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God Wants You to Walk in a Growing, Genuine Christian love: 1 Peter 1:22

23 Dec

Occasion: Sunday Worship 22nd December 2013

Illustration: Three scenarios:

Scenario One: While Little Joel and Nathanal are playing, Nathanael takes a toy that Little Joel wants to play with.  Little Joel gets angry, takes the toy out of Nathanael’s hand then hits him over the head with the toy.  After being disciplined, Little Joel is told to apologize to Nathanael and then gives him a hug and tell him he loves his little brother.  The words come out of his mouth, but his face and body shout insincerity.  Is little Joel expressing genuine brotherly love?

Scenario Two: A young man is talking to a young girl.  The girls is wealthy and attractive, and the young man’s intentions are focused on two things: her money and her body.  He makes all kinds of promises to the girl as he pleads with her to let her guard down and express love to him in an immoral way.  Is this genuine pure love?

Scenario three: A husband and wife are sitting in a church service listening to a message from Ephesians 5 on husbands loving their wives.  They have been having some serious marital issues, an obviously the husband is uncomfortable.  When they get home after church, the wife gets an intense look in her eyes and asks her husband what he thought of the morning message.  The husband angrily retorts.  God may command me to love you, but I can never like you again.  Is this husband expressing genuine love from the heart?

Text: 1 Peter 1:22

Purpose: Peter explains the distinct walk that a Christian should have now that he is in Christ.

Proposition: God wants you to walk in a growing genuine Christian love

Interrogative: How can I grow in a genuine Christian love?  Here are two questions that can guide us in the answer to this question.

 I. What does genuine Christian love look like? I sincere love of the brethren love one another fervently in pure love…

  • It is sincere: Without hypocrisy or genuine

Scenario One: While Little Joel and Nathanal are playing, Nathanael takes a toy that Little Joel wants to play with.  Little Joel gets angry, takes the toy out of Nathanael’s hand then hits him over the head with the toy.  After being disciplined, Little Joel is told to apologize to Nathanael and then gives him a hug and tell him he loves his little brother.  The words come out of his mouth, but his face and body shout insincerity.  Is little Joel expressing genuine brotherly love?

  • It is brotherly: We see those around us, especially in the church as our family
  • It is fervent: It is intense and from the heart

Scenario three: A husband and wife are sitting in a church service listening to a message from Ephesians 5 on husbands loving their wives.  They have been having some serious marital issues, an obviously the husband is uncomfortable.  When they get home after church, the wife gets an intense look in her eyes and asks her husband what he thought of the morning message.  The husband angrily retorts.  God may command me to love you, but I can never like you again.  Is this husband expressing genuine love from the heart?

  • It is pure: It is without impurity

Scenario Two: A young man is talking to a young girl.  The girls is wealthy and attractive, and the young man’s intentions are focused on two things: her money and her body.  He makes all kinds of promises to the girl as he pleads with her to let her guard down and express love to him in an immoral way.  Is this genuine pure love?

II. How do I grow in genuine Christian love?

Illustration: Fruit trees in the forest.  Not all trees are equally healthy, mature, productive, but they are producing fruit in limited quantity.  It is never possible to say that someone loves perfectly in all areas.

  • Recognize the command

1 Peter 1:22 Love one another fervently…

  • Recognize your limitations:

1 John 4:7 Love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.

Galatians 5:22 Love is a fruit of the Spirit…

  • Understand the standard
  • Diligently seize God’s sanctifying instruments of grace                                                              i.      Meditate on the nature of the Gospel

1 John 4:19 We love Him because He first loved us.

ii.      Study and internalize the Word of God

Psalm 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul.

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom

2 Timothy 3:17 The word of God was given that we might be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

iii.      Have a consistent Biblically prioritized prayer life

Philippians 1:9 Paul prayed that their love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment,

iv.      Do not neglect the local church

Ephesians 4:12-13 For the equipping of the saints, for the edifying of the body of Christ, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.

v.      Practice and observe ordinances with understanding

  •  When we witness baptism, our hearts are drawn to the nature of the gospel and conversion
  • When we dive at the Lord’s Table, we commune with God and remember the nature and implications of the gospel.

Conclusion:

  • Do I love the brethren?
  • Do I love sincerely?
  • Do I love from the heart?
  • Do I love purely?
  • Am I neglecting God’s gracious tools to sanctify you and grow you in Christian love?
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Posted by on December 23, 2013 in 1 Peter Sermons

 

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