The Sunday Sermon: August 31, 2014
- Peter opens his mouth and inserts his foot.
- The one who proclaimed Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God at Ceasarea-Philippi is now on the wrong side of the divine plan.
- Sometimes we get things right, other times, we get them wrong. This even happened to the Apostle Peter.
- I am comforted by Peter’s mistakes. Because I make them, too. And I know that if God can use Peter with all his faults, he can use me with all my faults.
- Our Goal is to see things from “God’s point of View”
- Peter’s mistake is that he was myopic – Nearsighted. (That’s a reference for Dr. Hopper.) He was seeing things from his own point of view, rather than from “God’s point of view.”
- Jesus wants and needs us to see things and understand things not from our own point of view, but from God’s point of view!
- This blows my mind – is that even possible!?
i. Yes. Why?
ii. God has shown us his “Point of View”
- In Christ
- And through the Holy Spirit, which leads us into all truth. To see things from God’s POV – to set our minds on Divine things, and not human things – is to see the Truth – About God, About the world, and about ourselves.
- Paul’s Call for Genuine Love in Romans 12 is an example of seeing things from God’s point of view.
- It involves not only “understanding” – Peter failed to understand what Jesus meant when he “began to explain to (them) that he would have to go to Jerusalem, and endure much suffering from the elders, the chief priests, and scribes, and finally be killed; and be raised to life again on the third day” (Matthew 16:21)
- Seeing things from God’s view – setting our MINDS on “Divine Things” has a practical side, also.
- In our Epistle today, Paul gives us a practical way of living out the life God has called us to when we set our minds and hearts on seeing things from God’s point of view.
- Let Love be Genuine, he tells us.
- Have you heard that Phrase “Accept no imitations?” Paul here is calling on us to accept “No imitation Christian love”
- JB Phillips Translation: “Let us have no imitation Christian Love.” The Call is to have love which is real, that is love which is truly love.
- False Love: False love is the love Peter had for Jesus when he tried to tell him that he couldn’t go to Jerusalem. It’s a narrow love. It’s love that refuses to see the truth. And because of this, it’s a love that, while well meaning, is short sighted, lacking truth, and therefore is not genuine Love.
- Paul gives a rather long list in a few short verses about living out Genuine love among our Brothers and sisters in Christ.
- To love genuinely means to:
- Hate Evil
- Love one another with Brotherly affection.
- To out do one another in showing honor to one another.
- To Be zealous in spirit to serve the Lord
- To Rejoice in Hope
- To be patient in times of trouble
- To be constant in our prayers
- To contribute of our money to the needs of our fellow Christians.
- To seek opportunities to show hospitality.
- To bless our persecutors and not to curse them.
- To Rejoice with the joyful
- To weep with the sorrowful.
- To be humble and not conceited.
- To not be vengeful, taking no revenge on others, but to do the honorable thing in those situations.
- So far as it is in our power to live a peace with everyone.
- To give food and drink to our enemies.
- To over come evil acts, not with more evil acts, but with Good.
- Imagine a world full of people living life according to Romans 12.
- A world full of people who wanted to serve the interests and needs of others, rather than their own.
- A world full of people out doing one another in showing honor, of people trying to live at peace with one another.
- The world today is full of people who love. But the love going around the world today is a false love.
- Love of self: of me and mine.
- Love of worldy goods: of money, and power, and sex.
- These loves are false because they are short sighted.
- Why do we engage in false loves? Why are we so shortsighted?
- Our ego’s: Genuine love requires that we are humble. Not self-centered, but Christ-Centered lives.
i. We’re afraid that if we give up our self-centeredness, we’ll lose something of ourselves.
ii. Jesus tells us the very opposite: The one who wants to save his live will lose it; but the one who loses his life for my sake will find it (Matthew 25). In order to do that, we must “Take up our cross and follow him.”
2.We are afraid of Rejection: as individuals and as groups.
i. Showing genuine love requires us to open our hearts to another. Opening ourselves to another leaves us vulnerable. We don’t like to be in vulnerable positions. Yet Jesus’ admonition to that in order to save our life in eternity, we must lose our lives to this world, rings in our ears.
ii. Genuine love also requires that we speak the truth in love. Sometimes the truth is hard to hear. Jesus had a lot of truth to give. He told us that the truth would make us free. Yet, when those who heard Jesus speaking the truth, some couldn’t bear it and left him. Sometimes we fail to speak the truth in everyday situations because we believe that the one we speak it to will turn away from us, as they turned away from our Lord.
- We need to speak the truth in such a way as the listener will hear the truth.
- We need to speak it with humility, not in a puffed up.
- We need to proclaim the that truth in love, genuine love, while bearing our own cross.