Matt’s House Church
Series: Contact With Holy
Message: Product of Loving God is Actual Loving Others
Passages: Ro.13:1-7; Mk.12:29-31; 1Jn.4:7-21; Gal.6:9-10
March 15, 2020
Returning from Florida’s Disney World, I’ve been watching the impact the Corna Virus has had on us.
Friday morning I went to grab some supplies for drop in, and it was a mob scene. Later, a friend related an scene at a local Walmart, when a kid admonished a man with cartfuls of toilet paper, “Why do you have so much toilet paper, you don’t need that much.
Question: What is Our Response, as Followers of Christ, in this moment?
Fact, we and our world is facing COVI19, Corona Virus of 2019, which began in WuHan, China, and has now spread to multiple nations, and several continents. The experts predict we are going to see more people infected and more will die do to complication from the virus, mostly elderly, those with compromised immune systems, and those who have previously existing respiratory issues are the most vulnerable. There is no vaccination to counter this virus, and their is an army of medical and pharmaceutical experts working to develop a vaccine. Maryland, at least yesterday, had 31 reported cases, with original 3 cases, found in Montgomery County Community for the Elderly. All 2 of the three are 70 years old, and are recovering; and the 50 year old is also recovering well. That said, both the President, Donald Trump and our Governor Larry Hogan, have declared states of emergency; schools in Maryland are closed for the next two weeks, we can count on constant reassessment as this Corona Pandemic progresses. Currently any gathering larger than 250 is prohibited.
Answer: Paul gives us some directions, in Romans, in regards to how we are to Respond to Government Authority.
Reading: Romans 13:1-2; 5 Citizens of Two Kingdoms
- Submitted to Governing Authorities, God has Established.
- Rebel = Literally, “Stand Against.”
As a church, make sure you have text updates coming to your phone, and stay in contact with each other through phone. Our priority during this new season remains the same, loving God and loving each other.
Question: What is Our Response, as Followers of Christ, in this moment?
Answer: The Apostle John, gives us additional direction that we need to live out loud, in a world overwhelmed and over-run with fear!
Illustration: A friend text me, and informed me that they were sick with the flu, based on what the doctors have said, they would have to quarantine at home until the fever breaks. This person shared this prayer they had prayed, “I say to my God why, and he says to me; why not.”
To that end, we continue in the vain of “Contact With Holy,” from Mark 12:29-31, Jesus again being tested and challenged by the religious leaders is asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
Read: Mark 12:29-30 What Is the Greatest Commandment (Dt. 6:4-5; Lv.19:18)
- Christ’s words are directly Connected the words God spoke to ancient Israel, Commanding Moses to teach, it’s often refereed to as the Shama (Hear/Hearing).
- In Deuteronomy you will not find, the second commandment; but in Leviticus 19, a listing of various laws, that mostly focus on how we are to treat each other, you find the second commandment Jesus refers to.
Challenge Point: Love God, Means We Actually Do God’s Love To One Another
Reading: 1 John 4:7-21 How To Live In Christ, Live Out of His Love In Us!
vv.7 “Dear Friends” (Lit. Beloved); “Let Us Love” = Forceful-Imparative, Verb/Action-Demonstration toward One Another, within Community of Believers! Mutual Love, is a requirement of the Gospel, as Revealed in God Himself!
This Love Toward Another = Evidence that we are Born of God, not innate or learned.
- Point: False Teachers/False Followers, those who claim to “KNOW” God, Fail At Living Out this Gospel Imperative, Mutual Love!
vv.8 Double Negative - Don’t Love (lit. “Keeps On Not Loving), Don’t Know (Experiential/Relational Intimacy) God;
- Point: One Scholar put it this way, “has NO acquaintance with God, never did get acquainted with Him.”
God’s defining Nature/Characteristic is FACT: “God Is Love.”
- Point: John describes God as Light (1:5); God is Righteous (2:29)
- Point: Now, God is Love, Everything God Does is Defined by “LOVE,” it is the Essence of Who He Is!
- Point: If God Creates, He Creates in Love. If God Rules, He Rules in Love. If God Judges, He Judges in Love.
vv.9 God Demonstrated His Love (Exemplified) in Christ’s Incarnation (Jn3:16-17); Jesus Was Exact Representation of God’s Nature & Character & Essence. Christ’s Permanent Mission, “That We Might Live,” = Purpose from God toward Us (Act), In Christ, Ingressive, “Keep Getting Life From Christ,” Through Christ Is “Life.” Life Hear and Now.
vv.10 Sharp Contrast, “Love Is,” God’s Kind of Love Can Be Given Back To God; ONLY when God has First Given His Love To Us!
- Point: It Exists As a Response to His Initial Act of Love Toward Us!
- Point: Atoning Sacrifice, Covering Over Our Wrong, Price His Life-Blood, Makes Us Right
vv.11 God Essence is Love, Demonstrated in Gifting Us His Son, Intentional Act, therefore we too, “Beloved Friends,” must Manifest God’s Love (Manner-Conduct & Extent-Everywhere/Always); Live A Life of Constantly Manifesting God’s Kind of Love “Ought,” = Keep On Loving.
vv.12 “If,” Condition, “Love One Another,” = Our Active, Mutual Love is Evidence/Sign of God’s Love/Life In Us; = “If We Keep On Loving On Another…”; “Complete,” = Perfected In Us, God Makes His Love Perfect In; it naturally Reproduce Lovers of One Another.
- Quote, “It is through man, that God’s love finds expression in our world (Westcott).”
vv.13 - God Gives His Spirit, to take up Residence In Us; and His Spirit Makes Itself Known to Us, Evidence of God’s Indwelling/Residence.
vv.16 - “We know” = We Have Come to know and Still know; Confession, followed by Experiential knowledge, “Rely” = Confident of God’s Love because, our day to day Experience.
vv18 - “Fear” = Phobos, like a bond-slave, Dread; Not Reverence of Son; or Obedience to Father; born of Love. Exact Opposite of Love;
- Point: A Love that is Being Made Perfect, Drives Out Fear.;
- Point: Fear Does Not Exist in Perfect Love; This Perfect Love, Being Made in Us by God, Enables Grows Our Trust In God, regardless of Circumstance!
- Point: My Friends (Becky), prayer, why not me…Evidence of God in, and growing/perfecting His love gifts-cultivates Confidence/More Trust.
vv.20 - “Hates his brother” = Keeps On Hating; “Loves his brother” = Keeps On Loving.
vv.21 - “Love God” MUST ALSO “Love Brother.”
Point: Other wise YOU DON’T Love God, and Have Never Loved God.
Illustration: God’s Love In Us, Lived Out Through Us; Chuck Colson’s book, “The Faith.”
Point: Living God’s Love, One for Another, in both Prayer and Good Works/Acts that Cost!
Communion & Prayer - Pastor Tim Bellis
Our methodology will be adapted, but my challenge to you follower of Christ is, that we draw nearer to God, and love each other with His kind of love!
- Stay Connected (Text Updates/Phone Calls, etc.)
- Sick, stay Home.
- Changes at church (Sanitizer, Food/Drink Service, Wash Hands Frequently, How We Do Ministry);
- Mobile Ministry Teams (Church & Drop In);
- Meeting Modifications (Example How We Gather); Prayer & Fasting & Serving for Each Other, our families, communities.
Closing Reading: Galatians 6:9-10