Community Group Study Notes
- What does it mean for us to love the world like Jesus?
- Why is it important that we embrace both good news and good deeds? What will that look like in your everyday life?
- What is one action step that you can take with what you heard in Sunday’s sermon?
"If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right." James 2:8
Hey, good morning everybody. I'm so glad to be able to hang out with this part of our chapel family. Be able to be with you face to face. I'm sorry that the closer you get the uglier I become but that's just life, you're going to have to suck it up. That's how it goes. I don't know if you heard or not but there was a royal wedding recently. Anybody hear about that? Okay, so like everybody on planet Earth heard about that, right? It's one of the most covered of events in the history of civilization I think because everyone was talking about it. Then they released some pictures because when I saw some of the pictures I was like this took me to a different time and a different place.
I mean look at this family photo that you have. Look at that room. You got to be kidding me, I mean, it's a beautiful photo. When you're royalty I guess that's just what happens. You're in some swanky sweet place in the palace and you get these great photographs. There was a beautiful photo of the bride and the groom that you see there as well. My wedding photos didn't look like that with a Polaroid. We're doing that number right after we take the picture. So you that are younger you don't even know what I'm talking about. We used to shoot pictures out of the mouth of this camera and then you had to wait a while and you had to do this until it showed up. It's ridiculous. But that's what happened, right?
Now, I'm not one to name drop. It's not something that I like in people or like generally. I'm friends with the royal family, like they're good buddies of mine. I was actually at the wedding, I don't know if you guys saw that or not. You might have picked up on that. You're going you weren't at the wedding. I've got picture evidence that I was at the wedding actually. You can see me when I'm waving, I'm here on the left kind of up there. I'm just kind of waving to everybody at that point. I wanted to serve the family because I just thought it would be cool. I didn't want to show up and like just kind of eat all the cool pastries and stuff.
I decided, they had a, when they were leaving in their carriage, they already had a carriage driver but I wanted to make sure the horses were keeping it together so I actually was on the horse when we were leaving and it was cool just trying to, and I was making sure too that there was not going to be any any trouble or anything. And then of course when they got married I was a little bit taken aback because right when they got married, normally royalty because I've known him for so long they don't show public displays of affection. So you can imagine my surprise when you see them starting to kiss like after they got married. I'm just incredibly surprised. I was like whoa, what is happening right now.
Just to make sure that you know real quickly because someone actually asked me after the first service here, wait a minute, you were actually at the wedding. I was like no, what did you miss. Did you not hear, was your sarcasm meter not turned on. What just happened. Of course not, this is called Photoshop. That's what we did. We placed me in those places. So anyway, I wasn't at the wedding but I am friends with the king. Kidding, there's no king, there's just a queen.
So, here's the thing maybe you don't know. Maybe you don't know that they're actually laws around royal marriage. I don't know if you knew that or not. There's traditions around it but there's actually also laws that have been in place for like centuries. For instance, the Royal Marriages Act of 1772 was written so that you had to have consent from the monarch, whether that was a king or a queen depended on, like right now it's just a queen, right? If you were a royal, if you were in line to potentially be an heir you had to have written consent from the monarch to be able to get married. That's according to the Royal Marriages Act of 1772.
There was also another royal law and it was called the Act of Settlement of 1701 and in this law, I don't know if you knew this but no one was allowed to marry a Catholic. They were not allowed to do that because they were the head of the Church of England. And so that was a branch off of Catholicism. Now in 2015 they amended that particular royal law and they said okay, you're allowed. If you're a royal you can marry somebody who's Catholic but you yourself as an heir cannot be Catholic because you have be kind of the federal head so to speak of the Church of England which is not Catholicism.
So, I thought that was really interesting. Now, why am I telling you that? Well, it's going to tie into what we're talking about in just a second. You remember that this series that we're studying Known By Love, we're studying the great commandment. If you don't remember what that is after a few weeks or maybe you're brand new, let me refresh your memory that a person asked Jesus a question he wanted Jesus to summarize what is the greatest commandment in all of the scripture.
And so here's what it says in Matthew 22. It said, "Teacher, speaking to Jesus, which is the greatest commandment in the law. And Jesus replied, Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment." And the second is like it, "Love your neighbor as yourself. All the law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
Now, we're studying obviously, we've already spent time talking about what it means to love God with everything inside of us, everything outside of us and everything we have at our disposal. That's kind of the idea of loving God of all our heart, soul, mind, strength. And then we talked about loving our neighbor. I find it interesting that this phrase love your neighbor, James, the half brother of Jesus had something very specific to say about this phrase.
Listen to what he said in James 2:8. "If you really keep the what,"
"If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture love your neighbor as yourself you are doing right." James actually called this law to love your neighbor as yourself, he called it a royal law. Why did he refer to it that way? Well that word in the Greek language for Royal is Basilikos which is where we get kind of our English word Basilica. But what it means, Basilikos means in the Greek language, emanating or coming from or worthy of a king. That was the idea that James was saying that this law, love your neighbor as yourself is a law that emanates from King Jesus and it's worthy of a king because this is what Jesus embodied.
Now specifically, James was talking about in the context of James Chapter two, James was talking about loving neighbor as ourselves because he didn't want people in that context, the Church of Jerusalem showing favoritism based on who had wealth specifically in that context, who had wealth and who didn't. What James was saying was this is that everybody is your neighbor. And so, it doesn't matter where they come from, what their background is, how much money they have. The bottom line is this is the royal law that comes from King Jesus who loved everyone regardless of their background and it is worthy and emanating from a king, the king of the eternal Kingdom.
This is what James was trying to help us understand about this being a royal law. Now last week when we talk about love your neighbor as yourself for those who that were here, remember we talked about that having a two pronged meaning. We talked about the idea that neighbor actually not only talks about those who are close to us and that we know and love but those who are actually far from us and far from God. Then it really consumes everybody everywhere when we talk about this idea. And so the way that we've set it here is we said the first and greatest commandment is what, love God right. And then we talked about love the church. Why? Because neighbor also has to do with loving those who are nearest and dearest to us.
Then it says neighbor also means loving those who are far from God and far from us. So we've said love God, love the church, love the ...
World. That's what we have come to. Now when we see that play out in the New Testament, you see people like Paul the apostle who references this Royal Law Love your neighbor as yourself and he actually does it in both ways. He talks about loving your neighbor in terms of loving the church and he also talks about loving your neighbor in terms of loving the church and loving the world. In fact, I'll show you both of those kind of instances.
In Galatians Five, Paul writes, "You my brothers and sisters were called to be free but do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh, rather serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command. Love your neighbor as yourself. If you bite and devour each other watch out or you will be destroyed by each other." He was talking to the church at Galatia and saying this command love your neighbor as yourself was really important so that you could learn to love the church the right way.
Paul actually talks about not only the church but the world when he writes to the Church at Rome in Romans chapter number thirteen. Listen to it. Paul says, "Let no debt remain outstanding except the continuing debt to love one another. For whoever loves others," now he says, love one another and then he says love others, "has fulfilled the law. The commandments, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not covet and whatever other command there may be are summed up in this one command, love your neighbor as yourself. Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law."
Paul's actually talking to both factions of that. He is saying this is how you love one another in the body of Christ because he's writing to the Church at Rome. But he's also saying this is how you love people generally speaking. Loving others, whoever they may be. In other words he's not saying hey, the commands of don't murder don't just apply to people in the body of Christ. Don't murder them but feel free to murder anyone else. That's not what he's saying. He's saying, this is how we love one another. We love the church but we love the world and this is how we fulfill the whole law by loving. This is what the law is pointing to. It is pointing ultimately to love.
Now, love God, love the church, what's the last one?
Love the world. Now some of you when you hear that, if you're people who've been around the Bible for some time, maybe you're going wait a minute, Jerry, aren't we not supposed to love the world. Doesn't the Bible teach us not to love the world. So what is it man. Are we supposed to not love the world or love the world. Yes. Yes/ It depends on how world is used. It's the same word cosmos that where we get kind of our word like Cosmos, the everything. It's the same word but depending upon where it's placed it has a different understanding and usefulness.
So when you say aren't we not supposed to love the world, yes. Aren't we supposed to love the world, yes. Help me. All right. Here's what John says in First John Chapter two. "Do not love the world." Is that plain enough? "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the father is not in them. For everything in the world," and then he defines it, "the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away but whoever does the will of God lives forever."
So how is this term 'world' being used in this context. Plain and simple. This term is being used in a way to say everything that stands against the way and the will of God, that's what he's referring to as the world. In other words, whatever spiritual systems that are set up, whether it's the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life, any of those kinds of things that come from our broken sinfulness or come specifically from the enemy of our souls, he's calling that things that emanate from the world and we're not to love those things. Does that make sense to you? You following me so far? He says don't love those things because they stand in opposition to the way and the will of God. Whoever loves the world the love of the Father is not in him. That's what the Scripture says, right? That's not the love of the Father because you're not loving the things the Father loves.
But, we also know that John the Apostle quotes Jesus by saying this, "For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." So what we know about this is it's really clear that God loves the world. We're told do not love the world except we're reminded that God loves the world. The world that we're not to love is the world of system that set up to oppose the way and the will of God. That's what it set up to do. Don't love that but this, God so loved the world, this is talking about the whole of humanity. This isn't just talking about this kind of tennis ball looking planet that we live on. This is talking about loving all of humanity.
You see, we get confused sometimes when we read that if we think it just means the Earth. That somehow this means that God loves the earth. And so he sent his son for the Earth. Well, it's actually much clearer than that because it's talking about the inhabitants of the earth. It's the people that God loves. He certainly loves His creation, he made it. But we are a part of that creation and we are the crown of that creation according to God. So, for us, what we have to remember is this isn't so much about God's love encompassing the earth because it's so big and beautiful. It's about God's love encompassing people even though they're bad and broken. That's what this is talking about in John 3:16.
So if God loves the world, what does that mean for us? We're supposed to love the world. Not the world that we're supposed to not love but the world that we're supposed to love. And the world that we're supposed to love, listen, it's the world of people. It's people. You following this? Not the system set up to oppose the way and the will of God but people is who we're supposed to love because that's what God did.
Now, when we start asking the question okay, Jerry, I understand that, I get that. We're supposed to love people, period. Got it. But how does that really play out? Like what does that really look like because we like to think in just theory. God so loved the world and we just keep it at the world and it's kind of just floating in the ether somewhere. No, no this is really specific because when we talk about the world that we live in and who we're supposed to love, I can tell you that means that we have to love our enemies. Because this is what the world is made of, right? We have to love our enemies.
In fact, when we read the words of Jesus in Matthew chapter five it makes it really clear to us. He says this, Jesus said, "You've heard that it was said love your neighbor and hate your enemy." One of those parts is right by the way, love your neighbor. He said, "But I tell you love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you that you may be children of your Father in Heaven. He causes his son to rise on the evil and the good and sins reign on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you what reward will you get. Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people what are you doing more than others. Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect or complete or whole," as another translation of that, "therefore as your heavenly Father is perfect."
Do you follow that. He's talking about loving enemies. He said you've may be heard it said by some that love your neighbor and hate your enemy. Wait, the royal law is love your neighbor. Jesus says, "I say to you, love your enemies." This is what's going on in people's minds, right? It's just like, whoa, wait a minute. He's serious about this neighbor thing. Love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you. Why? Because it's easy for anybody who has an affiliation with somebody else that's just like them to love them. Tax collectors love tax collectors. No big deal. Those that are in ISIS love other members of ISIS. No big deal. But you know what looks dramatically different, when you start loving your enemy. That looks completely different. Why? Because that's the love of God.
This is why we have to be able to pull this together in our minds. Now, we might ask the question, is that talked about anywhere else besides what Jesus said? Sure, the Apostle Paul picking up on the teaching of Jesus said in Romans Chapter 12 these words, "Bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who are joyous, mourn with those who mourn, live in harmony with one another. Don't be proud to be willing to associate with people of low position. Don't be conceited. Don't repay anyone evil for evil and be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it's possible as far as it depends on you live at peace with everyone. Don't take revenge my dear friends but leave room for God's wrath for it is written is mine to avenge, I will repay says the Lord. On the contrary if your enemy's hungry feed him, if he's thirsty give him something to drink. In doing this you will heap burning coals on his head. Don't be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good. In other words Love your enemies."
Paul is repeating what Jesus had taught. So when we ask that question okay, if we're going to love the world it means we have to love our enemies, why? That's what people are going, in their minds they're going why. Why should I love my enemies? Great question that I'm about to answer clearly.
Here's the first reason. Because Jesus did it for those who crucified Him. Jesus loved his enemies in that sense. That those Romans and Jewish religious leaders, soldiers who ended up conspiring to see Jesus put to death. Jesus is hanging on a cross in front of all of these people. Religious leaders who came to see their handiwork, Romans who wanted to see this insurrectionist put down. And what from the cross does Jesus say according to Luke 23. Jesus said, "Father, forgive them for they don't know what they're doing." You know he was showing to them, love. Jesus was loving the enemies that crucified Him. That's one reason we should love our enemies because Jesus loved those who crucified Him.
I'll give you an even more poignant one. Because Jesus did it for us. Not just for those who crucified Him but for us. If you listen to how Romans Chapter 5:6 says it. You see at just the right time when we were still powerless, Christ died for the what?
For the ungodly. Do you know what ungodly means? Against God. That's basically it. Without God, against God. People like you and me before being transformed by his love in our hearts as rebels and enemies were set up to oppose God and even then we still knew that Christ died with that in mind. Why? Because he loves his enemies. That's why we should too. That's what the love of Jesus does in and through our hearts.
Let me give you a third reason. It's because now we don't have to fear our enemies. We don't have to fear them anymore? You say, why don't we have to fear our enemies anymore? Listen to what Jesus said in Matthew Chapter 10. "Don't be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body and hell. Are not two sparrow sold for a penny yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside of your father's care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered and it takes longer to count some than others?" Listen to this. "So don't be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows."
Even if we have enemies, you know what we have? We have the one who holds our life in his hands and he himself, listen to this, is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He is the resurrection and the life. We don't have to fear our enemies anymore because Jesus has us. That is a beautiful reminder. So we should be able to love our enemies. That's a part of what it means to love the world. But you know what else it means? We love those who are not like us. We love those who aren't like us. Not only loving our enemies but loving those who aren't like us.
In another passage that we've studied over the course of these few weeks there was an expert in the law who was quizzing Jesus, "What must I do to inherit eternal life?" And Jesus says, "How do you read the scripture?" And he says, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself." And Jesus said to that man, "Do this and you'll live." And then the man wanting to justify himself said, "Who is my neighbor?" And then Jesus told the story, you remember the story. The parable of the Good Samaritan. The parable of the Good Samaritan.
Now this was a big deal, because Jesus told a story about a Samaritan to Jewish people. Jewish people looked at Samaritans as half breeds. They also looked at them as half pagans. They incorporated some of Judaism and some paganism into them and they also had an ethnicity that was mixed as well. So they basically called them half breed, half pagans. That's the Samaritans. And yet the Samaritan is the hero of the story, interestingly enough.
You remember the story, there was a man that was left half dead, right? He's on the side of the road. A priest, Jewish priest comes by goes to the other side the road, doesn't help him at all. He's got priest things to do. And then a Levite comes by, that's just a temple worker. He comes walking by. He leaves him alone, he keeps walking. Why? He had temple work stuff to do. And then a Samaritan comes by. A half breed half pagan is the only one who helped a man half dead. And he stops and he bandages him, he puts oil on his wounds. He brings him to a place where he can be comforted and cared for. Pays for it. Says anything else, when I get back if he's been here the whole time let me know, I'll pay the rest of it. Then Jesus says, "Go and do likewise."
He points to someone who's not like the Jews to help them understand what it means to be a neighbor. See, you and I have to understand that when we are going to be a people where the love of Christ is in us, when we love the world, we're not only able to love our enemies as Jesus did because it's his love in us, we're also able to love those who aren't like us. In fact, when you read The Great Commission, have you heard that phrase before, the Great Commission? Some of you have, some of you haven't. It's what Jesus said to the church kind of some parting words to the Church of what he wanted the church to be on mission to do. You remember it, it's in Matthew 28. It says, "Jesus came to them and said all authority in heaven on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples," of what?
All nations. I'm going to help you with that in just a second. "Baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." All nations. Go and make disciples of all nations. That work in the Greek language is ethnos, it's where we get our word ethnic. In other words, what Jesus is saying, every person of every color of every stripe of every background, these are to be objects of our love and we are going to reach out and make disciples of anybody from any background from anywhere from any ethnicity from any race, it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter that they're not like you Jews that I'm talking to right now who are now following after me who are Jewish people that he's giving this commission to. Doesn't matter that they're not like you because my Love transcends all of that. You'll be able to love enemies and you'll be able to love those who are not like you.
This is what we need to remember and understand about the love of Jesus Christ. Now, we understand that, we kind of ask the question, okay, how does then the Great Commission figure into the great commandment that we've been talking about? And for me, that's a pretty easy solve. The great commission baptize, make disciples, teach them to obey everything I've commanded them, that great commission flows out of the great commandment. It flows out of it. In other words, when we share the gospel with people, when we baptize new believers, when we make disciples, when we're teaching them to obey everything that Jesus has commanded do you know what we're doing, listen, we're loving God and we're loving our neighbor. That's what we're doing.
But you know what's also true? It's also true that just like the parable of Good Samaritan that when we find ourselves bandaging somebody's wounds, meeting somebody's needs, helping put somebody in a place where they can live, do you know what we're doing, we're loving God and we're loving our neighbor. But here's what you've got to remember. It's not one or the other, it's both. This is why it's so important for us to be able to grab hold of these things because it actually has to be both and. In fact, if I were going to say it a little more crisply I would say it like this, to love the world like Jesus means we embrace both good news and good deeds. To love the world like Jesus it means we embrace both good news and good deeds. Why do I say that? Because that's what Jesus did. That's why I say it.
Jesus brought the message of the kingdom, Jesus met people right where they were. Jesus communicated the truth about the life of God, about righteousness, about all of those things and people weren't afraid to come him even in their mess. You've got all of that going on at the same time. Why? Because that's the nature of who Jesus is. Do you remember when John in his gospel kind of helped us to understand who Jesus was. He was talking about in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. Right, you remember all of that? And so we got this great picture of Jesus. But then in verse 14 it says this, "And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us and we have seen his glory the glory of the one and only son who came from the father," listen to this, "full of grace and truth."
I don't want you to miss this because where grace comes from is love. It's the nature of who God is in his love. Grace comes from God because He is Love. God is love. But God is also truth, 100 percent truth. And the Bible says that Jesus is full of grace and truth. Now lest you be confused, this doesn't mean that like half of Jesus heart is grace and half of Jesus heart is truth and they're duking it out sometimes. Which is going to win, no, no, no. Because when you know the nature of Jesus, the Bible teaches us that Jesus is fully God, the word. In the beginning was the word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. And then it says the Word became flesh.
Jesus was fully God and fully man at the same time. 100 percent God and 100 percent man in the same person. That didn't make him 200 percent anything, it made him 100 percent God man. The same is true about his nature. The scripture says he is full of grace, we'll call that love because that's where it comes from, that's where grace comes from. He is full of love and full of truth. That doesn't mean he's 50 percent and 50 percent truth. It means he's 100 percent love and 100 percent truth at the same time. What does that make him? 100 percent grace truth man. That's what he is.
This is what we have to be able to remember. Why? Because one does not go without the other and they are not pitted against one another. They actually belong together. To love the world like Jesus means that we're going to embrace both good news, truth and good deeds shown by the grace we show to people and love. This has to actually be together.
Now, this is where I think that sometimes churches in North America get stuck. Let me explain what I mean, I've been in lots of them. Even in southern Ontario and Canada and some parts of Canada. Here's where we get stuck. Churches kind of have a tendency sometimes to define themselves as either a great commandment church, we're all about loving God and loving others. Or a great commission church, we're on mission and that's what we do. But there shouldn't be an or. This is what we are because the great commission flows out of the great commandment. So we should be all of those things.
So what happens is sometimes people get turned around and upside down and messed up because they start having these things. For instance, I've talked to too many people who have said, I've come out of a church background where I felt a little bit burned up. Here's how they explain that background. It was in all truth no love kind of place. That's how they explained it. All truth, no love. In other words, okay yes, they got the message right. They're preaching the gospel but [inaudible 00:32:43]. You misstep, kaboom, you get hammered and it's not a velvet hammer, it's a sledgehammer. You get smashed. One misstep.
So now they felt like I've got to watch everything I do, I've got to watch every move I make, I've got to watch every word, I've got to watch every piece of clothing that goes on my body. I've got to watch my hair cut. I've got to watch which translation I'm using in the Bible. I've got to watch every single thing. Why? Because it feels like an all truth no love kind of scenario. When people who are not like us to show up among us, we treat them like enemies instead of objects of love. Why? Because we feel like an all truth no love kind of scenario.
I've met other people though who were conditioned the opposite way. They said it's all love, right? And they come from what they would consider an all love no truth kind of place. So man, look, it doesn't really matter what people teach and what they say, I'm not really into all of that stuff. I'm not really into like doctrine and all of those kinds of things. It's just about loving people man. Just love them where they are. Whatever they do is fine. Right, that's kind of what you get.
Here's the problem with that. It becomes then just like on the other side, if it's an all truth no love it becomes really legalistic and harsh and maybe even spiritually abusive. On the other end, it becomes extraordinarily hypocritical, because what happens then is oh yeah, we embrace the teaching of Jesus about love, we just don't listen to anything else he had to say about sin, righteousness, judgment, God or life. No, that's not going to work either.
So, why do I tell you that? Because there's actually no such thing as an all truth no love church. There's no such thing as an all love no truth church. I'll tell you why. Listen carefully. Because you can't have all truth without love and you can't have all love without truth. Why? Because Jesus is whole and it's his love and His truth that works in and through us and those are sorted out this way. They live together. So, that's why I say for us we have to be a people if we're going to love the world like Jesus, whether that's our enemies, whether that's people we've just met that we don't know, whether that's people that are not like us. Whatever that means, if we're going to love the world like Jesus that means we're going to have to embrace good news and good deeds. Why? Because Jesus is full of grace that comes from love and full of truth. This is when we know we begin loving the world as we should.
When we read the scripture, who is it so attracted to Jesus in Scripture? Hint, sinners. Sinners loved him. Do you know why? Not because he was like them but because he loved them. That's why. The reason sinners wanted to be around Jesus is not because he was like them, it's because he loved them. So he didn't have to become like them in that sense, he became like them in the human sense to identify in that regard. But he didn't have to become like them in a sinful sense. He simply loved them. How did he do that? He met them right where they were and he told them the truth. He did them both.
Oh, so you're a woman caught in adultery. Yet somehow Jesus is standing up for this woman and saying hey, all you religious people, the ones with the stones in your hands that are ready to kill her, which one of you is without sin. Please, be the first one to fire a fastball at her head. And they all just start dropping stones and she's looking at him like, whoa. Jesus says, anybody here condemn you. She said, no, he said, me neither. But go and sin no more. See Jesus was telling her the truth even while loving her in the midst of her life. You see, this is the Jesus difference in what we should be doing good news and good deeds. Why? Because Jesus is the king and the King has a Royal Law. Love your neighbor as yourself. This emanates from a king of a kingdom that's going to be eternal and this kind of thing love, this is the law that that kingdom is founded upon. It is a royal law coming from royalty, King Jesus. What he says is love the world. Love God, love the church, love the world.
So let me ask you this question as we finish up today. You can jot it down if you want to because I want you to think about it, because I want to take this out of the theoretical area and put it into your world with those that are far from God in your world. Now we're not just talking about loving the world, we're talking about loving your world. With those far from God in your world, how do you show them love by good deeds and good news. Remember this ladies and gentlemen, it's not just one or the other. Some of you need to think about it. Because I want you to ask the Holy Spirit of God how he wants to make this kind of connect to your hearts. I'll tell you why, because when we really get what it means to love God, love the church, love the world, what happens is that we fulfill the mission of the church.
You know what our mission statement is, you've heard it a million times. You see it on all of our printed stuff, right? We exist so that every man, woman and child might have a repeated opportunity to hear and see the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Did you catch that? Listen, hear is the declaration of the good news. See is the demonstration of the good news. Good news and good deeds. Right there baked into our mission statement. Why do you think we built a mission statement around the truth of the scripture? That's why it's there. When we love God, love the church, love the world, we are going to be able to fulfill the mission that God has called us to.
So I want you to ask the Spirit of God, with those far from God in my world, how do I show them the love of God through good deeds and good news. You see, some of you, some of you have only been showing the good deeds side. There's been no good news associated with it. By the way, here's what I've learned in Christianity and learned in my own life. If given the option between those two only things, good deeds and good news, good deeds always wins because it's easier and good news goes away. We're scared to death of it, we're glad to give, hey, can I get you a coffee? We're glad to do that. Hey, can I talk about Jesus? We're afraid of that. But it's got to be both.
You see, if the Church of Jesus Christ is only standing on a street corner with a bullhorn it's going to ring hollow in the ears of people, because they don't see anything behind it, they just see people who are shouting them down. By the same token, if the Church of Jesus Christ only stands on the corner and hands out water on a hot day it's also going to ring hollow because anybody can do that. That doesn't take a Christian to have to do that. By the way, some people might even do better things than that. So if it's only about good deeds, we've got no leg to stand on.
But it's got to be, listen to this, it's got to be good deeds that come as a result of great news. That's where we have to be able to pull these together. If we want to love the world like Jesus loves the world, we've got to embrace both good news and good deeds. Some of you may have to say, you know what, if I'm going to really love in my world, love my neighbor in my neighborhood, in my apartment complex, at my work, at my school, in my social circles. If in my world I'm really going to love my neighbor maybe you need to ask the Spirit of God have you been giving attention to one and not the other.
You know what, I've been trying to serve them and be gracious to them and all that stuff but I've never actually engaged them in a spiritual conversation. Never ever. Or maybe, all I've done is preach my face off to these people and they've actually never seen me serve them. They've never seen me love them in those ways. And maybe that's the backing you need to the Gospel your preach is the life that you live. I don't know what the answer to the question is. I want to let the Spirit of God appropriate that in your heart. Here's what I would tell you. The first thing has to be first. Love God. Because it is from that fountain head that God fills us with His love and we're able to love the church and love the world. Love God, love the church, love the world.
Hopefully through the course of the series you've been able to see that picture painted very clearly and now you've got language around how we at the chapel are continuing to structure our mission and our strategy and our programming around this idea of love God, love the church, love the world. Why? Because this is what rises up out of the scripture and helps us to fulfill the mission that we are on, a mission that flows from the great commandment and the royal law. There is a king and from this king comes a royal law. Love God, love the church, love the world. Love your neighbor as yourself. Let's bow our heads together.
We're dismissed in just a second but if you're here and you've never before entrusted your life to Jesus I want you to know that you're loved by God, so much so that he went to a cross to die for sinful people like you and I. And that if we put our faith in him instead of the faith in ourselves, that we can have forgiveness of our sins, that we can have the hope of eternal life in him. If you've never before come to that place in your life there is no bigger or more important decision you'll make in your entire life. I'm talking about in your entire existence you won't make a more important decision than this. That while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. But here's the beautiful thing. It's not just sentimental, he didn't stay dead, he got up from the dead, conquering sin hell in the grave on our behalf. That if we put our faith in Him we can be reconciled to God because of what Jesus has done in dying in our place, satisfying the justice of God and giving us a forgiveness of sins that we could never attain on our own.
See, the Bible says that we are saved by grace through faith. In other words, we must put our trust in Jesus. If you've never come to that place where you've fully surrendered your life to Jesus and found forgiveness of your sins and brand new life, then boy, I can't think of a better day than today. And so when we dismiss in just a few moments, in what is now because you're facing me, in what is in your back right corner, it's actually the back left corner of this room when you're on your way out is the fireside room. In there they'll be some folks who would love to take a moment, pray for you, talk to you about what it means to make a decision for Jesus Christ and to follow him with all your heart. And if you've never done that I can't tell you how important that is.
And Father, for those of us who claim to know you, I pray you would remind us of the beauty of the gospel that Jesus lived out the reality of what it means to love the father, love the church and lay as life down for her and love the world that while we were yet sinners Christ still died for us. Thank you for the richness of that truth and I pray Jesus by your love and life in us that we in turn would learn deeply what it means to love God with everything we are. To love the church like you do Jesus and to love the world like you do. Help us to understand what it means to fulfill the royal law because we as you've called us in your word as your people, we are a royal priesthood who are servants of the king but who have been given a kingly and queenly ancestry from Jesus.
I pray that you would help us to be people who represent the kingdom well because of your love in us. Help us with what it means to love our neighbor as ourself. To love the world, whether they're enemies, whether they're not like us, whatever it looks like. And help us to do it with good news and good deeds. We pray for your help in this because we know in doing so we are helping to fulfill the mission you've given us and we pray that you would fulfill that through our lives for your glory and for the good of people. In Jesus name, Amen.