And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (Rom 5:3-6)

Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, O Lord GOD of hosts; let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me, O God of Israel. (Psalm 69:6)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Love, What it’s Worth

Here again for the purpose of your Monday morning Bible study, as a companion to Sunday's sermon, are my rough draft notes. As often happens, there are deviations in the message from the actual notes. It is my hope that like the Berean brethern of Acts, that your study intensify and clarify your understanding of the truths that are in the Bible. Questions and coments may be sent to

Love, What it’s Worth

In 2 Corinthians 5:17 we are told that in Christ we are new creations.  It therefore results in the fact that we are different than what we once were.  However, in our old environment, bodies, and habits we are tempted and tossed by trials.  Praise God therefore for the work sanctification and the truths of Romans 8.  Along those lines, I want to discuss the urgent need to rethink our lives and to consider God’s ways as we should be applying them. (This is the essence of Romans 12)

Additionally to our introduction, 1 John 2:15-17 warns us to not love the world nor the things in it.  We should keep this in mind, especially when it comes to values, decision making, and the joy of life.    Mathematically, we could say that when we love God it yields a love for people.  The entire book of first John supports this.  It also teaches that if we love people, love things of the world, and love the experiences of life more than God, it will yield a wavering love for God.

Love in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 gives us great understanding.

As I said a moment ago, because we are new creations, yet living in the old parameters of the sin nature, temptations, habits, and influences, we need sanctification.  We have many ingrained presuppositions to the way that we think.

Mathematically, verses 1-3 share that

·         Love is > (greater than) Abilities

·         Abilities-love=worthlessness

It is to our benefit to consider these things. As pride and motives are often the driving force, rather than love, in our decision making.  We are greatly renewed to reconsider our motives, actions, and goals in light of the value of love.  Think of this, we spend much of our lives striving, laboring, and preoccupied with achievements, and yet for what end?  What are we really living for?

Real love, in essence, is seeing the glorification of someone other than ourselves.  It is an active belief that it is just to honor something or someone above our own interests.

This is why all should love God.  All other targets of love are unjust, for God alone is holy.  For God to love Himself is not wrong, for He alone is worthy.  It is just that God display His glory for glorification of anything or anyone other than the One True Holy God is idolatry.  For God to be God He must both display His glory and not compromise it.  Jonathan Edwards discussed this whole premise in The End For Which God Created The World.

Lets look at these actions and achievements that the old self strives for without love

Spiritually        Speaking in heavenly tongues             yields   a clanging gong or crashing cymbal

Mentally          Understanding prophesy                     yields   nothing

                        Understanding mysteries

                        Faith to move mountains

Physically        Give away possessions                        yields   nothing


                        Faith to stand in the fire        


The idea of the body being given to be burned is akin to Daniel’s friends in the fiery furnace.

In Christianity success and betterment is the equivalent of who you are. 

It is measured by your love for others.

Again, we MUST rethink, as new creations, the life we are to be about.

Consider now, John 3:16  "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

What kind of love are you living for Him?  How should you live accordingly?