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The Greatest of These is Love Session 6 Putting it All together. The Greatest of These is Love. Love of Neighbor Continued… “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘ Love your neighbor as yourself .’”

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The Greatest of These is Love

Session 6

Putting it All together

slide2

The Greatest of These is Love

  • Love of Neighbor Continued…
    • “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
    • Love of neighbor is the prime expression of agape love.
    • Prime Example of Love of Neighbor: The Good Samaritan - Luke 10:25-37
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The Greatest of These is Love

  • Love of Neighbor
    • Love of neighbor requires…
      • Because each of us has intrinsic value love of neighbor requires us to recognize the “otherness” of a person.
      • We are to experience and relate to others not as beings in orbit around ourselves, but as centers of value in themselves.
      • “When we love our neighbor, we recognize a creature which has worth in so far as a person is a reality and is to be respected as one, and not reduced to an object orbiting around our interests, needs, wants, prejudices, and conveniences” Allen, 25.
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The Greatest of These is Love

  • Love of Neighbor
    • Love of neighbor requires…
      • We are to make room for another, recognizing and treating them as separate persons that have value and worth apart from their usefulness to us. That is agape love.
      • “Perfect love is the recognition of the worth of another free from the distortion of relative value and the distortions caused by our needs” Allen, 27
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The Greatest of These is Love

  • Who is our neighbor?
    • Every human being because every person has value.
    • The Parable of the Good Samaritan (take 2)
      • Rob Bell sermon
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The Greatest of These is Love

The Parable of the Good Samaritan

Luke 10:25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

26"What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?"

27He answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"

28"You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live."

29But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?“

36"Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?"

37The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him." Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise.“ NIV

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The Greatest of These is Love

  • The Parable of the Good Samaritan
  • Expert in the Law had an agenda
  • Expert’s answer was correct
  • Trap: “Who is my neighbor?”
  • Parable: Samaritan was the hero.
    • Could not determine who victim was
    • Priest and Levite choose to remain ritually “clean”
  • Expert answers "The one who had mercy on him.“
    • So hated he couldn’t say the word “Samaritan”
  • “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus answer: “Who is our enemy?”
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The Greatest of These is Love

  • Who is Our Enemy?
  • Whose name do WE have difficulty saying?
    • Who has hurt you?
    • Who has broken your heart?
    • Who votes the opposite of you?
    • Who has stabbed you in the back at the office?
    • Who gossips about you and judges you or your family?
    • Of whose lifestyle do you disapprove?
    • Who desires to harm you, rob you, violate you?
  • Don't use theology, politics, morality, or even justice to excuse your hatred.
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The Greatest of These is Love

Love your enemies - Matt 5:43-48

43 "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'

44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?

47And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?

48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

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The Greatest of These is Love

  • Love your enemies
  • “… we must try to feel about the enemy as we feel about ourselves – to wish that he were not bad, to hope that he may, in this world or another, be cured: in fact, to wish his good. That is what is meant in the Bible by loving him: wishing his good, not feeling fond of him nor saying he is nice when he is not.” CS Lewis, Mere Christianity, Forgiveness, p.108
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The Greatest of These is Love

  • This is DIFFICULT!!!
  • Matt 5:44 Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
  • “I am not trying to tell you in this book what I could do – I can do precious little – I am telling you what Christianity is.” CS Lewis, Mere Christianity, Forgiveness, p.104
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The Greatest of These is Love

  • We Love God
  • “And as all Christians know there is another way of giving to God; every stranger whom we feed or clothe is Christ. And this apparently is Gift-love to God whether we know it or not. Love Himself can work in those who know nothing of Him.” CS Lewis, Four Loves, p.129
  • Matt 25:40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'
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The Greatest of These is Love

  • Love of Neighbor
    • Questions? Comments?
    • How does love of neighbor challenge our culture’s way of interacting with one another?
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The Greatest of These is Love

  • Looking at All Three Loves
  • Agape Love perfects the other Loves
    • “The natural loves are summoned to become modes of Charity while also remaining the natural loves they were.One sees here at one a sort of echo or rhyme or corollary of the Incarnation itself. And this need not surprise us, for the Author of both is the same. As Christ is perfect God and perfect Man, the natural loves are called to become perfect Charity and also perfect natural loves.”
    • C.S. Lewis, “The Four Loves”, p.133
  • How might agape perfect the other loves? How do you understand the three loves to interact and co-exist?
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The Greatest of These is Love

  • Class notes
    • PowerPoint Presentations and notes can be found at:http://www.tpcnc.org/SundaySchool/Love/