The Most Excellent Way

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Sermon Notes

 

Who Is My Neighbor

 

What is Love? 

  • 1 word in English, many emotions and experiences
  • 3 words in Greek, concise and clear
    • Eros – romantic
    • Phileo – friendship
    • Agape - Selfless

 

The Great Love of God

  • Not emotional
  • A Choice / a Gift
  • The Most Excellent Way

 

The Most Excellent Way  

  • Love is Not an Option
  • Love Changes Us
  • Love is a Choice

 

An Urgent Message

  • Love is the only way
  • The Spirit is the power to love

 

A New Commandment from Jesus

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 13:34-35)

 

3 Keys to the Commandment

  • Love is not optional
  • Love is all out – nothing held back
  • Love is action

 

How Does Jesus Love Us?

  • He loves us graciously
    “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. …But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved. (Ephesians 2:1-2,4-6)
  • He loves us even though we were His enemies
    “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. …For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” (Romans 5:8,10)
  • He loves us selflessly.
    “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:5-8)
  • He loves us sacrificially.
    “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Ephesians 5:1-2)
  • He loves us completely.
    “Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him,” (Hebrews 7:25a)
  • He loves us eternally.
    “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.” (John 10:27-29)

 

The Power to Love

The Spirit is: Comforter, Counselor, Teacher, Guide, eternal Companion, Truth living within us, and the One who draws us to Jesus.  

“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” (2 Peter 1:3-4)

 

The Battle Within

“So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” (Galatians 5:16-17)

The fruit of The Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control

 

Love Changes Us

  • Two laboratories of love
  • What love is like at Gateway
  • How is the most excellent way being expressed in your life?

 

Love is a Choice, Our Way of Life
 

  • Love graciously
     
  • Love those we don’t like
     
  • Love selflessly
    Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3-4) 
     
  • Love sacrificially
    “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:1-2)  
     
  • Love completely
    Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)
     

 

Responding to Loving Others as Jesus Loves Us

  • Receive
  • Surrender
  • Trust
  • Grow