Articles

Articles

The Love that Saves

The Love that Saves

By Paul R. Blake

            “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever” (1Peter 1:22-23).

            Peter states that Christians have been born again by the incorruptible seed, the word of God. Cleansing the soul of sin results from obeying the truth. This implies that the truth is not a collection of neutral and impotent facts, but rather is a body of doctrine that moves believers to action and has the power to purify souls. “In sincere love of the brethren” addresses one of the purposes for which souls are cleansed. The apostle Paul wrote that Christians are “created in Christ Jesus for good works” (Eph. 2:10), which is similar in construction to what Peter wrote. Both texts reveal God's intention for one who has been regenerated; he is created to do good works, he is purified to love his brethren. Peter joins a command to that information: since you have been purified to love your brethren, fulfill the purpose of your purification and love your brethren honestly and fervently.

            This is another way in which a Christian imitates the Father in heaven. God is the essence of the meaning of love; when love is mentioned, God should instantly come to mind. Why does God love man? (John 3:16) Man was created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26-27), certainly not in physical appearance for God is Spirit and has no corruptible flesh, but rather in the nature of our eternal spirit. What is one of the deepest, strongest needs in human kind but to love and be loved in return? If we are patterned after God, it should not surprise us to discover that we received that characteristic from Him. In humankind, he sees souls that He can love and who have the potential to love Him in return. Since love is one of God's defining characteristics, love should also characterize the behavior of His children. Consider, since God sees much to love in our fellow Christians, should we not be seeing the same thing in one another, too? Love is at the center of God's word (Matt. 22:36-40), and it is the hallmark of brethren (John 13:33-35).

            The manner of love is unfeigned (anupokritos means "undissembled, sincere: without dissimulation or hypocrisy"; Strongs - 505), pure (katharos means "clean, clear, pure"; Strongs - 2513), and fervently (ektenos means "intently, fervently"; Strongs - 1619). Our love for each other must be patterned after our love for God -- genuine and intense. If we do not have this love for one another, we are not saved.

            Grace empowers love. We cannot allow our emotions to rule over our reason regarding the law of God. We cannot void law because we have strong, motivating feelings to do so. When God, motivated by His love, forgives our sins, over-ruling the His laws of justice, He is not permitting emotional love alone to void the law. Love is not reason enough to over-rule law, regardless of how strong the love may be. Only a power greater in strength and authority than law itself can over-rule law. Grace and mercy are the power and authority that enables and empowers God to forgive sins. We do not have the power and authority of His grace and mercy; we are simply the vessels through whom He occasionally dispenses His grace and mercy to others. Therefore, our love for others does not give us the power and authority to void or over-rule the law and justice of God, even though we may be motivated by powerful love for others. “Mercy triumphs over law.

A Man’s Prayer

            “Teach me that 60 minutes make an hour, 16 ounces one pound, and 100 cents one dollar. Help me so to live that I can lie down at night with a clear conscience, without a gun under my pillow, and un-haunted by the faces of those I have brought pain. Grant that I might earn my meal ticket on the square, and in earning it I may do unto others as I would have them do unto me. Deafen me to the jingle of tainted money and to the rustle of unholy skirts. Blind me to the faults of other fellows, but reveal to me my own. Guide me so that each night when I look across the dinner table at my wife, who has been a blessing to me, I will have nothing to conceal. Keep me young enough to laugh with little children and sympathetic enough to be considerate of old age. And when comes the day of darkened shades and the smell of flowers, the tread of soft footsteps and the crunching of wheels in the yard -- make the ceremony short and the epitaph simple -- ‘Here lies a man.’”

A Moments Wisdom

--It is discouraging to make a mistake, but it is quite humbling to discover that no one even noticed it.

--Cooperation is doing with a smile what you have to do anyway.

--An opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work.

--No clever arrangement of bad eggs ever made a good omelet. No skillful arrangement of bad deeds ever produced a godly outcome.

--It is not what we eat that makes us strong, but what we digest; it is not what we gain that makes us rich, but what we save; it is not what we read that makes us learn, but what we remember; and, it is not what we preach, but what we practice that makes us Christians.

--Tears will get you sympathy; sweat will get you results.

--Most of us spend a lot of time dreaming about the future without realizing that a little of it arrives every day.

--When God permits His children to pass through the fiery furnace, He keeps His eye on the clock and His hand on the thermostat. His loving heart knows how much and how long.

--There is no education like the second kick of a mule.

--Remember that amateurs built Noah’s ark; professionals built the unsinkable Titanic.

--The only good thing you can say about an egotist is that they don’t talk about others.

--Life is a continual process of getting used to the unexpected.

--Every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; and, every possession, a duty.

--Is it possible that the reason why talk is cheap is that the supply is greater than the demand?

--Pity weeps and runs away; compassion comes to help and stays.

--A wise may thinks all he says; a fool says all he thinks.

--Conscience is what hurts when everything else feels good.

--Some folks are so busy at being good that they forget to do good.

Test Your Bible Knowledge

1. What did God instruct the children of Israel to do at Mount Sinai? __________

2. What did God say He wanted to make of the children of Israel? __________

3. What did the children of Israel do while Moses was on Mount Sinai? __________

4. Were the ten commandments the only instructions given to Israel? __________

5. What did God say to Moses about the “pattern” of the tabernacle? __________

6. How did God manifest His presence on Mount Sinai? __________

Upcoming Sermons

1/31/21   AM - “I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord”; PM - Guest Speaker: Doug Sanders - “Person of the Year, 33 AD

2/7/21 AM - “Even His Brothers Did Not Believe”; PM - “The Lord Is My Shepherd” Themed Singing Service

2/14/21 AM - The Mystery of the Resurrection; PM - Naomi and Ruth: God’s Non-Traditional Family

2/21/21 AM - Five Faithful Sayings; PM - God’s Feelings

2/28/21 AM & PM - The Power of the Gospel Over the Power of Sin, Parts One & Two

  1. Wed PM Bible Study
    3/3/21 07:30pm
  2. Sun AM Bible Study
    3/7/21 09:30am
  3. Sun AM Worship
    3/7/21 10:30am
  4. Sun PM Worship
    3/7/21 05:00pm
  5. 1st Sun Eve Singing
    3/7/21 05:00pm
  6. View Full Calendar