Heavens Light 11-25-09 Christian Love in the Church Part 1

Christian Love in the ChurchPart 1

1 John 3:18

Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue,

but in deed and truth. NASB


Believing the Gospel and being saved from sin and death, reconciled to God and to His Son is the most wonderful blessing from God that we could receive. It is a marvelous privilege to have our sins forgiven and to now have a loving relationship restored between us and God. The Christian life is filled with the amazing blessings of joy and peace, and our life takes on new meaning and purpose as we surrender our life to Christ Jesus the King.


This also comes with the amazing benefit of the Fathers love, becoming a child of God and being adopted into His family, the church. As John writes,


1 John 3:1 – See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; and such we are. NASB


Along with this blessing of being in God’s family, also comes the responsibility to treat one another with love and respect. We are to treat the members of God’s family with the same love that He has loved us with and walk after Him and follow His example of love and care for each other just as He commanded us.


John 13:34-35 – 34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” NASB


In order to examine this responsibility of love to one another more closely, lets look at the passage in Colossians 3:12-17.


Colossians 3:12 – 12 And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; NASB

A. And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved – Here the Apostle reminds them of their election by God and of the Love of God which was upon them from the beginning….that they are “chosen of God”…..it is no small thing that they would be “chosen of God,” …..this speaks of their divine election, the decision in the heart and mind of God to save these Colossians from before the creation of the time….. Paul writes in many places of this election….consider…

Ephesians 1:4-6 – 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. NASB

2 Thessalonians 2:13 – 13 But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. NASB

See here the free grace of God expressed to a helpless people, a people who had earned God’s wrath, but instead received His mercy…..and therefore they have become His “holy and beloved” saints! Paul speaks here that they are both “holy” and also “beloved”…. First that they are “holy,” that is set apart by God to be His special people, the Greek word here is hagios which means sacred or morally pure, consecrated or cleansed for special use, and is also used for the English NT word saint. Moreover he describes them as “beloved,” that is they are dearly loved by God. Notice here God’s disposition toward His church, He “dearly loves” them. And because He has decided to love them, He has “chosen” them and set them apart from all other people in the world for His own purpose, to be His own people, His saints, His holy ones,

Titus 2:14 – who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. NASB

And so Christ’s people in His church are His “chosen, holy and dearly loved” people! Amazing,…. wonderful,…. marvelous! It is for this reason that we have a great responsibility to one another in the church and are to treat the other people in the church around us with the utmost love and respect. Therefore Paul will now describe how we are to treat one another.

B. put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience – He says, “put on a heart”…notice here he gets right to point. If you are going to love and respect your family in Christ, you must do it FIRST in your heart, that is, it must be sincere and genuine(Rom 12:9).….make sure it lives in your heart, in your longings and affections, in the deepest part of your being…..And what should live there…. “compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience”….Ah Hah! Now this is how a Christian is to live….and this is how a Christian is to love….especially other Christians…in fact it is by this love for other Christians that we know we are really Christ’s disciples….

1 John 3:14-18 – 14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death. 15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. 16 We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoever has the world’s goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. NASB

Here in Colossians 3:12, Paul describes what this Christian love looks like practically in our life….it is, “compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience”…. Here is how we treat one another in the church….


In Compassion…..are you concerned about others?….we are to be moved in our inner self with concern for others….to be considerate and loving toward others in our hearts, with a godly longing and affection….and to put this concern to action and do something about it….and compassion in our hearts moves us to mercy and kindness with our hands….


In Kindness….we are to be kind to others, to express benevolence and goodwill to people…with real action….in good deeds and kind words…we are to devise ways to bless our church family, not to ignore or to harm them…we must help them when they are in need and we speak to them with words that encourage and benefit them.….we should be a blessing to others, not a curse…we should serve them in love, with mercy in our hearts….


Humility…..we are to humble ourselves before others…we are to lower ourselves before others, to make ourselves of no account and others of much account…. to consider others as more important than  ourselves….as Paul writes in Philippians….

Philippians 2:3-5 – 3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, NASB

Humility is the chief characteristic of godliness in the Christian Life…..it is the wellspring of all other virtue….Humility is the opposite of pride…..we must forsake our pride if we are to love other people….we are not to be puffed up and conceited toward others, considering them of less account than ourselves, but rather to regard them as higher than us, to make ourselves low, and to do this with sincerity in our hearts….pride is the chief enemy of our souls and humility is the medicine which kills pride…..May God help us to humble ourselves before Him and before our church family…..


Gentleness and Patience …. “Gentleness” is that quality of character whereby we have restraint and temperance in our attitude….it is to have self control over our emotions, in a meek and mild way….and this we cannot do with out “patience,” that good fruit of the Spirit that allows us to bear with others and to suffer long toward them without complaint….to suffer without complaint… we are to be gentle and patient toward God’s people, with meekness and temperance, with kindness and compassion in our heart…we are to treat them as soft and  gentle lambs, not as roaring and fierce lions…Christians are to be gentle and patient people, especially toward our brother or sister, for whom Christ died….


Are you having problems in your marriage?…..problems in your family relationships?….problems getting along with people in the church?…Hear the Word of the Lord….. “put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility and gentleness, and patience”…….


If you would like to know how to know Jesus Christ and be ransomed from your sins and enter into eternal life…..click here to find out how….. 





If you have comments or questions, please do respond to shaan@heavenslight.org

If you would like to be added or add someone to this email list, just reply with “sign me up” and the address you want it sent to. May the Lord bless you and keep you!
Shaan Sloan
Heritage Christian Fellowship – ABQ
The Lord is the Strength of My Life


Heavens Light 11-3-09 The Folly of Idolatry


The Folly of Idolatry

Exodus 20:2-3 

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

“You shall have no other gods before Me. NASB


Having come to know these high and Holy truths about God, how could we refuse to acknowledge His Lordship? What mischief would fill our hearts that would cause us to rebel or disobey God and His Holy Word? Let us be assured that there is none like Him! He is exalted, lifted up high above the heavens, He is Lord and His commands are to be fully obeyed.

Isaiah 44:6-8 – 6 “Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel And his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: ‘I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me. 7 ‘And who is like Me? Let him proclaim and declare it; Yes, let him recount it to Me in order, From the time that I established the ancient nation. And let them declare to them the things that are coming And the events that are going to take place. 8 ‘Do not tremble and do not be afraid; Have I not long since announced it to you and declared it? And you are My witnesses. Is there any God besides Me, Or is there any other Rock? I know of none.'” NASB

In the Ten Commandments, God lays out His Law in a summary. The first four deal with man’s relationship to God, the last six deal with man’s relationship to man. Thus the great commandment and the second, love the Lord your God and love your neighbor. Notice though the sequence and priority given. The first commandment states,

Exodus 20:2-3 – 2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 3 You shall have no other gods before Me. NASB

Here God speaks of the great priority of mankind, that He is to have the first and rightful place. Does this Great King of the Universe, Creator, Omnipotent, All-Knowing God, deserve any less? Should what has been formed say to Him who formed him, you are not important to me? Why should God give us another breath? Why should we not be consumed in the fiery wrath of judgment for our great transgressions against Him? Oh blessed Mercy! Oh sweet sound of pardon! Yet He would even make us kings and priests to reign with Him! What wondrous love is this?

Nevertheless, mankind rebels, curses, even profanes the glorious name of God with such audacity to form a detestable idol and bow down to it. God therefore addresses this matter of second and third importance saying,

Exodus 20:4-7 – 4 You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6 but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. 7 You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain. NASB

Consider what ignorance is in man that he would value and honor a worthless thing above the Great and Glorious Creator who made it all! With what blindness has man been stricken as to do such a deplorable thing? You become like what you worship.  What profit would be gained to a man for bowing down to a block of wood? Indeed those who worship a dead lifeless thing will become like them, a dead lifeless thing! They will be cut off from the Author and Source of life!

Psalm 135:15-18 – 15 The idols of the nations are but silver and gold, The work of man’s hands. 16 They have mouths, but they do not speak; They have eyes, but they do not see; 17 They have ears, but they do not hear; Nor is there any breath at all in their mouths. 18 Those who make them will be like them, Yes, everyone who trusts in them. NASB

Justice demands that such a person be shut out from the good presence of God with fierce wrath and utter finality! Is there greater mutiny? Is there a greater sin of arrogance? What a poor pitiful creature man is, taken in his idolatry, to exchange the Glory of the Immortal God for a worthless, dead inanimate object! God’s judgment will be sure and final!

Isaiah 44:9-11 – 9 Those who fashion a graven image are all of them futile, and their precious things are of no profit; even their own witnesses fail to see or know, so that they will be put to shame. 10 Who has fashioned a god or cast an idol to no profit? 11 Behold, all his companions will be put to shame, for the craftsmen themselves are mere men. Let them all assemble themselves, let them stand up, let them tremble, let them together be put to shame. NASB

Consider the absolute folly of such a thing! Man takes wood from the forest to cook his meals and warm himself. He then makes it into a creation with his own hands and then bows down to worship it, even placing his trust in the same. All the while the God “who gives life and breath and everything else” (Acts 17:25) looks on with great patience, overlooking this great blasphemy and granting them the good things of life.

Isaiah 44:12-17 – 12 The man shapes iron into a cutting tool, and does his work over the coals, fashioning it with hammers, and working it with his strong arm. He also gets hungry and his strength fails; he drinks no water and becomes weary. 13 Another shapes wood, he extends a measuring line; he outlines it with red chalk. He works it with planes, and outlines it with a compass, and makes it like the form of a man, like the beauty of man, so that it may sit in a house. 14 Surely he cuts cedars for himself, and takes a cypress or an oak, and raises it for himself among the trees of the forest. He plants a fir, and the rain makes it grow. 15 Then it becomes something for a man to burn, so he takes one of them and warms himself; he also makes a fire to bake bread. He also makes a god and worships it; he makes it a graven image, and falls down before it. 16 Half of it he burns in the fire; over this half he eats meat as he roasts a roast, and is satisfied. He also warms himself and says, “Aha! I am warm, I have seen the fire.” 17 But the rest of it he makes into a god, his graven image. He falls down before it and worships; he also prays to it and says, “Deliver me, for thou art my god.” NASB

What blindness has darkened man’s eyes? What great lie has deluded his pitiful heart? Where is his understanding? Consider how many people today just move through life without even stopping to give thanks to God? How many curse and blaspheme His name, never stopping to consider His great command to repent? Indeed mankind and his world are perishing, even wasting away and all the while he thinks he will live forever or somehow save himself. Stricken with blindness, he gropes about in futility refusing to simply bow His knee to the One who gives him breath! Oh what pity! Here is described the natural state of man! Here his ignorance is made crystal clear, his utter inability to help himself stated plainly!

Isaiah 44:18-20 – 18  They do not know, nor do they understand, for He has smeared over their eyes so that they cannot see and their hearts so that they cannot comprehend. 19 And no one recalls, nor is there knowledge or understanding to say, “I have burned half of it in the fire, and also have baked bread over its coals. I roast meat and eat it. Then I make the rest of it into an abomination, I fall down before a block of wood!” 20 He feeds on ashes; a deceived heart has turned him aside. And he cannot deliver himself, nor say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?” NASB

Let us consider what it might be in our lives, which, may be taking first place? Is it God and His commandments? Or God forbid, something else. Could we be guilty of such treason? What is it that we truly value? What do we worship or ascribe worth to?

When we begin to value God above all other things in our lives, then we will begin to become like Him! When we see the great value of life that God has given us, we will then begin to live with great purpose and meaning. When we put God in the first and rightful place, then we will begin to glorify Him in proper measure.

Matthew 22:36-40 – 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.   38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.   40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” 


This lesson is available in PDF format here:  http://www.heavenslight.org/devotional/The_Folly_of_Idolatry.pdf



If you would like to know how to know Jesus Christ and be ransomed from your sins and enter into eternal life…..click here to find out how….. 





If you have comments or questions, please do respond to shaan@heavenslight.org

If you would like to be added or add someone to this email list, just reply with “sign me up” and the address you want it sent to. May the Lord bless you and keep you!
Shaan Sloan
Heritage Christian Fellowship – ABQ
The Lord is the Strength of My Life