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Will True Love Please Stand Up?

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
February 9, 2021 12:00 am

Will True Love Please Stand Up?

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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February 9, 2021 12:00 am

Lyrics from a popular '60s song read, "What the world needs now is love, sweet love; it's the only thing that there's just too little of." To those who listen to the melody, this might be just a pretty love song. But to those who listen to the words, this is a cry of desperation. Join Stephen in this message as he shows us why there is so little love in the world today.

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Single word which you say best summarizes the gospel of Jesus Christ. In this chapter Paul will introduce them to a grand new concept.

It will be a word ignored entirely by the Corinthian culture but this singular word agape embraced by the inspiring Holy Spirit will be the primary word that will become the vehicle to explain the gospel wrapped up in a small four letter word love. Our world is in desperate need of love and it's the universal cry of the human heart. Jesus defined the first and second most important commandments is the command to love God and love others and love defines the way that God responds to us. The Bible has different words that we translate love and were going to learn what those are. Today this is wisdom for the heart with Steve and Davey Stevens beginning a series called true love and he's entitled this lesson will true love. Please stand up. There was once a city that you live in the first century would've known about it was a fast, loud, sensual, commercial metropolis, it was devoted to culture and sports and commerce.

I have never been there but I have read a lot about it. It could've easily been called the Vanity Fair of the ancient world.

It would have been the sailors favorite port.

It would have been a policeman's nightmare. It would have been an actor's dream spotted would've been a merchants Goldmine.

It would have been a prodigal's paradise. By the time Paul wrote to the believers in the city it had gained the reputation of being the vice capital of ancient Greece. Corinth was its name. It was also the first city if you can imagine is to admit the gladiatorial games where competitors would dive for the bloodlust of the spectator's was Las Vegas and San Francisco. In the back alleys of most major cities all sort of combine Corinth was was well known for being sinful city. In fact, if you wanted to tell a person to go to the devil in Paul's day you would simply tell them the Corinthian eyes if you wanted to refer to a woman is being loose. You called her a Corinthian girl that organized brothels with temple prostitution as part of their so-called religious service. This culture was literally bloated with lust for blood and lost for money and lusting after the flesh in the middle of this culture, though, was something almost unbelievable. It was almost unimaginable.

It was the revolutionary work of the liberating gospel of Jesus Christ.

There was a church in the middle of the city and assembly of redeemed liberated forgiven imperfect growing needy sinners, now called by this apostle saints's charter members want to see who they were, will discover a list of them in first Corinthians chapter 6, these were men and women who had passed lives of immorality and infidelity in homosexuality, reformer, thieves affected record refers to Amanda steals with the use of violence. There were alcoholics there were white-collar criminals. Just look at the list. Do you not know verse nine that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Do not be deceived.

Neither fornicators at sexual relations outside of marriage, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, that's sexual relations with married, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves nor the cottages nor drunkards nor violators or swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. But such were some of you this is the list of charter members in this assembly. Such were some of you and others. This is what you used to be to your washed and sanctified, justified in the name of the Lord Jesus in the spirit of our God. So you have in this church.

Felons who are now serving as deacon you have former thieves were counting the offering that great you have former drunkards who are now teaching children in Sunday school. They had come to find her true satisfaction and deliberation and forgiveness in the blood of Jesus Christ. So in the middle of the city you have this church wisdom got an email from a man who was moving in the town had heard me on the radio and he wanted to know if our church accepted same-sex couples. I wrote them back and said anyone and everyone is invited to attend our services and we throw the doors open to the community at large, but to be accepted into our church as a member means that you have accepted the authority of the word of God. I told him we take the Bible literally here and it clearly informs us that any sexual activity outside of marriage is forbidden. Whether homosexual or heterosexual.

Beyond that, the Bible clearly informs us our wrote that homosexual relations is sinful and I sent them to read Romans chapter 1, I invited them, but I wanted to inform him that the gospel of Christ is both forgiving and demanding.

We believe have come under the authority of the word of God. So Paul did not write to them and such are some of you still you can keep stealing.

You can keep fornicating with others who are married you can commit adultery with those who are, you can keep on reviling, you can keep on abusing, you can keep on swindling other people out of their money know he wrote, but such were some of you.

These are Corinthian's who are now rescued by the grace of God. Listen, let me add this just because you come to faith in Jesus Christ does not mean you know how to live for Christ. Repenting of your sins did not create an automatic awareness of how to live a holy life and in all of the past temptations are just sort of set aside in never wrestle over the dream for the relationship or the cheater, the stealing when you get saved you begin the process of becoming like Christ. It isn't the last step coming to faith in Christ is the first step desiring to live a holy life for Christ is not the end it is the beginning of your life you need to understand that what the apostle Paul is about to deliver to this congregation is not something they really will ever master but it is something that they are supposed to practice in there to practice and practice and practice, not for an hour a day, not four hours a day, but every hour of every waking day there to practice and what is it there to practice what will revolutionize this church and any church.

True, genuine, authentic lives marked by love. You arty know where I'm going to turn first Corinthians chapter 13. This is referred to as the love chapter, Paul says, in effect in the first few verses listen everybody. I don't care who you are okay. How connected you are. I don't care how much you own or have if you do not operate in the principal and upon the foundation and through the motivation of love. You are nothing.

Verse one you accomplish nothing. Verse two. You are nothing. Verse three you profit nothing. This is why we have to practice it because life without love adds up to zero.

The matter who you are rich, poor, educated, illiterate, doesn't matter if you're married or single, young or old life apart from love is nothing other reason that we have a hard time buying that. Or even believing it is because we don't understand what Paul meant when he begins to talk about what love is. In this chapter Paul will introduce them to a branded new concept.

It will be a word ignored entirely by the Corinthian culture. In fact, the Greco-Roman world, but this singular word agape embraced by the inspiring Holy Spirit will be the primary word that will become the vehicle to explain the gospel, it will become the vehicle where in we as disciples live and breathe in that it is this Greek word agape short, this word describes the selfless committed love of the intellect and the will which places value upon the beloved. Whether or not they are deserving or if they're even able or unable to return the same for God. So what love the world that he gave just how attractive was the world when he gave just how able was the world to return that quality back to God just how deserving was the world that God would love derivative of agape. The Corinthians. By the way didn't understand true love. In fact of all the words and expressions for love in the first century agape never made the list one Greek scholar Gerhard Kittle in his theological dictionary of the New Testament made the comment that there is not one clear example of agape by a Greek author outside of Scripture. Not one. It was ignored completely. It was considered too unemotional.

It was considered to intellectual. There were several other words in the Greek vocabulary translated all that were a highly prized salinity very quickly give you an overview.

The first was the word store day. This was a Greek word referred to natural love or family love you love your uncle Henry and your grandma F: all your cousins with this kind of love you love them because whether they're your grandma and grandpa and your uncle and aunt and your cousins. You stick up for your sister and brother with his family love even around the house you tell him steady room. This is love that one offer set is like the law of gravitation adjust it's there. These people are related to you. This is the word for the love that causes him a mother to naturally want to take care of her newborn child.

This is the natural love that causes a man to sacrifice time and effort to provide for his family. What's interesting is that Paul tells us in Romans chapter 1 is that as society continues to grow more and more depraved, more and more perverted, more and more self-centered.

The one of the obvious results would be that people would no longer evidence store day they would no longer have natural affection, which is how it is translated.

Children will be cruel to parents and leave them without care. Parents will abandon their children, they will deliver newborns and put them in the dumpster without any thought child abuse will arise as well as the abuse of the elderly, husbands and wives will will kill one another for insurance money. These are the signs that Stargate is on the way. There's really nothing wrong with his word. It's a love that produces natural protection, however, would make Stargate work best is when it is founded upon agape when the foundation for natural family. Love is built upon the selfless, compassionate, willful, servant, love of agape, another Greek word is for Leah which gives us words like Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love. This is the kind of love that bound people together who like the same things, who preferred the same hobbies. This is the love of mutual attraction. This love is fondness, Kenneth. We says affection and liking Leon Morris wrote that this love is built on common interest or common tastes fully means I love that shirt or I love that necktie… Sharp necktie. I like that he likes that tooth we like the same thing. That's like saying I love I love apple pie I love I love Krispy Kreme. I really love that's agape actually committed to that. I love Beethoven any fine people that love the same kinds of things.

This is just sort of mutual attraction. This is the common expression used today for for love. Basically what somebody is saying, though it is used outside of agape is I love you because you are like me. We like the same stuff for Leah is that kind of pursuit. It's the common love of the Corinthian culture and the American culture.

It basically says I love you because you love everything I love. Now it is a love drawn together by the strings of common affection and is not all bad, infected, used 45 times in the New Testament to speak of community love to speak of friendly love to speak of affection for someone that is the outgoing of one's heart, and the like to see them happy. That's where you as a husband or wife choose to like things that your spouse likes because you do have love for them. The trouble comes when the other person doesn't return happiness.

Trouble comes when they don't make for Leah worthwhile when they are unworthy. This is why the love of our culture which is primarily store day for Leah.

At best, runs out of steam and lovers are replaced as quickly as used automobiles. We grew apart. We don't like the things we used to like together anymore so it runs out of gas. The world can only wonder why they run out of steam. Love that is fully only is why when actors are rented. I recently was being interviewed.

She said her relationships are really great for about three months and are over. She said the fireworks are gone, is why the excitement and thrill of love disappears at the site of an overflowing diaper pail. That's a romantic thought for you is how books can actually be written and purchased by people enough so that it makes the best-selling list where they are suggesting that what you really need is to plan for three spouses over the course of your lifetime you have one spouse for child rearing years, you have another for the middle years of dizziness and contracts in social climate and you have your third spouse. In later years when you're ready for the sailboat in the golf course and rocking chair. Why, because love is all about you. It's all about somebody meeting your needs and making you feel happy. What they're really saying with this word is when they say I love you there saying I love me and I want you because you make me feel better.

Just read the lyrics of the most popular songs on the subject of love.

It's been reduced to a search for that never-ending warm and fuzzy state right arm hooked on a feeling and I can't stop loving you she loves you yeah yeah yeah okay I am stuck in the 70s. I know, but remember this one. Why do birds suddenly appear every time you are near just like me they want to be close to you. That said, let me tell you, but I was the 60s and 70s. You know now are sophisticated and now we got it together really when I can look up lyrics on the Internet which I spent about 30 minutes doing in the best-selling songs still define love in terms of philia alone. Here's a song I came across on an album called big dog daddy now one of my all-time favorites. I can assure you it's a song about a guy who is a custodian and the girl he loves is beautiful and self-centered and he sings his lament about a sad state.

She will look my way. But, buddy, what would you expect I'm just the fix it up boy at the apartment complex. He says I'm just sit around waiting on a telephone call after waterpipe exploded in the living room wall. If your washer and dryer need repair. You know your handyman's weight and then will be right there than he sings this problem here is she's my baby doll my beauty queen. She's my movie star. Best I've ever seen. I asked her out yet because I don't know if I can see is just a high maintenance woman don't want no maintenance man, poor guy, but it's so descriptive. It is so descriptive of the wrong side of for Leah. I mean a love that loves only the lovely only the attractive. Only somebody is going to advance the reputation and self image.

Only the popular so were attracted in the society which is far from classless, it's prejudiced. It's self-centered.

It measures people by what they own and have how they look. Friendship like this can make good men better and bad men worse that the good side of for Leah is the natural affection between friends who bond with mutual likes and dislikes, but it has to challenge each other to grow in greater and deeper agape love for Christ church one another.

One final word that is perhaps the most unlike agape and at the most well loved by the world is the Greek word eros gives us our word. Erotic this is sensual sexual love contained within marriage, it is the gift of God for affection, pleasure.

What's interesting is that this word was the most commonly used word for love in Paul's day and yet follow this the Holy Spirit did not select this word in any passage of love in the New Testament, not even one's so at the world and the flesh clamor for the New Testament descriptions ignore so we have to find a what eros means by going outside of the New Testament. That doesn't mean that the word is inherently evil, romantic, sexual or sensual love is at best with agape and commitment in marriage wonderful, pure and lofty that the song of Solomon doesn't use the word but it describes eros is considered a virtue but the fact that the New Testament never selects this word ought to tell us that the world and even the church. Have you noticed the church now is focused on one aspect of love that is actually secondary and not foundational without agape. Eros is self-seeking, self-centered, abusive, possessive love, but combined with the will to serve and commit.

Eros makes a man swim in ocean it makes you climb a mountain across the desert to win that husband or wife without agape, Eros only lasts 201 to have. To conquer and then it will discard you for some newer model Eros knows nothing of emergency rooms, house payments and braces. Eros has no time for homework or late hours broken down cars and used furniture. Eros's board with arthritis.

Eros colors gray hair cells steroids tummy tucks and Rolexes. Eros's fashion and beauty is for the attractive and the well-connected but Eros eventually makes everyone lose what they'd hope to have let me review Stargate says I love you because you belong to my family.

Agape says I love you and I'm going to treat you as if you are a member of my family for Leah says I love you because you are like me, agape says I love you even though you are unlike me. Eros says I love you because you meet my needs and make my heart beat fast. Agape says I love you and I commit my heart to meeting your needs. Agape is true love. I found the lyrics to another song familiar to most of us, this one written by a Christian artist who understood a little better with agape in a relationship look like it goes like this tomorrow morning if you wake up in the sun does not appear I will be here if in the dark, we lose sight of love hold my hand and have no fear because I will be here. I will be here when you feel like being quiet when you need to speak your mind. I will listen and I will be here when the laughter turns to Cryan through the women losing try will be together. I will be here tomorrow morning if you wake up in the future is unclear I will be here just as sure as seasons were made for change. Our lifetimes were made for these years. So I will be here. I will be here and you can cry on my shoulder. When the mirror tells us were older. I will hold you and I will be here to watch you grow and beauty tell you all the things you are to me. I will be I will be true to the promises I to you and to the one who gave you to me tomorrow morning if you wake up in the sun does not appear I will I gentleman the world can only long fine.

Love like that back in Corinth here.

Christian who comes out of his culture into the church must learn and must practice how to love like that and that's why God will so clearly spell it out for a great chapter got Paul will deliver to us radical description God's description genuine, authentic truth, love, there's much more for us to learn about genuine, authentic, true love. In fact, working to spend the next seven lessons exploring biblical love, and how we can live it out. You're listening to wisdom for the hearts with Stephen Davey. This series is called true love and the lesson you just heard is entitled will true love. Please stand up if you joined us late.

You can go to our website and listen to the entire message again. You'll find then in the days ahead. Please plan to listen to this entire series. It's important, in addition to being our daily Bible teacher, Stephen pastors, the shepherd's church in Cary, North Carolina is also the president of shepherd's theological seminary. Also located in Cary here at wisdom international we publish a monthly magazine that we send as a gift to all of our wisdom partners. If you don't receive it. We'd like to send you the next three issues as our gift to you. Just call and request three months of heart-to-heart magazine and will send it your way.

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