Series: Love

Speaker: BJ Chursinoff

One of the Gospel’s great mysteries is that God comes to dwell in His people the moment they are born again. God is love, and His love is poured into our hearts by way of His Spirit. We are meant to enjoy this love, but it is not meant for us alone. In this final message in our “Love” series, we’ll explore what it looks like to love other people with the love God has poured into us.

Transcription (automatically-generated):

Now, thinking about this topic of love this week got me to thinking about Mount Everest of all things. And I realized that love and Mount Everest have a couple things in common. And let me show you what I mean. There are a couple of different ways that you can observe Mount Everest. You could hitchhike a ride from either Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos.

The next time they take their Rockets into space. And once you're in orbit, you can look down on the Earth and gaze at Mount Everest from that vantage point miles away. And from there, Mount Everest wouldn't appear to be all that impressive. That's one way you could observe it. Or you could take a ride on a conventional airplane and fly over to Nepal and take a taxi cab and go to the base of Mount Everest.

And once there, you could tilt your head back, look up at Mount Everest and view it from that vantage point. And from there, I can tell you it will be very much larger in your view than you probably expected it to be. You can also observe the concept of love from a distance or from up close. I was viewing the topic of love from a distance several weeks before I began to get ready to preach these messages. I thought to myself, Great, a sermon series about love.

This should be relatively easy, but the closer I got to having to prepare these messages, I saw the magnitude of this topic. I stood at the base of the mountain, and I looked up and I was like, Love is way bigger than I thought it was. Now love and Mount Everest have something else in common, too. There are a couple of different ways you could climb Mt. Everest.

You can climb it the conventional way, one step at a time. Now, this way would take you a very long time to get to the top. And now you would need Superman powers to do it this way, you could scale the mountain in three big jumps, one, two, three, and you're at the top. You can tackle the topic of love a couple of different ways, too. You could do it one step at a time.

But this would take forever, like, literally. We could preach messages about love every single week until Jesus came back and we wouldn't exhaust all there is to know and to learn about love. Actually, love is going to take forever to comprehend. Love is so massive that we will never stop learning about it. It's inexhaustible so in heaven, we will be having our minds blown about what we learn and experience about love over and over again through all of eternity.

That's how big love is. So we could take a bunch of little steps. Or we could take three Superman sized jumps to tackle the topic of love. And that's what we've done with these three messages. In this series, we're taking three big jumps to cover the entire concept of love.

Big overview messages of a topic so big that we can never exhaust it, not just in this life but in the eternal life to come. My hope is this that if you're able to take away just one thing from this series that will help you experience more love in your life, then that will be a major win for me in my books. Or if something you heard in this series caused you to start asking new questions about love questions that lead you to exploring the deep things of love for yourself, then that would be a major win too.

Now, before we make our third and final big jump up the mountain of love. In this message tonight, let's look back and remember what we've covered so far in this journey.

In our first big jump up the mountain, we saw that everybody loves the idea of love, but we're really confused about it and don't seem to do a great job of doing it. And just take a look at the world today. If you need coveting of this, the human race as a whole doesn't love well, we learned that love is both a noun and a verb, and you need to have the substance of love in your life. Before you can demonstrate the action of love to another person.

We learned that there are different kinds of love.

There's family, love and friendship, love and romantic love, and something called agape love and the different kinds of love aren't bad. It's just that there's one that's the best that's agape love. See, agape love does the best for another person, no matter what it costs, no matter who that person is or if they deserve it or not, no matter how they respond to the love that you show them. Agape love is love of the will. And we learned that according to the Apostle John in one John chapter four, remember, it was so nice.

He used it twice. This phrase, God is love. God is the substance of agape love and the source of it. In the Trinity, agape love has been given and received one to another between the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Since literally forever in creation, God made everything and then he made man and woman.

He made humanity so that we could experience God's agape love for ourselves. Remember, God didn't need us. He made us that we could experience His love as a gift. And we see God's love in Salvation. We rejected God in His love, but God didn't reject us.

God so loved the world that he gave His only Son that whosoever should believe in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sin, our sin, which keeps us separated from the love of God. With our sin paid for by Jesus, we can enter into a love relationship with our maker. And then when we look ahead to forever, there are things in this life today that hinder us from experience the love of God as fully as we are destined to.

But that will change one day that will change when Jesus comes back.

There's a day coveting when God will remove every single thing that keeps us from experiencing the fullness of His love. That's why we long for heaven. It's where we're going to experience God's perfect, unbridled love forever. Now God is the agape love that we need. If we're going to have love and be able to display it to others, we looked at all that in part one.

Then in part two, in our second big jump up the mountain, we saw that only Christians actually have God's Agathe love in them. We receive God's love when we receive God into our life. This happens the moment we first repent of our sins and trust in Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins. God Zagape love changes us from the inside. It changes us to become more and more like Jesus.

Godzagape love has never taken from us once we've received it. Amen. God's. Agape love in us is sometimes difficult to experience God's agape love in us. Sorry is difficult to experience, and we looked briefly at the role spiritual disciplines play in the life of a believer.

Spiritual disciplines like Bible reading and prayer and fasting and giving and serving spiritual disciplines don't earn us God's presence in our lives, but they do put us in a better position to experience His presence that's already in us in a more intimate and ongoing way. Spiritual disciplines position us closer to the fire of His love. The closer we get to the fire, the more lifewarming transformation we get to experience. This brings us now to apart are our final ascent up the mountain of love. Now it is important to note this that many Christians seem to be content to stop at this place up the mountain.

Many are content to spend their life trying to maximize God's love in themselves for their own sake and enjoyment. Now this is not totally wrong to do, but if this is your only focus when it comes to experience God's agape love, then it's definitely incomplete. You should want to maximize your experience of God's love in your own life. It's just that your experience of God's love in your life should not terminate on you. Write this down and then we're going to unpack it together.

Godzagape love is given to us so that we can experience this love for ourselves and so we can express the same love to others. Loving God and loving others is how the whole Bible can be summed up. And Jesus does this for us. In Matthew chapter 22, verses 34 to 40, it's on your outline. I'm going to read it for us.

It says when the Pharisees heard that he Jesus had sinned, the Sadducees they came together and one of them, an expert in the law, asked a question to test him teacher, which command in the law is the greatest? He said to Him, Love the Lord your God, with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it. Love your neighbor as yourself.

All the law and the prophets depend on these two commands in the Old Testament and in the New love God and love others. The two are connected. God's love in us is meant to flow out of us. Now think of this picture. Think of a garden hose.

When you think about love in your life, what's poured into you is meant to come out of you. Can you imagine a garden hose that didn't spray out the water that came into it? It would become plump and ineffective. And this can happen to us as Christians. If we're not careful with the love that God pours into us, we can become spiritually plump and ineffective.

We can do hours every week of Church and Bible study and prayer and work and energy, all directed at myself with no inclination to consider the needs of others over and above myself. We're all prone to fall into this rut. God gives us His love for our sake. Yes, but he also gives us His love for the sake of the people that are in our lives too. So let's talk about loving others with agape love.

And let's start by thinking about this next question together. If we're going to agape love someone else, what's the most loving thing that we can do for that person? What's the greatest act or expression or display or gift of love that we could possibly give to someone else? Now, here are some ways that a lot of people would answer this question today. A lot of people think that the primary way we are to love others requires us giving money to them or to meet practical needs they might have.

Others think that the primary way we're to love other people requires us to be nice to them, befriend people honor people. Others believe that the primary way we're to love another person requires that we agree with them and affirm anything they believe to be true, even if it isn't true. Some people think that's loving now, some of these are good expressions of love, apart from the affirming, what people believe thing being nice to them, serving them, speaking kind words to them, meeting some of their practical needs.

But none of these things is the most loving thing we can do for another person was actually at the core of loving someone with agape love. Again, what's the greatest act or expression or display or gift of love that we could possibly give to someone else?

Let me ask you a question. What's the single greatest source and expression of love that exists. Remember what the Apostle John said in one John, chapter four. There he told us what that God is love. God is the source of love.

He is the very substance of love itself. And because God is infinite and eternal, we have an infinite and eternal source of love in Him. Therefore, the most loving thing that any person can ever do for another person is to give them God, because if someone gets God, then they for themselves have the eternal fount of soul satisfying love in their life now, and they will have that love forever in the life to come. Now you could give someone literally everything in the world in the name of love, and all of it would amount to absolutely nothing if the person doesn't have God in their life.

Isn't that what Jesus taught us in Matthew chapter 16, verses 26, this is not in our outline, but I'm going to quote Jesus because he said, for what will it benefit someone if he gains the whole world yet loses his life?

If you have everything except God, you have nothing. And if you have nothing except God, you have everything. God is the greatest gift of love we can possibly give to another person. Now, this leads us logically to a very big follow up question. How do we do it?

How do we give someone God? Well, there are two parts to it. Write this down and then we're going to talk about it. We give someone God by showing them God, and by telling them about God, we give someone God by showing them God. And by telling them about God, we show someone what God is like so that they can see how awesome he is, and so that they might be drawn to wanting Him for themselves.

And we also tell someone about God so that they understand what He's like and so that they can know how they can have Him in their life, too. We show people God, and we tell people about God. This is how we give God to them. Now, this is what Jesus did when he came. His life is the perfect example to look at because he did these two things absolutely perfectly.

Now how did Jesus give people God? Well, Jesus life showed people what God is like. When people looked at Jesus, they were looking at God in the flesh. When people looked at Jesus, they saw humility, mercy, patience, truth, wisdom, power, love and everything else that God is. They can see these things in the way that Jesus was born, in the way he grew up before God, and man in the way he engaged those on the margins of society, in the way he responded to those who persecuted him in the way he performed his miracles, in the way he died, in the way he rose from the dead.

Now, to be clear, Jesus is God. But he also showed us God in such a way that when one of the disciples named Philip came to Jesus and asked Jesus to show him and the rest of the disciples to show them the Father, Jesus could say this to him. John chapter 14, verse nine to eleven, Jesus said, Have I been among you all this time and you do not know me? Philip, the one who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say show us the Father?

Don't you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak to you. I do not speak on my own. The Father who lives in me does his works believe me that I'm in the Father and the Father is in me otherwise believe because of the works themselves. Jesus showed us God by coming and living His life in front of our very eyes.

Now I need to show you the necessary connection between these two things, between showing and telling, between actions and words, the necessary connection between walk and talk. Because was it enough for Jesus to show us God? Was it enough that God was put on display in the life of Christ? Were his actions alone enough to make God known to us? Now think about this with me for a second.

What if Jesus did all the signs and wonders that he did? But what if he did them all without ever saying a single word? What if Jesus didn't say anything during his earthly life? What if he just showed us God without any verbal explanation? How do you think people would have made sense of who he was and what he did?

You see without using words to explain who he is and what he came to do? Nobody would have connected those dots on their own if they only saw the things Jesus did. People would draw conclusions like these. Wow, that Jesus Super nice guy. That Jesus man really smart.

You hear about that? Jesus? What a powerful dude, Jesus. Now that guy is a revolutionary. Some saw his miracles and came to the conclusion that he was demon possessed.

Some saw his miracles and wanted to make him an earthly King. Some saw his miracles and decided that he wasn't worth following. These are some of the conclusions that would be drawn if people only ever saw the things that he did. But people need more than to simply see His life. People need an explanation of who he is and what he came to do.

The good news is that Jesus not only showed us what God is like, Jesus told us about God with his words, Jesus used words to explain to people who he is and what he came to do. He used words to tell us how we could have God. He used words to tell us that we needed to come to him. Jesus said a lot of things during his Ministry that are recorded for us in the Gospels. I'm going to highlight only a small portion of them.

Here the following statements I'm going to share with you are known as the I am statements of Jesus. And you can read these on your outline if you like. In John 635, Jesus said these words of himself. I am the bread of life. Bread is food.

And do you know what happens if you don't eat food long enough, you die. Understand what Jesus is saying? If you don't have me, you're going to die. Jesus in John 812 says, I am the light of the world. Apart from Jesus, we all live in darkness, bumbling through life, scraping through life, not knowing our left from our right or up from our down.

And we can't see clearly. We can't perceive clearly. But when we have Christ, the light comes on and we can perceive truth, we can perceive reality in Christ. But without Him blind. Jesus said of himself in John ten nine, I am the door.

That's kind of weird door to what door to eternal life. Jesus is saying that if you come through me, you will live forever. But if you don't come through me, you will not live forever. But Jesus said in John 1011 and 14, I am the good shepherd. I'm the one that leads you.

I'm the one that feeds you. I'm the one that protects you. I take care of you. And if you have me, you have all of that. And if you don't have me, you're tossed to the Wolves.

Jesus says in John 1125, I am the resurrection and the life. Jesus said in John 14 six, I am the way, the truth and the life. He doesn't say. I'm going to point to the way. I'm going to talk to you about the truth.

I'm going to tell you how you can get life somewhere else. Do you understand what he's saying? He says, look at me. I am the way I am the truth. And I am the life.

In John 15, one to five. He says, I am the vine. He goes on to say this picture, and this branch is connected to the vine and the branches that they're connected to. The vine have the life of the vine flowing through them, break the branches off and throw them over there and they wither. Jesus is saying, I'm the vine that supplies life to whoever is connected to me.

Now I want you guys to understand if you haven't put this together already, that this is absolutely crazy talk. Unless it comes from a man who also happens to be God in the flesh, then this talk would make sense if you're not God and you're saying these things, we have certain places. We put people because this talk would be completely discarded if it wasn't for the things he did in his life, which validated every single one of his words. You can call yourself the resurrection and the life when you raise yourself from the dead.

Jesus showed us what God is like by the fact that he is God.

And he came down to display God for us. And Jesus told us how we can have God too. He told us we have to come to Him. His actions and his words, his showing and his telling, working together to give God to people. Because when people saw His life and responded to His words, they received Him.

And when a person receives Christ, they are receiving the eternal God who is infinite Agathe love. Okay, that's great. That's Jesus. But how do we do this? How do we love people by giving them God?

Because we're obviously last time we checked are not Jesus. That means we don't give people ourselves like he gave Himself. Only he is God. Only his death was enough to remove sins. And there are some things that he did uniquely, but we cannot miss the fact that we have Him in us.

And we can follow the example He's given to us, just like Jesus did. We need to show people God with our life. Now, just moments ago, we saw that Jesus said of himself, I am the light of the world. But this is interesting. You know what he said to his disciples in Matthew chapter five, verses 14 to 16.

It's on your outline. Jesus said this to his disciples. You are the light of the world. A city situated on a Hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand.

And it gives light for all who are in the house in the same way. Let your light shine before others so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. See, the disciples were never God in the flesh like Zeus is. But the day would come when they would have the presence of God in them. They would have the light of the world shining in them.

Godzag love that he puts into his disciples, changes them. And then people see His disciples becoming more and more like Jesus in the way they walk out their everyday lives. They see Christ in us. They see Him in the way we talk, in the way we spend our time, in the way we spend our money, in the way we spend our energy in the way we respond to difficulty in the way we pursue Holiness and obedience to God. In the way we love our families, the way we love our Church, in the way we love people who are outside the Kingdom of God.

We're like living, breathing, walking billboards for God. We're like lanterns that contain the light of God in us. And when people see us, they will see Christ in us. And that's the point now, how what has to happen for people to be able to see Jesus in us? Well, step one, he has to be in you.

You have to be a Christian now, step two, he has to change you so that you look more and more like him. The way he does that is through the practice of spiritual disciplines. And we looked at this concept briefly back in part two of this message series, but it bears repeating the more we position ourselves to experience the love of God that is in us, the more we will become like he is, the more we read the Bible, the more our minds are transformed, the more we pray, the more our hearts are transformed, the more we regularly fast and give and serve and share the Gospel.

The more our lives are transformed, the more time we spend with Jesus, the more we become like Him. This transformation process begins the moment that we're born again, and it continues for as long as we're alive on this Earth.

And this is how we show people God. This is how they see Him in us. But just like Jesus, we don't just show people God. We tell them about Him, too. We tell people about God with our words.

We tell them who he is, what he is like, and how people can come into a personal relationship with him. Think about what would happen if we never spoke about Jesus. What if we only did good things in our life according to the power that he works in us? If people saw Christ in you, but you never explained to them what they were seen, then what kind of conclusions would they draw on their own? I'll tell you, they'll say things like this.

Wow. You're such a good person. Whoa, my goodness. You're so spiritual. Wow.

You have something different in you. I can't put my finger on it, but you're different. I got to tell you this story that happened to me. This goes back 20 years ago. I just had come back to following the Lord.

I'm working in my first position in the supplement industry in a retail store, and I'm beginning to see regular customers on a regular basis. This one particular gentleman, I'd see him on average, but once a month, it's crazy because I remember what he bought. He bought B vitamins every month. He'd come in and I help him buy his B vitamins. And after several times in about several months, caught me totally off guard.

I was just serving him. Just help him. Just doing my job. Okay, Christian just doing my job in the world. He turns to me and he says, there's something different about you.

Why are you so happy all the time?

I was taking it back. And I'm going to tell you, I failed miserably. I wasn't prepared for it. The words weren't on the tip of my tongue. And so not knowing how to like what to even do in that moment, I just gave him some sort of mumbo jumbo like, oh, I don't know.

I've just had a blessed life or just. I just gave them what I needed to tell him. Was there's nothing good in me? Anything that you're seeing in me? That's good.

I got to tell you what you're seeing. You're seeing Jesus Christ. But I didn't tell him that. And he walked away wondering, thinking, oh, he just won the Jackpot. He just got lucky.

He's just happy. And I'm not.

I'm going to show you the necessary connection between the two showing and telling. If people only see the evidence of God in our life by the new way we live, they will not come to the conclusion on their own that they need God, and they can have God too. If they come to Jesus, we have to tell them with our words. But we can't use only our words. If we only talk to people about God, they don't live to change lives in front of them, then they won't believe our words.

Why would they believe that they could have God living in them if they can't tell He's living in us? What draw would there be if people looked at us and our Godfilled lives and our Godfilled lives don't look any different than their Godless ones do. We need to show people God, and we need to tell people about Him. Both are necessary if we're going to agape love people by giving them God. Now, here's a really important thing to keep in mind in this discussion.

We don't show and tell God to everyone we meet in the exact same way. There's an important difference we need to highlight between how we display agape love to those who don't have God yet versus how we give God to those who do have Him. Now. To unbelievers. We are to show and tell who God is with our life.

We live. Our new Christ Center lives before the eyes of a watching world. I'm going to read this again as Matthew 514 to 16. But Zeus says to his disciples back then and he says that to us today you are the light of the world. A city situated on a Hill cannot be hidden.

No one lights a lamp and puts under a basket, but rather on a lampstand. And it gives light for all who are in the house in the same way. Let your light shine before others so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. We show unbelievers God by the way that we live before them. But the words we use to reveal God to them are specific for them.

We should speak very particular words to those who don't yet have Christ. And this should differ from the words we speak to our brothers and sisters in the faith. We tell unbelievers why they need Him, which means we have to talk about things like God's Holiness, our sin, and the reality of Hell. We tell Unbelievers what he did for them in His life. In His death and His resurrection, Jesus died so that your sins can be forgiven and so that you can come into a relationship with God.

We tell Unbelievers how they can have Him too. We tell them the gospel simply turn from the way you live your current spiritually dead, ungodly life and believe in Jesus and choose to follow Him with the rest of your life. These are the things that have to be on the forefront of our minds when we're speaking with unbelievers. And there are things we shouldn't be as concerned about. When we're talking with unbelievers about God, we should never try to tell people to change their lives and begin to live like a Christian if they don't have Christ yet.

Our main goal isn't trying to fix unbelievers bad language. Our main goal isn't to try and fix unbelievers bad habits. Our main goal isn't trying to fix unbelievers bad relationships. Those things don't matter if they don't end up getting God in their life. Our main goal is to try and give them the supreme source of love, and His name is Jesus.

If they receive Christ, then they have what they need in order to address the other things. Then we can begin to work on the other things after they receive God, but not before they get God. You ever heard the phrase you want to bring a knife to a gunfight? You're illequipped for the battle. And if you try to fix your life without the power that God supplies you, you're bringing a knife to a gunfight.

Every time we give people God, we're giving them the gun that wasn't in my notes and probably for a reason.

Now here's how our approach is different when it comes to loving our spiritual brothers and sisters. The Christians in our life don't need us to give them God. They already have Him. But there's room in their life to experience Him more. And if there's anything that we can do to help Christians experience the presence of God more, then that's the most loving thing that we can do for them.

And the pattern is the same. We both show with our actions and tell with our words who God is to our fellow believers. We don't change the way we live before our fellow believers. We keep shining. We keep showing them God in us by the way.

We live with each other. But we say some different things. We don't try to persuade believers to be saved. They're already saved. We encourage them in the faith they already have.

We do what Jesus commanded us to do in the Great Commission where he said, Teach them. Teach your fellow disciples, teach them to obey everything I've commanded. So we speak the Word of God to our brothers and sisters. We teach the Word of God to our brothers and sisters. We call our brothers and sisters to obey the Word of God, we encourage and exhort and admonish them to trust in and obey God's Word, because if we can help believers know the Word of God more and do the Word of God more than they will in turn, experience God's Agathe love in their lives more than they ever have before.

And that is the greatest way we can display the love of God to them, help them experience more of God in their life. Now, here's a hypothetical scenario for you. What do we do if someone is a Christian, someone you know and have and who you have a relationship with to some degree? What if this person begins to turn from following God in an area of their life and begins to live in sin? And I'm not talking about making a single mistake.

I'm talking about practicing sin as a lifestyle. What's the most loving thing to do in this situation? How do you practically agape love this person? How do you give this person God? The answer may surprise you because the answer is Church discipline.

So write this down and then we're going to talk about it a little bit. The practice of Church discipline is one of the most loving things Christians can do. The practice of Church discipline is one of the most loving things Christians can do. I'm going to let you in on a little secret. This idea right here that we're going to begin talking about is the main reason that this three part series on love exists.

I've been wanting to talk to the Church about Church discipline, and I've wanted to show you specifically how the practice of Church discipline is one of the most loving things you can do for another Christian. But I think it would be weird for me to give a one off message about Church discipline and then tag on at the very end of it. Oh, and by the way, just trust me, everyone, this is the most loving thing that you can do because so many people hear the word Church discipline and love isn't the first thing that pops into their minds.

Words like judgmental and legalism usually pop up first when they think about someone else calling them to repent of their sin. So I figured that if I talk with you about love first, if we took two and a half messages to lay the foundation of love, when we got to this point, it would become obvious to all how loving discipline really is.

So if you are a Christian and you love God and you have his love in your life, but you're practicing things in your life that are keeping you from experiencing that love. What's the most loving thing for me or any other brother or sister to do in this situation? Should we stay silent and pretend you're not sinning and stand idly by as we watch you be miserable as sin runs its course and ruins your life? Or should we gently humbly and clearly tell you what's robbing you of joy and call you to change.

Call you to turn back to Jesus.

It's the second option. And this is how Jesus tells us to do it with one another. In Matthew 18, Matthew 18, verse 15 to 20 is a passage oozing with love in it. Jesus says this, if your brother sins against you, go tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you've won your brother.

But if he won't listen, take one or two others with you so that by the testimony of two or three witnesses, every fact may be established. If he doesn't pay attention to them, tell the Church. If he doesn't pay attention even to the Church, let them be like a Gentile and a tax collector to you. Truly, I tell you, whatever you bind on Earth will have been bound in heaven. Whatever you loose on Earth will have been loosed in heaven again.

Truly, I tell you, if two of you on Earth agree about any matter that you pray for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven, for where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them. Here's the steps Jesus lays out for us, someone that you know that you have a relationship within the Church is trapped in it's. Practicing sin again, not a one off mistake is living in it perpetually. You go to them by yourself. You don't start a group chat, you don't get everyone else.

Hey, have you heard what so? And so you just go right to them yourself through a phone call with a coffee, with a one on one, you go with humility with gentleness, and you go on the truth. You go with a brother or sister who agape loves them dearly, and you call them to change. If they do, you've won your brother or sister. If they tell you to get lost, then you don't just say, well, I tried one or two other brothers and sisters with you that know this person and have an eyewitness account of their life in the center of their practice.

And you go together. And hopefully this would stir them to change. And if it does, if they come back, you rejoice. And if not, if they tell all three. Hey, buddy, you remember where the door was?

I kicked you out last time. You can tell your other friends to go with you out the same door. If they do that, then you bring it to the whole Church. It's such a big deal that the whole Church implores this brother or sister change. Change.

And if they do praise God. And if they don't, you have no other option other than removing them from the Church. According to the words of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Harsh. Yes.

Loving all caps. Yes. This is the most loving thing to do in this situation and not just for the Christian caught in sin. This is the most loving thing to do for four different people or groups of people. Number one, Church discipline is the most loving thing that you can do for the Christian who is caught in and for the person.

Because experiencing the love of God in our life is the single best thing that any of us can experience. And since living in sin as a believer hinders the believer from experiencing the agape love of God that's in them, then helping that believer turn from their sin and turn back to God is the most loving thing we can do for them because it will lead them to enjoying God's love in their life again. Two Church discipline is one of the most loving things you can do for the entire Church.

The Apostle Paul says this in Galatians in verse is a little leaven. Leavens the whole batch of dough.

A little bit of sin will work its way through the whole body of Christ. If someone is living in sin and another believer sees that, and then they begin to reason that it's okay to live like that, then they may begin participating in the exact same sin and then another may and another and another. And soon everyone in the Church is practicing the same sin that the original believer was caught up in, and everyone's ability to experience God's love in them will be hindered because of it.

And if you think I'm exaggerating, I simply ask you to look again at Galatians five nine, which we just read where it says a little leaven. Leavens the whole batch of dough.

So we love and protect the whole Church. When we practice Church discipline with one individual in the Church, it's agape loving everyone. Number three, Church discipline is one of the most loving things that you can do for the world. People in your life are watching you, whether you realize it or not unbelievers have heard you claim to be a follower of Jesus. But what if they hear your words and then see a life that doesn't honor God?

Will that draw them to Christ? No. Usually our hypocrisy drives people away. We want Christ formed in each other so that when the world sees any of us, it sees Christ, our sin ruins our witness for Jesus. So if we love the unbelievers in the world, we will want to remove anything that would hinder them from coming to Christ.

So this means that we're loving the world with a God they love when we practice Church discipline with one another in the Church. And number four, Church discipline is the most loving thing that you can do for God in this situation. We forget this, but it might be the most important point of all. God deserves your worship. He deserves your obedience.

He deserves your pursuit of Holiness. So if we're made aware of anyone in the Church robbing God of the kind of life he deserves to have in his bride in his Church. Then we practice Church discipline with that one individual in the Church for God's sake. We love God when we practice Church discipline and when you stand back and look at Church discipline in these four ways, can you see how loving it truly is? How it loves everyone again?

Not easy, not desirable. But do you see its goodness? Do you see how it is? Aghaste love. I pray and hope that you do here's some quick points in closing.

Loving God and loving others is hard beyond hard. It's impossible. You need God to do it the way that you're supposed to do. We can't live the life of love he is calling us to without Him. Loving God and loving others requires abiding in Jesus.

We don't just need Him in us. We need to walk with Him and be continually changed by Him. Loving God and loving others costs you your life figuratively and maybe one day literally. Think about what it costs Jesus to love us. It cost Him everything, and it will require sacrifices from us too.

If we're going to love others the way he did, it's going to require sacrifices for us personally, financially, emotionally relationally. Agape love is not free for the person who receives, for the person who gives it, it's free for the person who receives it, but it costs the one who gives it. But is it worth it to sacrifice in order to show someone else agape love? Is it worth it if we see people experience the living God for themselves in this life? Is it worth it if we see people in heaven when we get there?

Can you imagine if someone came up to you in heaven and said, I'm here because God used you to show me what real love is. God used you to show me who Jesus is. Do you think it would be worth it then? Yeah. I think it'll be worth it.

So whatever it costs me to give someone else God, show me where to sign. Loving God and loving others is what we're giving ourselves to as Gospel City Church. If you didn't already know this, then you need to know it. If you hang around us long enough, you're going to be loved with agape love the way we've heard it explain in this message and in this series. So don't be surprised.

And I hope this kind of love is the kind of love that you want in your life. And this brings our series on love to a close. You bow your heads with me and let's pray it was a big, fast journey up the mountain, Lord, and we just touched on it, Lord. But I think we've touched on it enough that at any point along this journey we've received enough. We've heard enough to have our hearts and our minds stimulated, convicted or encouraged or appetite stimulated.

Lord, if we have you, our appetite is just wet for more of you. We want more of you. You're in us fully. But, Lord, we want to experience you more and more. We want to know what Agathe love is, but we don't want to just know it intellectually.

Lord, we want to walk in it and we want it for ourselves. But we don't want it to terminate on us. Lord, we want the people in our lives to know the same love that we have. We want it for our neighbors. We want it for our family.

We want it for our coworkers. We want it for people that persecute us the way that you did. Jesus, we want it for everyone. And that's only happening because you're in us. We would not want this unless you are in us.

But because you're in us, you shine your light of love in and through your people in and through your Church. I simply pray, Father, for anyone here tonight who doesn't have the God of love filling their most inner being. Would you bring them to yourself tonight, Jesus, would you convict them of their sin? And would you show them what you accomplished for them on the cross? Would he show them the empty tomb?

Would you meet them right now, right where they're at and invite them to follow you with the rest of your life, the rest of their life? And, Lord, would you give them the Grace that leads them to repent of their old dead ways and the Grace that leads them to sign up to follow you forever. Do that, Jesus. We pray. And for the rest of us who know you, Lord.

Just give us more of you. Just give us more, Lord, as we're in this Christmas season, let us fix our eyes on you and give us more of you. That's the only gift we want. Jesus, give us more of you. I pray these things in your amazing name and in your love, we pray.


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