well, good morning. So a church family. So good to be with you guys this morning. Um good morning to those of you tuning in on the live stream, we are excited for you guys this morning, we’re taking a two week pause on our series on the gospel of luke to tackle a series called Love Well and for those of you who are new here, welcome, welcome to Soar and I hope you take Alex up and connect with us. We would love for you to connect with us, let us know that you were here and let us kind of get you connected in some kind of way into this great community, that is my church home. So on that note, let’s get started with this series. Um why don’t you open your bibles to first, John Chapter four And I’m going to read verses seven through 9, but while you’re turning there, I do want to set this series up a little bit for us. Um, we know that we are approaching the holiday season where you know, thanksgiving christmas and then eventually New Year’s, a New Year man, a new year, another year is coming, another year is coming right. But during this holiday season we might find ourselves is some interesting conversations around the dinner table with extended family, with friends and those conversations can get really, really awkward if we’re not prepared. If we’re not ready to engage in them and if your struggle looks any where close to what this mean would convey, then this series is for you. My problem is I want to follow jesus and slap people too. If that’s your struggle, then this series is for you. Um if that if that isn’t your struggle, this series will still be a blessing to you. So don’t check out on us. But the point is is that we know as christians, that we are called to walk in love, that we are to love one another. But we also recognized that that can be very challenging at times. We’ve got to deal with our own sinful tendencies and we’ve got to deal with the sinful tendencies and others. And we’ve got to deal with our own imperfections and shortcomings of character. And we’ve got to deal with the imperfections and shortcomings and characters and others. So it just makes for a challenging process to consistently love others. Well, maybe one day we do it and it’s great. And then the next day I thought we were doing so well, what happened again because of these issues of sin and ourselves, sin and others? Um the imperfections that we have and imperfections that others have, the fact that we’re just human right, present a challenge. So we hope that this series will help you to love well, and so on that note, let me turn to our passage and let me begin the reading of the passage and from there, I’ll pray and we’ll jump into this teaching. So first, John four, Beginning in Verse seven, beloved Let us love one another for love is from God and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God and anyone who does not love does not know God because God is love in this, the love of God was made manifest among us that God sent his only son into the world so that we might live through him, father in heaven. We thank you for sending your only son into the world that we might live through him. And this morning as we look at your word, God, would you breed fresh life again into our souls so that we can walk into these difficult relationships and settings and image you more fittingly and God, I pray that you would use me during this time in christ’s name. I pray amen All right. If I, if I were to summarize for you. Kind of the argument that I want you to take away from this passage this morning and one that I believe that john is trying to make when he is consistently and repeatedly emphasizing it would be this God’s love motivated him to save us. It was God’s love that motivated God to save us in christ. And if God’s love is in us, then it is to be in us a powerful force that motivates us to love others. God’s love for us motivated him to save us. God’s love in us. This would be a powerful force that motivates us to love others. Well, if you read this passage before or even read this book or this letter, john’s epistle here. He emphasizes loving one another quite a bit. That’s all he talks about, is loving one another. He talks about love. He talks about it in such a way that the modern american male reads it and immediately becomes uncomfortable. He’s talking about love too much here. But let’s think for a moment, who john wrote this to more than likely to the church in Ephesus, probably during the time in which he is the only remaining apostle on the earth. And what is this church dealing with? What are, what are the issues that john is wanting to address in writing this letter? You guys do understand that, that the letters that we have written to us that form our bible, the holy spirit moves and directs and inspires the authors to pin holy scripture. That is a timeless truth, a timeless word for God’s Church in every generation until christ comes. And so when we look at the context for which john writes this letter, it will make so much sense to us. Uh, we need this letter, we need to be reminded to love one another. We need to be reminded to love. Well, so the context, the three big issues that he’s addressing in this letter? Well, the first one is the issue of doctrine, There was a heresy that was played in the Church one in which they denied jesus, christ had come in human form, that denied the humanity of christ as christians, we believe that Jesus was fully God and fully man, two natures this stage and without confusion and the one person, the lord jesus christ. And so there was this heresy das autism which is also tied to narcissism, this is just some big fancy words, I thought you guys, you know that I do a little bit of reading here essentially, they mean the denial of christ body, his physical body, they didn’t deny that Jesus was someone to be worshiped. This is simply denied the fact that he walked the earth as a man, the God man, that’s what they denied. So that’s the first problem, a doctrinal problem. The second issue that he addresses is he warns the church about the antichrist. Now, when john uses that term, the antichrist, his audience knew exactly what he was talking about, but again, in the wisdom of God and leading john to write this timeless truth for his church. In every age, john goes on to define what he means by the antichrist, so that you and I would know what he meant by the antichrist and he does that in first john 43 and says, and every spirit that does not confess, jesus is not from God, this is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already, And then again in his second letter to the church and second, John Verse seven, he says for many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh, such a one is the deceiver and be antichrist, the wisdom of God, so that we don’t have to be confused as to what he meant by the antichrist denial, jesus christ as having come in the flesh, the denial of jesus christ as Lord and Savior and the offering of someone else or some other way as being the means to salvation. That is the anti christ. So, first issue that john addresses in writing to the Church, doctrinal issue. Second one, warning against The coming of the Antichrist. And then the 3rd issue that he addresses is that the church who is experiencing various social disputes and divisions where people were leaving the church, not fellowship in with the Church, not worshiping together as the church because of preferences and various other reasons that they had for why didn’t want to associate with one another. And so, john addresses these three major issues in his letters, doctrinal issues, warning about the antichrist and people’s preferences getting in the way of the unity of the body of christ, let’s think about that for a second, this is the context that first, john 47 through nine, is written in doctrinal issues, the Church needed to progress in sound doctrine doctrine has to do with teaching, right. The Church needs to be strengthened with sound teaching and doctrine is important, but not every doctrine, is it the same importance? Here’s what I mean by that, the doctrine of the person of christ extremely important. You play around with that, you no longer have Christianity. You don’t have the church. The doctrine involving the infallibility and inerrancy of scripture extremely important because that’s how God governs his people by his word. You put around with that, you don’t get a church anymore. You don’t make christian disciples anymore. That doctrine is incredibly important. A doctrine involving the trinity would some take on the name of christian church and yet deny God the father, God the son and God the holy spirit. You don’t get biblical Christianity when you deny that doctrine and when you play around with that doctrine, that’s very important. Now, there’s some secondary doctrines that are important and that the church recognizes and agrees this is important. But the church doesn’t always land on the same page in terms of how they practice that doctrine. An example would be the importance of the gathered church to worship the Lord. Every true church understands that that is important, but we have some churches that are highly liturgical traditional, I think the church is like us that are contemporary, we agree with the worship of the Lord. It’s important. It is key, it is central to the life of a christian, you cannot call yourself a man or woman of God and not gather with the people of God and love doing so to lift up your voice, the worship of the Lord, there’s something terribly off with you now, in terms of how we structure that gathering church doesn’t always land on the same page there, and there’s a third or tertiary realm of doctrines, the church recognizes it, but there is no consensus among the church on what it actually is or is supposed to look like, and it’s, it’s no, it’s, it’s important. It’s not to the point where it impacts salvation in christ example of this would be in times how we understand in times you’re not a christian, if you don’t believe that, jesus is coming back again, I’m just gonna tell you that now, if you were a little bit confused, if you had any doubt, you are not a christian. If you don’t believe that he’s coming back a second time, that’s important. But when he comes back, the church has some different ideas on that and the scriptures, they’re tough to really, you know, make one argument as being the argument and typically, when people make tertiary and secondary doctrines, primary doctrines, that’s when we get church splits and disagreements and we don’t look like the church, so we need to know and discern the difference. Now, pastor mike covers a lot of these things in the membership class, which comes up every um, fourth sunday in the month, so you can sit in and get to know a little bit more about so, a Church and where we stand on these various doctrines, If you haven’t signed up, you should do that, just a little hint there. Right? So he addresses the issue of doctrine, and secondly, he warns about the Antichrist. Now, the antichrist takes us into the realm of politics and the reason why it takes us into the realm of politics, because john writes further about the Antichrist in revelation, and he only mentions that term, I think four times in all of his writings, most of them are in his epistles, but then he gets the revelation, he mentions it again, and it’s in the Book of Revelation, where we see the Antichrist setting up not only government, but demanding the worship of people, God’s people, you know, instead of God’s people offering that worship the christ, or the Antichrist takes us into the realm of politics. And so the Church has to talk about politics. Well, let us kind of sit for a little bit right, a little uncomfortable, Where is he going? Getting too political? The Church has to talk about politics. If the Church does not talk about politics, then we allow politics to be above the Church in the Church’s doctrine, it was the Church that gave this country the idea of the separation of Church and State, and that idea was rooted in a belief that the State cannot tell the Church which doctrines, it is allowed to teach how it is to worship how it is to conduct its life before God, separation of church and state. It seems like it’s a safeguard from allowing the antichrist from telling the church what to do. And so the church has to talk about politics, because when we say jesus is lord, we are making a political statement, we say that he is king of kings, we are making a political statement. When we say we have no other king, but jesus, we are making a political statement. No, he’s just came to my little heart, he’s not Lord over all the earth and everything. Oh, when we say Lord king kings, we are making a political state. Now, I will say this as christians, I don’t think we should be a political, but I do think that our engagement into the political processes should frustrate everybody on each side of the aisle because we have no other king, but jesus, we will not be blindly loyal to any party or leader, Jesus is king. And so when someone emphasizes or talks about family values and then in private, doesn’t live out those family values, guess who gets to step up and say, hey, inconsistency here hypocrisy here, the church, the christian, we frustrate everyone. Come on man, we’re on the same team, What are you doing? No king, jesus above all. So we make everybody a little frustrated because we can’t be bought. We’re not blind secondly, I think we should make people frustrated because we have a higher standard for what it means to be a leader. Read your bible in the old testament. They talk about the elders at the gate, these are the elder statesman, they are expected to be people of character, rendering right judgments, making sure that the poor in the city is thriving before God. Their character is to be above approach. And today we don’t hold those standards for our political leaders at all. We give them a pass Again, the church isn’t supposed to be a political, especially in a land like this where we have by the grace of God freedoms, we should step into that process, but we should make everybody on every side a little bit uncomfortable because we are called to be salt and light a pillar in the butchers of the truth. And we stand declaring that there’s only one king, jesus, there’s only one kingdom that demands unconditional obedience from us and that’s the kingdom of the Lord jesus christ. So john addresses doctrine, he gets into politics and then he gets into personal preferences, disagreements over things that we prefer from the time that I was saved, every church that I’ve been in for him to be honest with you, I’ve never worshiped in a setting where I thought this is my preferred style of worship and you know what, I don’t really care just so long as I’m with the people of God worshiping God. And I think about how often people will split or leave the church because of a personal preference. So john Rights to a church dealing with these issues in this context and his message to this church, Love one, another love one another. And if you read the entire letter, you’ll see him also emphasize another word, abide abide in christ because if you’re going to love one another, you need to abide in the source of law, christ, love one another. And I know I get it sometimes when we say love one another, it can seem trite and seem like it’s just a kind of a caveat. We just throw out there and with no real explanation or or any practical help on how to do that, we just simply say do it because you know, we hope that it will make the problem go away. And that’s not what john has done for us in this passage, He’s given us some principles to cling to, to hold onto, to stand on so that we can love one another. Well, he starts by making it clear and obvious to us that God’s love motivated him to save us and that God’s love is to be in us like a powerful force changing us and motivating us to love others. Well, and the guy who writes this letter has had to learn how to do this. He’s had to learn how to love others. Well he’s had to learn how to lean more into christ and less on his own understanding, lean more into the love of God rather than relying on his own capacity to love, John has had to learn this lesson last week, pastor Mike Preach on this in Luke nine when Jesus and the disciples were marching towards Jerusalem and they wanted to pass through the Samaritan village and the samaritan said no you can’t come through here, you may not pass right. If I knew monopoly better, it would have been a great reference there, but I don’t. But anyway they want to go through here and the Samaritans reject them and john and his brother James speak up and they speak up and very loving manner. Oh the Samaritans don’t want us pass through their city. How about we pray and ask God to rain down fire upon them fools! No, they didn’t say it like that right, you know, but that’s what they meant. And jesus has this amazing response to them and luke 9 55 to 56 he says, but he jesus turned and rebuked them and said you do not know what manner of spirit you are of for the son of man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them. And then they went to another village, God’s love motivated him to save us, not destroy what’s safe and john has had to learn that lesson. So much so that he’s writing this letter hoping that the church and every age will also learn this lesson. I don’t love others. Well Peter had to learn this lesson. This guy, my God, peter, he cut off another man’s ear with the sword, jesus had to heal that man’s here and there’s some other things that Peter did too that he had to work. I love it as well. The apostle paul had to learn how to love others. Well, first he started by what trying to kill christians. Then he became one and then in his zeal to preach the war. He didn’t always love his other brothers and sisters. Well, Acts nine, I mean acts 15 highlights one of those relational conflicts that paul had to navigate, it says. But paul and Barnabas remained in antioch teaching and preaching the word of the Lord with many others also. And after some days paul said to Barnabas, let us return and visit the brothers in every city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord and see how they are. Now, Barnabas wanted to take with them john called Mark. This is a guy who broke the gospel of Mark. Right? Actually. This is a reference student, but paul thought best not to take with them one who had withdrawn from them, withdrawn. There means he deserted us when we were persecuted. He ran. He fled. He did not endure with us. He flat. He he built on us, he left us hanging. This is what paul is saying here, we kind of nice stood up a little bit in the english there said that he withdrew from them. He said the dude left us, he bailed, we got jumped and he took off. Am I making any sense now? Okay? But in verse 39, it says that a sharp there arose a sharp disagreement so that they separated from each other, Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus. But paul chose Silas and departed. Yeah, sharp disagreement. They were mad at each other. How dare you can consider taking this guy who left us who bailed on us? How dare you not taking? Oh man, you’re, you’re crazy. He’s just gonna do it again. And so they’re arguing and they’re fighting and these pillars in the church, I don’t know how to love well in this moment, so much so that they part ways. I’m thankful for the paul’s growth in this second timothy 4 11 shows us the growth of paul. He says luke alone is with me. He writes his second epistle to his young protege timothy. He says luke alone is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you for he is useful to me for my ministry, wow, paul has grown, why am I sharing this with you? I want you to see that wherever you are right now. You may not be very good at navigating relationships and conflict in relationships, but don’t give up, don’t give up Yeah, exactly what john has said to do, think about God’s love, which motivated him to save you and allow that love to be a powerful force in your life. That’s how it changed, john, that’s how it changed peter, that’s how it changed paul and look, there are just as human as you and I are, we are no different from them, we need the same grace of God to work in us and that way we need God’s grace to help us to grow in this and if we’re going to grow in this, there are two big factors that we need to be aware of. The first one is how we view ourselves matters. If we’re going to grow in our ability to love others, well, how we view ourselves, it really matters. And then secondly, the habits and ideas that are currently shaping our care, their habits and ideas that have shaped your character in the past or habits and ideas that are shaping your character now and are shaping you for the future. These two big factors Sprinkle in some sin on top of that and you’ve got a recipe for disaster in relationships, jay, Adams, christian pastor theologian and biblical counselor, he says this, he says frequently the main causes of failure, he’s talking about the breakdown of relationships here is, is frequently the main causes of failure are not misconceptions, but sinful attitudes are poor skills and relating to others. Such problems emerged vividly in the milieu skills such as how to communicate with others and how to seek a job. And proper attitudes can be taught and form for life only in the mind. So you’re talking about, you know, these habits that we don’t question that impact us and how we relate to one another and how they’ve been formed in our social environment, home life people, we spend the most time around the people we open ourselves up to in terms of them investing in us. These things shape us and they shape how we enter into relational environments, tim Keller, another pastor and author. He also has some wonderful things to say about this. He has, he addresses it from the idea of self esteem and he shows how that idea is not helpful at all and how it can be a mask for a sinful attitude in us. And so he says there’s both low self esteem and pride, which would be high self esteem are horrible nuances to our own future and to everyone around us and goes on to say that it is competitiveness that is at the very heart of pride. High self esteem. In other words, we are proud of being more successful, more intelligent or more good looking than the next person and when we are in the presence of someone who is more successful, intelligent and good looking than we are. we lose all pleasure in what we had. That is because we really had no pleasure in it. We were proud of it S. C. S. Lewis says Pride is the pleasure of having more than the next person. Pride is the pleasure of being more than the next person. Now this kind of thinking it just echoes in our culture all around us. It follows us into our relational environments, Pride or low self esteem which is still thinking of ourselves too much. And so Keller says a real helpful way of thinking about this is to embrace gospel humility and this will allow us to love others well and so he says the thing we would remember from meeting a truly gospel humble person is how much they seem to be totally interested in us. Because the essence of gospel humility is not thinking more of myself or thinking less of myself it is thinking of myself less true gospel humility means I stopped connecting every experience, every conversation with myself. So going to love others Well how we view ourselves that’s kind of important. And then secondly the habits and the ideas that have shaped our character, our social skills, that’s also important. I’m gonna be real honest with you some of you we need to go back and read James epistle, he gives some wonderful advice really advice Godly truth, destruction on how to love others. Well one of the things he says is that you ought to be quick to listen. Slow to speak. Slow to becoming angry. But for some of you, you’re terrible at listening, quit to speak. And I forgot the album. Anger quick to becoming angry. Yeah, You’re, you’re quick to becoming angry. You’re quick to speak and you’re terrible at listening. And if that’s where you’re at right now having gospel humility, knowing that that’s in you, that that’s where you’re at as a person. You should probably avoid certain conversations, um, this holiday season with extended family members and friends until you mature, until you learn how to have gospel humility that thinks about the love of God. Did you learn how not to be driven so much by an inflated view of self an itching desire to win. So how we view ourselves as important, the skills that we have or don’t have. They are also important, so much so that we have to look at this passage again and consider what john says in verse seven of first, johN four, he tells us how we should view ourselves. He begins diverse by saying, beloved. I love it, beloved. That’s how you should give yourself. If you are in christ, you are God’s beloved and to be God’s beloved means that you are cherished your treasured, that you were in the favored position with God. You don’t need now to be competitive in every situation with everyone over every idea of profit. Your biggest fear is not losing an argument now. But it’s did I represent christ, this is beloved, that’s how you are to see yourself, that you are beloved of the father. That you are now read up to no longer think more of yourself, what to think of yourself less. It’s all taken care of and what I’m not out here trying to just to seek it and win it from every single person or validate my significance in the presence of every single person now, because he tells me, I am beloved of the father love, he’s laid it to rest. This is what has helped john to be able to love this americans now to be able to want to share the gospel with him knowing that he is love of the father. I don’t have to compete with them anymore. So he says, be love it, that’s you church. That’s you in christ beloved primary says, let us love one another. For love is from God God’s love that motivated him to save you. Is now in you. If you are in christ and that love motivate you to love others well, and begins to shape your character, and your habits, your responses. It’s the reason why you’re able to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, he says, because you know God and you know that God has saved you and that you were unworthy of his salvation. You when you live this way, represent him well. But if you say that, you know God and you don’t walk in this love, you misrepresented and you deny the gospel, you say you believe. And verse eight, John says that if you do not love it is because you do not know God. In other words, he’s saying that if we understand the gospel to be God’s love saving us, God’s love motivating him to save us, then it’s only logical that we would love those whom which christ is God and gave his life. We would love that. That just makes sense. He loves them and his love is in us and we know that he loved them. So we love them. That may be hard. We may need to grow and we may need to learn to do some things differently. But ultimately we keep coming back to this idea. I have to love well, because he has loved me, Verse eight again, I love how John says that God is love. He does not say love is God believe or not, that would make love and idle. And whatever idea we have or definition, we want to attach the love becomes the idol that we serve. He does not say love is God. He says, God is love. God is the source. The ultimate expression of love. God is love. It is one of his chief attributes you and I we’ve got to learn how to love the way God loves and we will never ever do it in our own strength. He says, God is love. Many says in verse nine, that God manifests his love among us by sending his only son into the world. Now when he says he sends his only son into the world that takes us back to that first Word. In verse seven, beloved what he identifies, christ as his one and only son. What he’s saying is this was my favorite son. This is my favorite son. My cherished son. The son who is in the position of favor and love. This is the one that I sent to save you to give his life to save you. And so when he says, God manifests his love, he’s saying, look at how much love the father had for him, jesus and how he says, jesus to save you And who were you before? Jesus saved safety. Well, Romans 5 8 says that this is who you were before, Jesus saved you. For while we were still weak, unable to save ourselves, unable to do anything to write our situation with God totally guilty, no excuses, can’t do anything to correct it. We were weak and at the right time christ died for the ungodly, that’s you, that’s me, that’s us. His favorite son, his cherished son, his treasured son, his one and only son goes to save those who are weak and ungodly. He goes on to say that you were his enemy when he made this decision, God’s love motivated him to save us. And if God’s love is in us and motivates us is a powerful force to love others. Well, so in conclusion here, we know that we’re called to love others. Well, God calls us to love it as well. But how do we do that? When we have disagreements about doctrine and politics and personal preferences, we do about returning to the gospel truth. It was God who loved us when we didn’t deserve it when we were awakened and Godly and his, it was God who gave his treasured beloved son to save us when we were in that position. And when we reflect on this gospel truth and allow it to producing us gospel humility. We will find in those moments of difficulty with others. We will find a grace to lean in more christ in Islam and lean away from our own understanding church. This is the testimony that the world needs to see coming from God’s people, John 1334- 35, this is a new commandment I give to you that you love one another, just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another by this all people won’t know that you are my disciples. If you have love, if you have love for one another, let us pray father, I I feel like praying the prayer that the dad of the kid who had the seizures prayed, but slightly different. He prayed, Lord, I believe, Help my unbelief father. My prayer and our prayer this morning is Father. We love, we love you, but help us love you and to love others well, and father remind us where we see, we are actually doing that right, that this is the process of transformation and if we will simply embrace gospel humility, we’ll see your love being a powerful force in our lives. It’s the Holy Spirit. Would you grant us this kind of conviction and remembrance in our soul as we go forward in every social context that we’re in so that we might image the father well that we might fulfill the commandment of jesus gave.