5 For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
7 You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth?
- Paul writes that the only thing that counts, is not “Faith Expressing Itself Through Love”
- We all want to be loved and love. Spend time looking for love in all the wrong places
- Everyone interested in it, longing for it, want to know more about it, people dream about it, Sing about it
- People are frustrated because of disappointing love
- People are hurting because of failures in love
1 Thess. 4:9 – Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other.
- We must be taught by God what love is and how to love I needed to be taught by God what love is
1. A Faith That Expresses Love in Action
- For many, faith is intellectual, debated, logical
- Faith Is Not Just Something You Believe (19)
14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.
- We are saved by faith and not our deeds
- However, love for God and others is a response of faith
A. Faith and Love Go Beyond Talk
- Faith and Love is not just something you say
B. Faith and Love is not just something you feel
- You can be emotionally moved; “I wish you well” but not act
- It is more than emotion, or sentiment
- There are emotions that can accompany true love, but genuine love is a commitment
C. Faith & Love Is Expressed in deeds
- Love is about what we do for our fellow man
- To Love – family, strangers, enemies, siblings, kids, parents, anyone who wronged us, those who love us, enemies,
- To Love when there is no advantage for us, when it costs us something, when we might not get love back in retur
2. A Faith That Expresses Love Through Forgiveness
Read: Stories of Tragedy & Forgiveness
- Deaths did not have to happen
- Would it be possible to forgive when something terrible happened?
“If your brother or sister[a] sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. 4 Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.”
5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”
36 When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 38 As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”
40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”
“Tell me, teacher,” he said.
41 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii,[c] and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”
“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.
44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
- Sinful woman and Simon
- For Simon, the woman and Jesus; all in agreement the woman lived a sinful life
- Simon’s problem:
- Simon sat in judgment of the sinful woman
- Simon did not feel he owed anyone anything
- He considered himself better than the sinful woman and Jesus
- He did not see his need for forgiveness and did not demonstrate love
Unless we see our need for forgiveness, we will never be able to love in the way we should
- Pride does not forgive, and does not forgive well
- Pride always finds someone to look down on or criticize
- When we humble ourselves and see God’s love and forgiveness, we will love more and criticize less
- Forgiven Little, Loves Little, Forgives Little
- Forgiven Much, Loves Much, Forgives Much
- Forgiveness does not excuse wrong doing
- You don’t have to accept their wrong doing
- Forgiveness is about having faith in God, Obedience to God, Trusting God as Just
- Jesus never said forgiveness is easy.
- If it was, Jesus would not have had to die for our sins on the cross
- The cross of Christ reveals God’s immense love and desire to forgive every sinner
- Jesus demands it
- When Jesus spat upon, humiliated, beaten and nailed to a cross, he said:
- “Father forgiven them
- Jesus forgives freely, completely, past, present
- Forgiveness is key to a life of peace
- Forgiveness is crucial to a life of love
- So many times we could have grudges, resentment, hurt feelings
- If forgiveness practiced, it would change the world, church and families
- What counts?
- Not how often we attend church, religious activities activities, how well we know our bible
- Faith expressing itself through love
- Faith that is committed to love
- That goes beyond talk
- Faith and Love demonstrated in action
- Faith that Expresses Love Through Forgiveness
- Let’s be those who live by faith and express it