to this the suffering and the consequence that that sin should bring. It's all been taken by Christ it's already adult with so we are to forgive verse 32, says, even as God for Christ's sake, forgive, you know, God says you knife and got a lot--got a lot so you and God is a MacArthur I've taken as much is I can take out a you that is the last time take that night, or God, since MacArthur can I do you.

My son, she already bore the blows, there's nothing left to do so over God for Christ's sake forgives you, you, for Christ's sake forgive each other and the measure of your love is the extent of your ability to forgive the fantastic truth, so when you just can't go on forgiven forever. The guy doesn't every day yeah well you can go on forgiven forever percent to 12 little children is forgiven you all your trespasses for his namesake. Colossians 2 forgiven all your sins fantastic fees is one in whom we have redemption, forgiveness of sins for the ones confessing our sins and we are the ones being forgiven and constantly cleanse. First, I will not just constantly cleanse God looks down at Manny's as you keep sending but I can't do a thing to you because Jesus already took punishment and then he says to us that that's where want you to walk only to walk in the same kind of love never holds bitterness and holds a grudge and hold anything against anybody because you know that things are to be dealt with by Jesus Christ. What more could you want blessed God holy God righteous God could forgive that person take that sin and put it on his dear son. Who are you to demand blood somebody asked. That's what happens on the side of the cross folks really develop another thought. The fact is this, and we can split this concept need to parts the depth of your love is indicated by how much you forgive your life much you forget.

Proverbs 1012 says this love covers all sins, love covers all said another word for love is total forgiveness. Put it this way. First Peter Flores, you are to have cigarettes love fervent love act in a space of a muscle stretched to its limits your love to the very little looks for love covers a what multitude of sins. How big is your multitude however brought your love is not so big the multitude is God knows you going. God knows if you love you but have to let people off the hook. God knows if you love you but have to forgive God knows love us deal with sin but love does by covering me just run a blanket over removing putting it on the site so first of all, the depth of your love is indicated by how much you forget.

Think about grudge against somebody in your house isn't a promise or your inability forgive belies your love and I say to you if this is characteristic of your life are not a Christian because if you don't have love you, not God's child. This is grace to you with John MacArthur.

Thanks for being with us. John is our featured speaker here each day, and he's also Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary. He calls our current study, the portrait of a new life. So John your theme today is about forgiveness and how a willingness to forgive others is one of the necessary and most telling fruits of faith in Christ. So talk for a moment about the other side of that, as you've gone through counseling situations with people over the years. What is the human fall out when we don't practice forgiveness in our day-to-day relationships want to oversimplify life, but I will just say this every breach of a relationship ultimately comes because of someone's inability to forgive or unwillingness to forgive because if you forgive the this animosity is over. If you genuinely forgive the hostility is over.

The barrier is taken down so that we know whether you're talking about a friendship that's that's broken what you're talking about an alienation from a child or what you're talking about marriage and divorce or any other relationship within the framework of the church show where conflict comes and goes frequently. Ultimately, no relationship can survive unless there is forgiveness because we aren't perfect we were not going to do everything exactly the way we should do it. They're going to be times when we need to ask for forgiveness and they're going to be plenty times and we need to give it that we need to give it even when it isn't asked for because not everybody knows they've offended us that we don't have to wait for them to ask before were willingly forgiving them so II think forgiveness in the end, is what sustains every single relationship so I want to give you a good helper along this line and and it's this. I wrote a book called the freedom and power of forgiveness and I I'm I mean that title with all my heart and soul. Forgiveness sets you free. Forgiveness is powerful. Some people think forgiveness is weakness. Forgiveness is power for sure.

So you can explore in this book the issue of God's forgiveness and what the Bible says about forgiveness.

There are chapters on things like how to handle forgiving repeat offenders or what if there is a reason to believe a person's repentance is not genuine or do I forgive someone who doesn't ask to be forgiven.

How about forgiving myself all these kinds of questions that are at the core of your ability to live a meaningful life and enjoy it their all dealt with in the book the freedom and power of forgiveness available from Grace to you the freedom and power of forgiveness. It's a book that will help you not only better understand God's forgiveness for you, but you'll also see how forgiveness can strengthen your marriage improve your relationships with your children even help unify your church.

Order your copy today. The price is $13 and shipping is free to order, call 855 grace or visit our website Jide TY.org.

The title again the freedom and power of forgiveness.

Get a copy when you call toll-free 855 grace for visit Jide TY.there are also a number of sermons on forgiveness available for free at our website. Just log on to Jide TY.org and search our sermon archive. It has 500 total messages from 52 years of John's pastoral ministry. You also find daily devotionals good grace to you, television program, and much more. All of it free@jidety.org and to keep up-to-date with what's ahead on our radio and television broadcasts follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and check out our YouTube channel as well.

Now for John MacArthur and the entire grace to use staff on Phil Johnson inviting you back for John study the portrait of a new life when he looks at how Christ loved others and how you can love as Christ join us want you for another 30 minutes of unleashing God's true one verse at a time on tomorrow's grace to you

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