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Why Love?

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Why Love?

Romans 13:6-14  February 17, 2002

 

Scripture Reading:

Introduction:

How many of you celebrated love this last Thursday on Valentine's Day?

How did you feel about it? Was it an obligation or a privilege or just the wisest thing to do in light of the circumstances? (Tim & Joan)

This morning's message will help us discover just how we should feel about it – not Valentine's Day per se, but about love in particular.

So this is our Valentine's Day message on love that got interrupted by last week's message on submission to governmental authorities as established by God.

Paul actually started on his love message back in Rom. 12:9-21 to tell us what love is. (review – also 1Cor. 13: this morning's Scripture passage and John 15:13 – "no greater love --- ")

So now Paul returns to this message on Christian love to tell us why we should do it. The title of this morning's message in Rom. 13:8-14 is, "Why Love?".

Big Question:

Why should we love one another?

I.       Cycle One

          A.      Narrative (v. 8a)

          B.      Implication

We should love one another because it is a continuing obligation.

          C.      Illustration

          D.      Application

Some of are choking and need someone to come along and perform a 'Heimlich Maneuver' on us.

Clear your throat now while you have help, or you could choke to death on your hairball of hate. (A hairball accumulates while preening yourself.) You'll feel better once it gets taken care of.

The idea of a gambler being shaken down to pay a debt.

In this life you will never be debt free; in fact God desires that you even go bankrupt and remain so (imagine the trillions of dollars our country is in debt).

Every time someone shows you love, it creates a debt.

If you are responsible financially, you can't wait until you can pay back your monetary debt.

If you are responsible spiritually, you can't wait to pay back you debt of love.

We should be relentless (like America in war – World Mag.) to pay back our debt.

Love makes us healthy and happy because it is the antidote for spiritual poison.

Perfect love drives out fear (1Jn. 4:18).

All os us in our churches often express the reality that "you'll never find the perfect church."

But if you did, what would it look like?

No doubt it would be one in which love was freely expressed by  all – not just in word, but also in deed.

Since God is love, doesn't it make sense that if we are to be perfect as he is (as Scripture says) then we too should be characterized by love?

II.      Cycle Two

          A.      Narrative (vv. 8b-10)

          B.      Implication

We should love one another because it fulfills the law.

          C.      Illustration

          D.      Application

We will never be free of our debt to love others because it is the fulfillment of the law. The OT law could never be satisfied with all its rules and regulations. The gospel has superceded the OT law by meeting all of its requirements – except the law of love, which is still outstanding. The gospel has become our debt consolidation plan upon which we will always be paying. Why? It is because we have become overextended in our debt to God's love through the grace he has given us in Christ. We can never pay him back because our debt was too great. We were saved from emotional, moral, spiritual, and physical bankruptcy. He called us to account, but he did not call our account. Now instead of the sacrifices being offered daily without any lasting assurance (Heb. 10:1-4); instead of paying on half a dozen credit cards that you have maxed out; we have been given one obligation – and that is to love as we have been loved. That is all God asks of us. And yet it is so hard because this one command distills all the law and the prophets. And yet it is so easy because it is all we have to remember, and it is possible for us to do (even though we will never complete it) because the love of God lives in us (1John 4:7-12).

III.    Cycle Three

          A.      Narrative (vv. 11-13)

          B.      Implication

We should love one another because of the present time.

          C.      Illustration

          D.      Application

Wendy and John told me about what they noticed regarding the increase in Valentine's Day activity this year being so much greater.

IV.    Cycle Four

 

          A.      Narrative (v. 14)

          B.      Implication

We should love one another because it is our response to Jesus.

          C.      Illustration

          D.      Application

A great gap exists between who we are and how we live.

In Rom. 6 Paul tells us that our new power in Christ is not a magical potion that automatically makes us holy.

We have to respond to God's offer of grace and allow his power in Christ to capture every part of our being at every moment of time.

Holiness is both a gift and an accomplishment.

God gives it, but we have to accept it and give it pride of place in our affections and intentions.

Conclusion:

Big Answer:

Why should we love one another?

We should love one another because it is a continuing obligation.

We should love one another because it fulfills the law.

We should love one another because of the present time.

We should love one another because it is our response to Jesus.

Timeless Truth:

Why love? –because it is the most reasonable thing you can do:

          - in light of who God is.

          - in light of salvation history.

          - in light of current and future events.

          - in light of what Christ has done for you.

Why love? –because you have no good reason not to.

And it doesn't get any better than this – for yourself and for others.

There is every reason to do what God commands.

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