The Love of Christ

The Love of Christ

Life & Light Community Church

Message from 12/17/2022

Life & Light Community Church began in the early months of 2020. What began as an opportunity for me, my wife and step-kids to continue to worship together, has now evolved into a ministry that has expanded to include close friends, family, and those who are simply hungry for the word of God. You can find us on Facebook, so please, feel free to reach out and join us.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

                                                                               John 13:34–35 (NASB95)

Love is a universal obsession in our country. We love people, places, and things. Just name it and we have a love for it. We love our sports teams, our food, our hones, our jobs, our cars, our spouse, our boyfriend, or girlfriend, we even love our pets. We have learned that we all have a love language. It fills us up when we are down, we expect others, especially our spouses to know our love language and we to know theirs. Love has even infiltrated our music. “She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah.” Or “You are the love in my life, you are my inspiration.” Everyone knows, “What the world needs now, is love sweet love.” So, if you “Heard it in a love song, can’t be wrong!” This love gives us the warm fuzzies, like a pair of comfortable pajamas on a cold winter’s night. But this love doesn’t reach down to the core of our soul – this love doesn’t fill the gaping hole in our soul.

In the greatest act of love ever seen or experienced, the kind of love that fills the gaping hole in our soul, was made available to all people. However, before this act could take place, the One who performed this act, spoke to His followers, giving them a commandment to love one another. But this love is not the normal love we experience as human beings. No, this love goes far deeper, for the kind of love we all seek, the kind of love this One expects from His followers, is The Love of Christ.

Jesus gives His disciples a new commandment, to love one another as He has loved them. For all men will know men will know they are His disciples, when they show The Love of Christ to one another.

As Christ followers, we are called to love others as we ourselves have been loved by Christ. By showing The Love of Christ to others, all people will know we belong to Him.

In this message we seek to answer the question, “Why is The Love of Christ important in the life of the Christ follower?”

As Christ followers, we love our brothers and sisters in Christ so fully and unconditionally, that those who see our love know we belong to Christ.

1). By showing The Love of Christ to other Christ followers, the Christ follower shows how they have been loved by Christ.

The Love of Christ loves other Christ followers fully and unconditionally and then spills over into the world around us.

First of all, we need to see and understand this commandment is given to the followers of Christ. It is not given to those in the world. Chapter 13 takes place in the upper room, at the last Passover Supper shared with the disciples, before it moves outside as Christ and the disciple’s journey towards Gethsemane. The commandment to love one another is a call to love as Christ has first loved us – we are to love with the love of Christ. This goes beyond loving your neighbor as yourself. This commandment has been given to the disciples of Christ first, and then to the church through those disciples, and through the church to each individual member.

Secondly, this commandment has NOT been given to the world, it has been given to the followers of Christ. We cannot expect those who do not know Christ to be filled with His love. If people in the world have not known Christ and experienced His love, how then, will they know what His love is like? Because this love is to be seen by all people through His followers. We will discuss the importance of this in our second point, but we are not to hide this love. It is to be clearly and plainly seen by all people we meet, pass-by, work with, live with, eat with, and a multitude of other daily activities. This love must be seen to be affective.

If this love is the love of Christ, then this is the love of God Himself. This love can only be placed in the hearts of the Christ follower by the Holy Spirit. This is NOT the love the world shares between neighbors, brothers, friends, or even lovers. This is not the emotional feeling called love shared by the world. This is a much deeper love that goes to the depth of the soul and fills the gaping hole we all seek to fill.

When we become Christ followers, the Holy Spirit begins the work of creating a new person, from the inside out, we become a new creation in Christ. The love of Christ is love that – causes us to hunger for God and God’s people, to share in fellowship and family relationships; this love shares the same life with all Christ followers – the abundant life and eternal life. The love of Christ binds and ties the Christ followers together in life and purpose; it shares needs, blessings, joys, sorrows, and gifts together. This is love in which all Christ followers have a shared, universal experience.

Questions for discussion/reflection:

Where do you sense Christ calling you to share The Love of Christ during this season of life?

What area of your life needs a new infusion of The Love of Christ?

How have you experienced The Love of Christ among other Christ followers?

As Christ followers, we love our brothers and sisters in Christ so fully and unconditionally, that those who see our love know we belong to Christ.

2). By showing The Love of Christ to other Christ followers, the Christ follower shows they belong to Christ.

The Love of Christ proves we are His – learning from His examples and being obedient to His commandments.

I mentioned in our first point that the love found in the Christ follower must be seen by all people. Now we can discuss why this is important. This type of love can only be found in the Christ follower because it is placed there by the Holy Spirit. Part of the new creation includes a new love founded in Christ. This new love is far different from the love shared with your neighbor, friends, family, and those you work with. This type of love is the mark of a true disciple – of a true Christ follower. The Love of Christ loves fully and unconditionally; it loves indiscriminately and inclusively, and it loves universally. This love starts with the Christ follower, but it does not stay there. It is the norm for love in the community of the Christ follower, thus it must be a love that is seen by all people.

This is love created by the Holy Spirit and placed in the heart of the Christ follower. The Holy Spirit can melt and mold the heart of the Christ follower to other Christ followers. This is a commandment for the Christ follower, and while the Holy Spirit creates this love in the heart of the Christ follower, the Christ follower must receive this love. When the Holy Spirit creates this kind of love in the Christ follower, it is love that binds the heart of the Christ follower to the lives of other Christ followers; it ties the life of the Christ follower to the same purpose of other Christ followers. This is love that causes us to surrender our will and be of one mind with other Christ followers; it causes us to understand and empathize with other Christ followers. Finally, this is love that causes us to put the needs of other Christ followers above our own needs, it causes us to deny ourselves.

Love is more than a simple warm feeling; it is an attitude revealed in our actions. How can we love others Christ followers as Christ loved us? We help when it is not convenient; we give when it hurts; we spend our energy to benefit others before ourselves; we take hurt from others without hurting back or complaining. This type of love is meant to bring unbelievers to Christ and keep Christ followers strong and united in a world that hates God and all things related to God.

Questions for discussion/reflection:

How are you showing The Love of Christ to all people? If you are not, what can you do differently?

How are you loving fully and unconditionally? If you are not, what steps need to be taken so you are loving in this fashion?

How is your love strengthening and uniting other Christ followers?

As Christ followers, we love our brothers and sisters in Christ so fully and unconditionally, that those who see our love know we belong to Christ.

Far too many people in the world depend on their feelings or trusting their heart to define, feel, and spread love. Scripture teaches us that our hearts and feelings cannot be trusted. Most days our hearts and feelings can change in a matter of hours, some days in a matter of minutes! No, we cannot trust our hearts or our feelings. This is why The Love of Christ is so important to the Christ follower. Do you think any of us might be here today if Christ had trusted His feelings in the Garden of Gethsemane? I highly doubt that. But having experienced all things human, Christ knew not to trust what He was feeling as He prayed that night. In fact, He said “Father, Your will be done.” Because He sought the Father’s will, love has won out over all things. Now we too have this deep love inside of us, placed there by the Holy Spirit.

We no longer need to trust our hearts or feelings because we know we have the capability to love others as we were first loved by Christ. We can love fully and unconditionally, regardless of our feelings, circumstances, or situations we face. The Love of Christ is an attitude that begins with love for other Christ followers, seen by all people, and then flows out to the world around us. Because of this love, we have the ability to impact the lives of those who do not know The Love of Christ, while strengthening and uniting with our brothers and sisters in Christ. This is love. That Christ died for us, even while we were in sin, that we too can love others as He loved us.

We do all things for the glory of God, through Christ our Lord,

Amen and amen.

Next Week: John 1:14-18

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: