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Thursday, August 10, 2006

Ephesians 4:30-5:2 (Sermon for the week of August 13th)


Eph 4:30—5:2

Brothers and sisters:
Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God,
with which you were sealed for the day of redemption.
All bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, and reviling
must be removed from you, along with all malice.
And be kind to one another, compassionate,
forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ.
So be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love,
as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us
as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma.


This week I would like to explore the topic of love. I have put much thought into this over the years and have found that there is a great difference in what the Bible has to say about love and what the secular world has to say about love. As I’ve struggled through these differences in my mind,

I have come to the conclusion that:
a) the secular world has absolutely no idea what love is and
b) the GREAT majority of people (including Christians) have been brainwashed by the culture and the media to believe love to be something that it is not.

This should not come as a surprise though; God is the author of LOVE and those who do not know God cannot know what REAL love is. So what is love? Well, before you can understand what love IS, you must first understand what love IS NOT.

Point #1

The two most popular phrases, in my opinion, that has brainwashed the culture are “falling in love” and “making love”. I always have a problem with these two phrases whenever I hear them because they are completely man-made concepts that will not be found in the Bible and bear no truth. Man has designed phrases like these in order to try and explain what he does not understand.

QUESTION: So when you “fell in love” what exactly happened? You tripped and fell and all of the sudden, without warning, some mystical force called “love” took over you? AND how exactly do you MAKE love?

Let's look at this:
Does love = SEX? If God is Love (1 John 4:8)...then God is Sex?
God is a mystical force that creates an emotional response between two people?


Point #2

I am bothered by how the world has tried to degrade love to nothing more than a feeling or an emotion. We see this all the time in music lyrics, movies, etc. and it makes me sick. Now I’m not denying the reality of the emotion people call “love”. But that emotion IS NOT the essence of love. The feeling we get inside when we say we “love” someone should more correctly be called “infatuation”, “a deep longing for”, “a deep concern for”, “passionate about”, etc. These types of feelings are usually felt when you are very close to someone emotionally or have an emotional connection with another. These feelings are very natural but are nothing more than a physiological reaction in the brain. When you think of that particular someone, those thoughts cause a chemical reaction in the brain, which creates an emotion. Our thoughts control our emotions, therefore; emotions are subjective and cannot always be trusted.

So is love nothing more than an emotional response to a thought?

(Let’s also factor in that the English language has much to do with this misconception because of the lack of words available, unlike Greek and Hebrew)

In Closing...

So what is love? Love is an action. Love is a choice. Love is self-sacrifice.

How do you walk in love as the verse says?
ANSWER: “Imitate” God.

What actions are we imitating? Giving of ourselves to one another in service, being kind, being tenderhearted, by forgiving each other, by being patient with each other, by not envying, by not boasting, by not rejoicing in another person’s failures, by showing compassion. Anyone can say, “I love you.” But those words have no substance if not shown by their actions. Bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, and reviling are the opposite of love and spring forth from our sinful nature, not from the new nature we have been given in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Remember, Jesus (God) will NEVER ask you to do something that He hasn’t already done first.

Jesus told us.....

“ This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command.”
(John 15:12).

God Bless you and your families this week.



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