Balancing Liberty in Christ with Brotherly Love

By Frank King 

Salvation in Christ delivers us from the bondage of legalism. We are not saved by rules of dos and don’ts, but we are saved by grace through faith in what Christ did on the cross for us.

I often say that the book of Leviticus is perhaps my least liked book in the Bible. It’s got all kinds of rituals, sin offerings, trespass offerings, offerings for when you touch something that’s unclean, etc. On the other hand, when we read the book of Leviticus as a Christian, you will appreciate even more the fact that Christ has delivered us from the legalism of the Law.

Actually, our liberty in Christ is two-fold. One, we are liberated from the legalism of the Law. And two, we are liberated from the bondage of sin. For whom the Son sets free is free indeed.

We must be careful, however, not to become lifted up about our liberty in Christ. For not everything that’s lawful is expedient (1 Cor. 10:23). In other words, something may be lawful or permissible but not in the best interest of the gospel. Accordingly, sometimes, brotherly love is far more important than the expression our liberty in Christ.

To drive this point home, Apostle Paul uses a simple example involving two divergent views on the foods we eat. He writes:

“I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but to him who thinks anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean” (Romans 14:14, NASB).

Liberty in Christ vs Brotherly Love

Read the rest: https://frankking.net/2021/07/balancing-liberty-in-christ-with-brotherly-love/

Imagine If, We Loved Like Jesus (“Shrunk Sermon” on 1st John 2:7-11)

Imagine if, Cain had walked a path of love. Imagine if Cain had loved Abel instead of hating him. Imagine how things would have been different, for Abel, for Cain, and for Adam and Eve.

Imagine if, the people of Noah’s day had walked a path of love. They were known for their violence and that violence led to the flood. Imagine if they had love for each other instead of hatred. Imagine how things would have turned out different.

Imagine if, Pharaoh had walked a path of love, loving the Hebrew people instead of making them slaves. Imagine how the exodus story may have turned out differently.

Imagine if, the inhabitants of the promised land had walked a path of love. They were in the habit of sacrificing their children among other atrocities. Imagine if they had more love for their children than their false gods.

Imagine if, the people of God in the Old Testament had walked the path of love, loving God and each other. They were called to be a light shining in darkness. Imagine if they had kept God’s commandments and had taken care of the poor, sought justice for the oppressed, and had refrained from following the practices of the former inhabitants, like worshipping other gods by sacrificing their children. Imagine how things would have have turned out differently in so many ways including the avoidance of the consequence of their behaviour, the fall of Jerusalem and the exile.

Read more: https://clarkedixon.wordpress.com/2021/05/12/imagine-if-we-loved-like-jesus-shrunk-sermon-on-1st-john-27-11/

10 Reasons Why We Must Love Unlovable Church Members

No matter how unloving church members can be, I can’t avoid Jesus’ telling us to love God and neighbor (Matt. 22:34-40). Nor can I run from New Testaments commands that we love one another (1 Thess. 4:9, 1 Pet. 1:22, 1 John 3:23).  Here are ten reasons why we must love even unlovable church members.

  1. God loves them. He loves the arrogant church member, the person caught in sin, and the follower who denies Him. That’s the point: He who loves all of us with an amazing love expects us to love others similarly.
  2. We show the power of the gospel by loving all people.  Jesus said our love for one another would be one way to show the world His love (John 13:34-35). Being family means we must love even those who occasionally drive the family crazy.
  3. We live in Christian obedience when we show love toward all. Christian love is an active love, a doing love – evidenced by how we act toward others. Christian love means we act as a Christian toward all people, even when our feelings aren’t there.
  4. Some unlovable church members need Jesus. Among a church family are likely to be those who believe they’re Christian, but who never truly repented and believed. They need to see genuine Christian love so they might recognize their need for Christ.
  5. Some unlovable church members are undiscipled believers acting like undiscipled people. Some church members are really still babies in Christ, despite their years in the church. They need someone to help them see how much they need to grow – but it needs to be someone who truly loves them.

Read therest of Chuck’s blog: http://chucklawless.com/2021/05/10-reasons-why-we-must-love-unlovable-church-members/

Open Up to Others

2 Corinthians 6:11-13 11 We have spoken to you who are in the city of Corinth with plain words. Our hearts are wide open. 12 Our hearts are not closed to you. But you have closed your hearts to us. 13 I am speaking to you now as if you were my own children. Open your hearts wide to us! That will pay us back for what we have done for you.

The popularity of social networking reveals our hunger to connect with one another, yet many people still feel lonely. In fact, even at home, work, or church, people sometimes feel they’re in a gathering of strangers. The degree to which we are known is, in part, our own responsibility. Instead of building a wall of self-protection, we must risk opening up and letting others into our life.

The fall of Adam and Eve usually brings to mind the disconnection that sin created between God and mankind, but it also affected all human relationships from that time on. As a result, fear and pride threaten to keep us in bondage due to isolation and self-protection.

Paul urged the Corinthians to open up to him as he had to them. But because they thought he’d been too harsh on them in the past, the congregation had built walls of distrust and animosity, which were hindering the apostle’s ministry to them and the effectiveness of the church.

Relational walls can be difficult to recognize, but sometimes self-protection comes in the form of unforgiveness, gossip, distrust, and resentment. Ask God to reveal ways that you may be shutting someone out. He’ll help you demolish hindrances in your relationship with Him and others.

Romans 12.17-21

Don Merrit

Romans 12:17-21

In 12:1-16 Paul has discussed our response to grace with a series of short statements that stem from the theme of sincere love, but in 17 ff. he seems to focus on one particular subject: Revenge. While the previous section can be said to deal mostly with our relationships within the Body of Christ, this section would seem more (hopefully) to deal with those outside of the Body of Christ. Paul set up his new theme in verse 17:  Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. Our natural human inclination, when we have been harmed or insulted, is to strike back, to get even, but that is not the reaction of sincere love, and it has been rendered obsolete by grace.

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone (12:18). We are not to stir up trouble or carry on in a provocative manner with other people, we should not be tossing insults and unkindness around, nor should we be looking for disputes, for our response to grace makes that kind of living hypocritical. God has forgiven us; He has shown love and mercy to us- do we honor Him by stirring up trouble with other people?

The rest: https://lifereference.wordpress.com/2021/05/30/lesson-3-concerning-revenge-4/

10 Reasons Why We Must Love Unlovable Church Members

http://chucklawless.com/2021/05/10-reasons-why-we-must-love-unlovable-church-members/

Put Love into Action

Romans 12:9-16

Paul continues in these verses with his discussion of our response to grace. Here, he sets the tone with verse 9: Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Our response to God’s grace must be one of love, both love for God and love for others, and this love must be sincere. It is interesting that Paul should modify this sincere love statement with the concept of hating what is evil and clinging to what is good; it would appear that in our sincere love, we are to maintain the highest of ethical standards, not allowing ourselves to misuse our new freedom.

Read more at: https://lifereference.wordpress.com/2021/05/23/sunday-sermon-notes-may-23-2021/

The Value of Others

Don Merrit

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same […]

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How to love your brothers and sisters

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/christiancrier/2019/04/24/how-to-love-your-brothers-and-sisters/

Paul misses his friends.

by Don Merrit

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and […]

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