A Good Church Loves

February 11, 2024

A Good Church Loves

A Good Church  / Titus 3:1–9


Love is the space created for relational flourishing.  It is the experience that invited people in. That invites to sit down and connect.  

It is a core of Christian living.  Last week we looked at connected and Christ said the Father would care for us, love us, and that we are called to love one another. 

To love God and neighbor. 

To exist charitably in the world. 

A Good Church loves God and loves others through God. 

Defining love 

We need to define it and then describe what it looks like. 

Because we are often told to use love to satisfy our wants and needs. but are not sure what they even are any longer 

We got what we chased after but what we got is less than good. 

Because there are some less than helpful definitions of what love is and how it is defined in our culture. 

Love can be defined as a feeling. But what if that feeling runs out

Love can be defined as passion.  

Love can be defined by itself. Love is love.  But what does that mean?

Love can be defined as tolerance. But what happens when our tolerances crash into each other. 

Love is not mysterious, it’s just difficult. 

Doing whats best for the other person regardless of what it costs you. 

1 John 3:16 ESV

By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.

Titus 3:4–7 ESV

But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

The self is not the source of Christianity, Christ is. If Christ is the source of all love and we receive and learn from him, then when it comes to expressing love, we realize that we are just as needy as anyone else. Our expression of love comes from our own need for it not from our construction of it 

Hear it here and right now.  You are deeply and unashamedly and eternally and constently loved by the God of the Universe.  The same God who created you and sustains you, absolutely loves you. 

Romans 5:5–8 ESV

and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Love is our best given for someone else’s best

This follows Oliver O Donavan’s definition of love as that which is both delight and wisdom 

This means we love others for who they are and why they are (created in God’s image).  But we also love them for who they can become (wisdom). 

To delight is to celebrate who they are based on how far they’ve come. 

To show wisdom in love is to encourage what they could still be. 

This is how Christ shows love. 

He loved based on His delight for us in our own sin and brokenness. He loves us despite our sin. But if He only delighted in us then there would be no way out. He could express love but not offer it

Love pushes every border and boundary we set up.

 love is not allowing people to do anything they want.  No parent lives that way. IN fact no functional relationship lives that way. But that is the cultural order. 

We work hard to delight regardless of where anyone is at.  And we show wisdom to invite people into who they can become. 

This will always stretch our understanding of love. 

But if anyone is going to get it right, it’s got to be the church. 

People are living without relational anchors.  Just like the ISS everything is floating away. Love will begin to tie things down again.  Love bolts things to the floor.  Love invites people in and creates relational space. 

Being a Christian is hard because it means we have to love after everyone else has stopped. And after everyone else seems to have good reasons for doing so. But we also learn love from the God who built and sustains all through His love. But then we get to take love we have experienced from the Creator and make it real and concrete and personal. Who else?

Because the love we show is not from reciprocation. It comes from God our Father.  So we have reserves and reserves of love. 

This morning know you are entirely loved.  And Christ has offered love enough to live from and to give from.  

Page .  Exported from Logos Bible Software, 11:16AM February 10, 2024.

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