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April 8, 2019 11:45 am
Ian Fleming is the English author of the James Bond novels and he is reputed to have said that the but the best form of love is lost in the many respects must has replace love in our society. Many people enthusiastically embrace the philosophy of sexual liberation, believing that is the way of personal freedom and happiness and lust and self-indulgence have been largely substituted for love the age of innocence, sadly, is long gone in the 60s and 70s Western civilization went through a sexual revolution so that now living outside of marriage, hooking up friends with benefits casual, intimate relationships are not widely accepted, even sadly by professing believers. Express your sexuality anyway you want seems to be the mentor of the day that so-called new morality is smoker Muggeridge said many years ago, the new morality is in fact the old immorality we have stolen the wind and the reaping the whirlwind in our society.
So today we want to examine the word of God, that we may be people, one of lust, not of people who take, not people who are self absorbed, but rather people who have experienced God's overwhelming love in our hearts so that we will understand this love. This love that comes from God. This love that is manifested supremely in the cross and that this love in the medical of conversion that we can receive and be transformed so that we will not be people of loss, but rather people of love. The sacrificial love which cares for Gibson never stands with open hands and as it lives. It gives for this is Love's prerogative to give and give and give lust takes laughs last gives. This is the transformation of the gospel and I know there is not one man. Not one woman not one bright not one girl here today. That does not want to know this love I ask you your person of love love in your home.
Did you grow up in a home of love, home of acceptance with what your relationships the way you treat your husband, your wife, your children, your parents, your friends is the transformation of the gospel made an impact in this way as to how we treat others that we would be people of love signs and reader tax which comes from Romans 13, verses eight through 10 and Paul in these few verses uses this word agape five times this word which is translated love read it with me all no one anything except to love each other for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law for the commandments you shall not commit adultery. You shall not murder, you shall not steal.
You shall not covet, and any other commandment are summed up in this word you shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Love does no wrong to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
Please be stated this is the supremacy of love know if you have your Bibles elected to keep it open their at Romans 13 and first of all, I look at verse eight where Paul says all no one anything except the love each other.
This one exception. I don't want Utah or anything to anyone except to love each other love for others than is a perpetual debt and to make his point, Paul reminds us building on what he said in the first seven verses that we saw a couple of weeks ago that authentic followers of Jesus are not to have outstanding debts. He has reminded us in the seven verses of Romans 13 that we are to be submissive to the governing authorities that we are to pay our taxes that we are to render honor to those to whom honor is due. We are not to all anything to anyone.
I grew up in a generation. As some of you that where my father strongly believed this and tried to teach it to myself and my brothers that you shouldn't going to dance that if you couldn't afford something you simply didn't get it and that was his philosophy pay as you go don't go into that very different in our culture is not a member how excited I was when I got my first credit card. My father's generation. There were no credit cards and the member is an American Express and I thought how wonderful I can I can buy guys. I can go to the storage of them is little piece of plastic and how wonderful it is to think of it Paul is telling us in this is tax season. Pay your taxes my window to get the Charlotte Observer this morning. I thought by mistake.
I had two of them is about to throw one of them across to my neighbor and I thought another little differently and one of them is totally devoted to people and I think Mecklenburg County. Perhaps other countries. I didn't read the list of those who have outstanding taxes. Hope your name is not on the list. Maybe we should go through it and check it with those who attend Calvary church but I thought this huge list, mostly families and sonnets of people who simply do not pay their taxes. People who do not pay their debts. We are to be people who pay our taxes faithfully as we saw a couple of weeks ago and we are to pay our debts on time that Scripture doesn't teach the followers of Jesus should never borrow.
Jesus says in Matthew five verse 42 do not refuse the one who would who would borrow from you. Many businesses wouldn't exist if the one able to borrow borrow appointment Paul is making is a very important points, and one that we need to hear is this that you must meet your commitments on time, promptly.
If you enter into a contract with Alyssa by house or a car or if you use that little piece of plastic to buy something.
Make sure that you're able to keep your commitments. Paul is saying, pay your bills is really astonishing, isn't it, and I've known many over the years, both when I practice law and as a pastor of people, including some professing Christians who simply do not pay the bills and really should never be true of the believer. The NIV translates it, let no debt remain outstanding before you borrow before you enter into that commitment. Whether it's the by your house or your car or whatever and make sure that you're able to pay on time. Psalm 37 verse 21 the wicked borrows but does not pay back. I'm on people who quite freely entered into loans even from fellow Christians and borrowed money and didn't they make in the former church. We had to discipline an individual who had borrowed money from a man in the congregation and simply didn't pay it back under that seven 3721. The righteous is generous and gives what is the difference.
There's an individual who's always on the take is always wanting, wanting, give me give me give me but the follower of Christ, the generous person.
Psalm 37 verse 21 is generous and gives was always individuals who never seem to have any money. And these are the people who constantly borrow is amazing that the individual who is generous always appears to have money to give because of the way they handle the finances. Now I realize life is the regal people lose work. Unexpected bills come in. I understand that I understand that her circumstances were people do fall into that. But here is the principal and if you're in business.
Pay your bills promptly.
I remember I had a Christian client wasn't paying his legal bills and maybe didn't think much of my services. I didn't know but he was a professing Christian and quite well-off. It appeared possibly because he didn't pay his bills to get the money to himself. I don't know but even pays bills and at Christmas time we had delivered from him a turkey and my delight could be set on the sub very nice man and he's given us a turkey for Christmas. I said Easter keep on the bills page not taking his bills and sending me a rather small turkey wasn't going to do it no authentic followers of Jesus are not about spending that is not wonderful in God's grace the Calvary church is that free. I think that is a matter of great price and I take this opportunity to thank all many of you who give generously.
The righteous is generous and gives is one of the characteristics of love isn't it your loving person you are a person who gifts God loves us and gave his only begotten son, Paul says that interestingly puts us there salient or no one anything except to love each other know there is a debt that we are never able to discharge and that is the debt of love, Paul returns to this theme of love that he began in chapter 12 verse nine when he says let love be genuine know that is to remain I'm sending is the point other than this one out. Continuing day to love one another. Paul has said in chapter 1 that were indebted to unbelievers to communicate the gospel and would also in a death in the sense to pay our taxes in the bills but love is a perpetual debt to us. Think of that I owe it to you, never to stop loving you. We can never reach the place where we can say I cannot stop loving that person. I've given them so much love is time to stop taking me for granted. I don't see the response that I would like that. Never, ever, ever, is happen. Paul says no it's her Judy should be our job, but it is her Judy as well to love one another.
Verse nine you shall love your neighbor as yourself. Love verse 10 does no wrong to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. This Judy is never ending. You are to continue to love me. I am always still love you as long as I know you this is a debt that is never pay a debt to love one another to love your neighbor as yourself, who is our neighbor number. The lawyer asked the Lord that question and he told a wonderful story of the good Samaritan your neighbor is individually needed that you are in the position to help. Neff also says here that love is the fulfillment of the law again verse 80. No one anything except to love each other saying that for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. That's interesting, isn't it when you love your neighbor as yourself. You fulfilled the law and can I say this point. Don't buy into the very popular idea that we hear repeated and repeated that if you love someone if you love your son if you love your daughter to love your friend if you love your colleague you will embrace and approve of everything that they do. If you don't approve of certain conduct. People say you're not loving them that that's wrong.
The Scripture tells us we are to speak the truth in love.
Yes, I'm always the love, but love is not the antithesis of truth. The fact that I love someone doesn't mean that I approve of everything they do and I can never challenge them.
In fact, that challenges the very evidence of love. That's why the Lord disciplines us when the Lord disciplines you as a stop loving you parents when you discipline that something thatů Or do you stop loving them. No, my father loves he disciplines in fact that discipline is the evidence that you love them that you care for them in the society which we have today which does everything it is on ice so that no one can say that is wrong is sowing the seeds of its own destruction is less like ancient Israel, but will think of this evening when there was no king. Everyone did what was right in his will and I know this love that Paul is writing about is unselfish is undemanding it's unseating is not sentimental. This is not self focused. We are to pursue this love. This love which gives to love our neighbor as ourselves to pursue love, not lust. With this luster, lust, indulge yourself is demanding. It's insensitive. It uses people and desires instant gratification, it is destructive this all about me years ago we had a British prime minister called Harold Wilson, prime minister of the Labour Party and his wife wrote some point during a particularly good porch, at least in my view, but you are the following called the headedness the headedness is a lover of pleasure and that she began that pulling the headedness by saying if I must die as Diane must first let me truly live and grasp and hold offenders enjoys and take as well as give us lessons headedness lover of pleasure all about me. Everything is got to be to make me feel good. You exist to make me feel good about myself.
Calvary church exist to make me feel good about myself and I like to come to Calvary and leave feeling good about myself that is a self focus, and that of course is the prevailing philosophy of so much of our society.
Personal self-fulfillment rather than living sacrificially for others. Think of a marriage where the individual is only concerned with his own pleasure.
Think of a wife is only concerned with our own needs being met.
Not a very good marriage is is why Paul says to the husband's husband's love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.
What about Christ's love into self sacrificial love is giving love is a love which focuses on others and that love is to characterize us as the people of God, no, Paul mentions here are some of the commandments. Verse nine the commandments say in the New Testament. Yes you been following Paul's argument in Romans. This shouldn't surprise you. The commandments you shall not commit adultery shall not murder, you shall not steal. You shall not covet, and any other commandment are summed up in this ward you shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Now some of the commandments focus on our relationship with God. The only but others and the ones Paul is referring to focus primarily on the relationship with one another. Love all the law, how do you summarize how do you crystallize the law of the Lord was asked that question and the answer to you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and you shall love your neighbor as yourself. You get done that you fulfilled all of the law you love God with all your heart, you love your neighbor as yourself that you've done all that the law requires you but you say, but wouldn't New Testament commands in the New Testament.
Yes, Paul is writing about love and the commandments must understand that Paul is not saying absolutely not saying that we are accepted by God. If we obey the commandments know the commandments are not a ladder that we climb up in order to reach God in order to be saved in order to get to heaven. Salvation. This is good news is all of grace. Paul has said that repeatedly is not through the works of the law. It is by grace alone, yes. But here's the point. But once we are saved it is a joy to obey the commandments of God, you say a joy yes should be at the light. Some one of the psalmist says I delights in the law of the Lord and I meditate on it day or night and that was Old Testament law because I delights in the law of God. Why is that because it comes from God and is the demonstration of a God who is perfect and you understands our need to delight in the law of the Lord with me wonderful brothers and sisters. We all got to the place that we turn to the word of God and we obey the commandments not of obligation, but out of a joy and the delights you delights in the word of God is that your joy on Friday morning I met with some elders over executive committee and we spent a little time to get all of her do the best time not discussing the business of the church. We did that, but more importantly, looking at the word of God. We were looking at second Thessalonians. The first five verses of chapter 3, I would.
Paul says May I God direct your heart to the love of God and the steadfastness of Christ in week thought of that, and then courage one another was a time of joy. It was a type of delight fly because God wants our very best for us whereby the devil. The devil tells you the same lie when it comes to obeying God. He tells you the same lie as he told argument. Even the garden really say that actual fact he did you you won't die, he first tries to confuse the word of God. He tries to attack as it were. First, the quality of the word of God and then he goes further on the tax the authority of the word of God and then the sensory same to evenly sing to you and me.
You can't really trust the goodness of God.
If God was really good. He wouldn't have prevented you from that tree.
Notice how negative he was called the paradise itself.
I don't know how many trees but had given them abundance in this perfect world. But there's one I don't want you to eat.
It was a test of the trust in God and of the goodness of God. Just as a loving father says that we bought no you can't do that. You can see that meson mushroom isotopes still don't see that one little boy things on the Europe bad daddy you don't like me to eat toadstools know the daddies a very good idea very wise that he is giving this instruction not as a kind of cosmic killjoy, but quite the reverse, and Satan attacks doesn't see the goodness of God that God is trying to keep you from living a joyful, happy life, and therefore if you disobey God. That's the way of joy. That's the way of happiness and so he takes of the fruits and great is the fall, you attempted like that you dilutes the truth of God using the commandments or restrictive using God is trying to stop you from enjoying yourself.
Listen, he's your creator. You understand that one of the main ways we experience the blessing of God and the outpouring of this blessing and joy in our lives is by trusting him is by obeying him is why saying no to the devil who tries to plant that seed of doubt to cause you to die.
The goodness of God and the grace of God and the love of God. God is a perfect God of love and these commandments, Paul mentions four of the 10 Commandments here. They are working about love for our neighbor. Notice what he says in verse 10 love does no wrong to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
Love always seeks the good of others. In contrast, the commandments here in verse nine you shall not covet board you sooner could be translated lost something word John uses in first John 216 when he talks about the loss of the ice. The last of the flash you shall not covet. You said you love your neighbor you don't covet his wife or his donkey or his Lamborghini on his Ferrari. You covet another person's virus that may lead to adultery, to covet someone else's car or house or possessions that may lead to faster fraud or deception know Paul is saying that authentic followers of Jesus obeying the law of Christ said I don't know if I can obey that the right you can't buy ourselves in our own strength.
Paul has made it clear in Romans. We cannot keep the law, but those saved by the grace of God through faith are not under the law but under grace and use of lymphoma of her mother Grace does that mean I can live as I like what Paul has answered that in Romans six, seven and eight, but look at Romans eight is a reminder. Romans eight verse three.
Four. God has done what the law weakened by the flash could not do member we learned there is nothing wrong with the flesh. Nothing wrong with the law. The problem is the flesh the law is perfect. It's good that comes from God know the problem is with the law. The problem is with us that we can't keep the law and the flash.
All of us have sinned all of us come short of the grace of God. All of us break the law. But notice Paul's wonderful arguments for God has done what the law weakened by the flesh could not do what God's will. Fusion by sending his own son.
This is the gospel in the likeness of sinful flesh sinless. Of course, in the likeness. Paul is choosing his words very carefully in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, condemned sin in the flash in order here. This, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flash, but according to the spirits so that we are indwelt by the Spirit all over the last of the flash is still there, but we have agreed to power and I know through the very life of Christ in us enables to be God, to love God and to love which we understood the commandments of God are not so much prohibitions but rather are protections for a good and for the good of society and it is a myth, it is very misleading. I think in order touch as some do in order to try and have the gospel more palatable to unbelievers to say that the only command to obey is the command of Jesus to love others. That is very na´ve. That is very misleading. The command to love our neighbor as yourself is given to the Old Testament. It summarizes the commandments, but it doesn't provoke them and so whenever Barb came he came to fulfill the law.
He says in Matthew five he didn't come to abolish it. Leah Morris commentators puts in a very concise way.
He says love is against Satan, not against love.
Law is against sin, but is not against love Jesus put it this way if anyone loves me, he will keep my word, you will keep my commandments. We obeying Christ so followers of Jesus were not under the Mosaic law as a rule of law absolutely not one of the grace but we are under as Paul puts in Galatians 6 verse two we are under the law of Christ which certainly includes these commandments enumerated in verse nine. Let's look at some of these commandments here in Romans 13 verse nine you shall not commit adultery as applied to believers, is it what is Old Testament law. No, the prohibition against adultery is for the sanctity of the marriage bonds. Our bodies belong to the Lord and our bodies are indwelt by the Holy Spirit is according to the Scriptures, Old Testament and New Testament. Sexual intercourse is to be confined to marriage and the union of the man and the wife reflects the spiritual union of Christ and his bride, the church, so if you love your brother you don't steal his wife, no marriages to be sacred sure, exclusive, permanent, and one flesh, adultery, fornication, homosexuality, are contrary to the law of God turn with me to first Thessalonians, where we can see this first Thessalonians chapter 4 during Romans go forward in your Bible little bit. First Thessalonians 4 verse one finally been brothers we are asking her to the Lord Jesus that as you received them from us how you ought to live and to please God, just as you are doing that you do so more and more for you know what instructions will instructions as Christians. Yes, says Paul, what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus for this is the will of God.
Many people think the young people said I want to do God's will hear this. This is the will of God, your sanctification, we saw that word and way in Romans six your holiness though my Holy well that you abstain from sexual immorality that each one of you know how to control his own body. Holiness on all or not in the passion of lust. There's a word again at the premier in Greek lost coveting no you're not to live in the passion of loss very opposite of love. That's what the Gentiles do, that's what the unbelievers do verse five who do not know God.
Those who don't go towards understanding God's love not only understand it theoretically, but we have experienced it in our hearts. God has poured his love through the spirit into our hearts.
Romans five verse five we understand that we learning were growing on that but we understand. I hope we do. The difference between love and lust and the mantra we hear repeatedly today in our media, and so on. Why should you care who someone loves as long as I'm happy to leave them alone is up to them for you to question who someone should love will.
God cares and God is the creator and all of us are accountable to him and God has made it very very clear in this regard. Hi, we are to live and authentic love is not just about what makes you happy authentic love is about what pleases God and as you please God.
This, I guarantee as you please, God, your joy will abound more and more we been sitting against the bringing about joy. I was a jolly experience in our lives by going against God by living your own life. God may well allow you to go down that path.
The path of sexual indulgence. The path of immorality and you may go down that path and I have met many many many people who've gone then that path, and when they speak with me. I see very very little joy in the lives but destruction and heartache.
Tears and divorce and all kinds of misery. Another commandment here. You shall not murder love my neighbor. How can I kill him.
The shedding of innocent law.
This prohibited inscription over and over again and we live in a world of terrible genocide and violence in their world think in our own city here in Charlotte. Of the many monitors they've been in our own city since the beginning of the year. No human life is sacred because were made in the image of God. We are distinct from the animals we are creations of God. Unique creations of God made in his image and surely one of the measures of a truly civilized nation is how it treats the helpless, the deprive the poor, the defenseless builder handicapped in the innocent, and if we are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Will we not love the unborn, the orphan, the week the helpless, the disabled, the poor, the elderly, and yes can I say, the immigrant, the stranger in their lands. Do we select who we love that I'm going to love you but I'm not going to love him. I'm not going to love her no way to love our neighbor as ourselves. Why, because all human life can I say that again all human life is sacred. Why, because God is the giver God gives life and he takes life. Our enemy, Satan is described by Jesus as a martyr from the beginning and God creates how wonderful this is the city's beautiful children behind me today. The students cling these instruments in the third fourth and fifth grader standing here, each one different, even coming from the same parents that God is so wonderful that God creates every yes every single individual life and the creation by God commences in the womb last week we looked at some 51 David's great prayer of confession and David pushes the historical continuity of his life factor conception so the biblical text assumes the basic continuity between prenatal and postnatal life. So we believe the children are not an accident they're not unwarranted but they are a gift of God and his side. Here in the wonderful United States of America that has been sold blessed by God over hundreds of years that we have to say that to extinguish the life in the womb is to distinguish the life of a human being is to extinguish the life of a wee boy order.
We girl that not only is unloving but is an overage against their creator who gives life and creates life and the woman. So we see laws being advocated by some allowing late-term abortions even up to the moment of a child's birth to me that is totally stunning and the total disregard of the human rights and the civil rights of these helpless children but it is also isn't it a blasphemy and a rebellion against a holy God who creates all of us in his image. All children, including the unborn, the newly born the disabled.
The unwarranted part of our neighbors and the Bible is saying. And Paul is saying here we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. And that's why we can never have any compromise on this issue of abortion.
We must stand firm against the atrocity of killing children in the womb shows love but just to the unborn. But in their homes. When people look at Christians or from the first word that comes to mind is not love that we here at Calvary would be a church of love, but whoever comes through these doors will understand more and more great, great love of Jesus. This love is self sacrificial.
This love seeks the well-being of others. This love is compassionate and give this love is a volitional act rather than an emotional response and friendly struggle as we all do with loving our neighbor as ourselves.
And when we find it sometimes difficult to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength and because of the love of money order business or a family of these other things crediting toward life. What's the answer to come back to the cross of Christ is wonderful we have it on the ceiling that we come back to the cross of Christ because it is at the cross where I see God's love for me and for you and all of us here have broken the commandments of God know we haven't all committed adultery. We have no more dirt. We have all had abortions. We have an all engaged in sexual immorality, but there is not one person sitting here who can stand and say I have always loved God and I love my neighbor as ourselves. All of us have sinned, and all of us come short and I want to say that whoever you are, and whatever sin you've committed you are welcome to come to Calvary church.
We love you in the name of Jesus Christ and would point you to the cross is at the cross where my sins were forgiven and there are many chief of sinners. It is there where you come whatever sin you've committed what sexual immorality, whether it's adultery whether it's faster, greed or pride. Whatever this Christ welcomes you as you come with your burden of your sin and look to the cross. You see the love of God portrayed in our Savior who loves you, we come to him. We repent of that sin. We asked Jesus Christ to come to Savior and to transform your just think how wonderful that every single one of us here, irrespective of our past.
We can leave here forgiven, with all of that last Sunday night that David, who had committed adultery who was a murderer who was deceitful. He was a liar.
Good behavior absolutely abominably continue banter. What happens to him. He says be gracious to me. Will God only doesn't ask for justice. Justice will find them stoned justice would've had them removed from being the king of Israel, but he says have compassion upon me mercy on me according to your lovingkindness and then he says my sins are blotted out, he says I'm washed thoroughly and cleansed and searched totally forgiven over the cross. What you can achieve that is in the each one of us today can leave perfectly clean but David says whiter than snow the past.
Totally gone, covered by the blood of Jesus Christ and then in the grace of God we begin to love this caught who saved us, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. This is the supremacy of left father, helpless. We thank you for your great great love we taken it for granted filler hearts with your love there's some here not yet received Calvary's love. Or perhaps they feel condemned. I pray father.
There will be genuine repentance under the look to Christ still sayest, come unto me, and help us.
Father is a church's families as individuals to show that love to others in the world of hate in the world of selfishness and lust. May we the people of God demonstrates that we have partaken of your infinite marvelous love in Christ name we pray