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The Way of Love- Part 7

Jason Sliger

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Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Jason is a former full-time evangelist with Amazing Facts, now pastoring in Northern Michigan. He and his wife, Midori, have two children, Evangeline and Christian who are 3 and 1. His greatest desire is to have an experience like Jesus and be part of helping others be like Him too. He enjoys playing with his kids, photography and, when he can find time, playing the guitar.

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  • April 8, 2017
    11:30 AM
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Father in heaven. We thank you that we can come. Into your presence the small. With our Bibles in our hand knowing that we serve a God. Who is interested in speaking to his children. And Father I pray that the smore in the Holy Spirit would come. And take my lifeless words. And through the power of the Word of God in the Holy Spirit turn them into life in our lifes. Change us that we may be more like Jesus we thank you Father for answering this prayer. Because we ask it in Jesus' name. Well I appreciate your patience with me as we have steadily been working our way through the chapter of First Corinthians thirteen I assure you this morning that there are just a few more studies left there's much more that could be said but we are going to tie this off because there's other things in the Word of God that we want to study but we have a few more presentations on this and the smaller you know as we shift gears a little in the study of First Corinthians thirteen I want to read a passage Hugh that we've read a couple of times and I want to look at it in a different way we've kind of been looking at this particular statement in a bit of a negative context but the small you know want to spin it on its head and look at it in a positive way as the Southern review January one of one thousand one makes the statement he only who loves his fellow man to a purpose can know God you've you've read this before and this is a biblical principle he that loveth not know it's not God For God is love so the Bible tells us we can't know God truly unless we have this love for our fellow brothers and sisters now goes on and it says this This is the reason why this is the reason that there. So little genuine vitality or life in our churches there's little life in our churches because there's little love for one another in our churches she goes on and she says theology is valueless unless it is saturated with can hold as much as possible the love of Christ now there's two things I want to mention here and it's this if it is true and she says it is that there is little vitality or life in the Church of God when there is little love that means that when there is much love there is much life there is much vitality there is much vigor that comes to the church that has a god pain in their hearts the other thing is true and that is this If theology is valued this when there is little love that means that when there is much love that the ology is of great value so we can look at this two ways again it is of in a positive or negative context but in the positive context there is much good that comes to the Church of God when we take what we've been studying and apply it in our lines she goes on God is supreme his love in the human heart will lead to the doing of works that will bear fruit after the cylinder chewed of the character of God I'll be honest with you as I study first Corinthians thirteen as I went through this the first time several months ago I did not realize how life transformative this was going to be for me and I pray it's been that way for you as well as I've gone through verse by verse and searched my heart and compared it to my life it has changed my life in a way that really no other study has up to this point I trust that the Lord has other things that he's going to use to continue that changing process but this is been very transformative for me and my family and. I trust that it is done the same by God's grace for you we have found in our study that this chapter is bend it has been divided into three sections and we've looked at the first two are ready the outline of First Corinthians thirteen versus one through three we have the supremacy of a god pay and that is where Paul makes five contrasts the statements showing how a god day is better than the gifts of the Spirit outlined in chapter twelve in verses four three seven Paul talks about the characteristics of a got a or he analyzes it he takes it and he breaks it down into its component parts so that we can understand what a copy really is it's not just the theoretical word that floats around but he puts flesh on it as he describes a gap in the context of not only Jesus but God's people will look like in the last days when Jesus comes back and then in verses eight through thirteen Paul talks about the permanence of a god pay and how it will never come to an end and that's what we're going to shift gears into now in this study this morning as we look at the permanence of God they go with me in your Bibles to first Corinthians thirteen and we're going to begin this section Paul I see begins the third and final section of First Corinthians thirteen he starts with three words that just really put everything in the context for us first Corinthians thirteen. And we're going to look at verse eight first with these thirteen verse eight Paul Starks starts off and he says this charity or God pay never fail this but whether there be prophecies they shall fail whether there be tongues they shall cease whether there be knowledge it shall vanish away Paul says Charity never what. Now if you want something to think about the softer noon as you're walking around in the sunshine as you are sitting in your back. Yard enjoying the warmer temperatures or whatever it may be take those three words and and mentally masticate them shoe on them over and over again charity a God they never fail it and as you chew on those three words pray and say Lord what does this mean in my life what does it mean to me now it's an unfortunate translation using the word fail if charity never faileth. The better translation would look something like this charity never ends so never comes to it but it's it continues for every fact some translations of the Bible translate it that way that a god pay never or charity never ends love never ends now the best way that I could think of the scribe in this in this past week as I was thinking through this study once again this is the passage of Scripture that came to my mind in rent Romans chapter eight first thirty five the Bible says Who shall separate us from the love of Christ shall tribulation or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or peril or sword Paul goes on in verse thirty eight he says for I am persuaded that neither death nor life nor angels no prince of polities nor powers nor things present nor things to come nor height nor death nor any other creature shall be able to. Separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord honey you're thankful for this Amen. However thankful that nothing can separate you from the love of God When we look at this Bible passage it fills our heart with joy then nothing can separate us from the love of God Not even death itself not even the sins in my life can separate me from God's love for God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life even in my sin God loves me we are thankful for this Bible passage but the question is this we're thankful that God loves me that much. But the question is do I. I love other people that much. When Paul says adopt a never ends he's not just talking about God's love to me but he's also talking about my love to other people. When he says a gobby never ends that means that nothing should separate that current of a God they love towards my brothers and sisters in Christ nothing should separate sever that because nothing separates us from the love of Jesus nothing should separate us from loving one another not even when I read Jack Christ and treat him and despise him and reject Him Not even when I curse him. Does that separate my love for him or his love for me rather and the same should reach be true in our lives when it comes to our brothers and sisters in Christ that nothing should separate us from loving them nine not suggesting that we need to remain in abusive situations or or compromise situations there may be times when we need to physically remove ourselves from a situation but that does not stop the current of love that should run from God through me to that individual and then. Nothing should separate us from loving one another that's what Paul means when he says charity a God they never ends that's what we need to think about this what does this look like in my life that a God they never and when we get to heaven. We all know that the only thing we're going to take there from this world is our character. That character that's been described very plainly here in First Corinthians chapter thirteen versus four through seven that's the character that's going to translate to the kingdom of heaven none of the spiritual gifts Paul tells us are going to go to the kingdom of heaven the only thing that will go there is that character. Jesus that's been reproduced in my life and you see this is what's going to make heaven such a wonderful place because Heaven is going to be filled with people every single person in the kingdom of heaven is going to have the love of Jesus reproduced in their hearts they will have selfless love towards one another that's what's going to make heaven such a mind blowing really wonderful place the fact that we will all be looking out for each other's well being and stead of looking out for my own well being in fact maybe you you've heard this parable once before but it was once told that a man asked God let me see what Heaven and Hell look like and so God in the parable shows the man hell and he takes him into this room and in this room there's a big round table in the middle of the table there's a nice beautiful pot of stew and that beautiful part of stews smell so wonderful and everybody sitting around the table are fin and they see it it and and now nutrition and are dying and he wonders himself what's going on and he looks and he sees in everybody's hands are long spoons the spoons are so long that they can't get the ends of them in their mouth if you heard this before. And this is what hell looked like because they're all trying to feed each other feed themselves with these long spoons and then he says OK I want to see what heaven looks like and so God takes him over to where heaven is and it's the same thing it's a small room with a big table in a pot of stew in the middle and everybody there is nice and plump and well nourished but yet they all have these long spoons in their hands and what are they doing. That's heaven right it's selfless interest towards one another and let me tell you something friends if we don't have that here we're not going to have it there. It has to start right here we're not talking about you know people behind their backs and we're not we're not looking for faults in other people's lives or broadcast. In them to other people whatever that may be that is has to start here where we have that selfless disinterested love for one another because Paul tells us that a god day never ends it never fails but it continues throughout eternity today there is much that is called Love that begins very ardently I'm passionately. And in tragedy divorce courts today are filled to overflowing with people who have lists as long as their arms for reasons why they are filing for that divorce love that once was a raging inferno has turned cold like a beautiful flower that has withered in the cold so the love of others has begun to grow cold towards one another whether it be between a spouse husband and wife or relationships just in general this is not the type of love that Paul is talking about he says that love never ends Why does a copy never fail go back with me to first Corinthians thirteen look look at what it says in verse seven. Why does a god being never fail says this verse seven charity beareth all things believe us all things hope with all things and what. Why does it got a knot and why does it never fail because it bears believes hopes and in do. Through the most trying of circumstances it is something that is not of the human devising but it is made in heaven and given to us by God Now Paul continues in for verse eight he says Charity never fail and these are three bombshell words that are well worth us thinking about but then he goes on and he begins to make a contrast or comparison here he compares between the present mortal state and the future in mortal state he makes these. The statements here he says he goes on and he says. It's here that we go whether there be prophecies they shall what they shall feel now this is an again another unfortunate translation because as we understand it the prophecies of God never fail and then. When God says something it happens with one hundred percent accuracy it is one hundred percent correct prophecies of God's word never fail so it's an unfortunate translation the better translation would be that prophecy shall be done away or prophecy shall come to an end or prophecy shall pass away let me ask you question when we get to heaven are we going to prophesy yes or no when I can read prophecy because we're going to be in the presence of one who knows everything he knows all things so we don't need prophets we don't need a books of prophets we can just go to Jesus and He knows the end from the beginning he can tell us that it's a spiritual gift that Paul is telling us will pass away he's comparing between the present mortal and the future in mortal prophecy shall cease but love shall never cease he goes on and he says whether there be tongues they shall want again we have the gift of tongues that God has given to us what a beautiful spiritual gift it is we see an actual chapter two in various other places where God has given the manifestation of the gift of tongues to to advance the cause of God but I'm looking forward to the day when we don't have to have translators at church on set. Was a beautiful church service last week wasn't it wonderful to have our church family from the Spanish people over there and be able to fellowship together we work through it and it was a beautiful service but I look forward to the time when the curse of the confounding of the languages of man is raised is lifted up and all will be able to speak to one another in one language and in perfect harmony again Paul is making the contrast here yes the gift of tongues is important but it is eventually going to cease when it is fulfilled its purpose whether there be knowledge was Paul say. It shall vanishes. Way Now listen it's not knowledge that he's talking about in the general sense of the term it doesn't mean that when we get to heaven we're all going to become dummies all of a sudden OK what Paul is talking about here is he's talking about the spiritual gift of knowledge in. First Corinthians twelve eight it talks about how God gives men the gift of knowledge the gift of being able to explain things on a road you know about you but there are certain individuals in my life who I am thankful that God has brought them into my life to help me understand the Word of God They have been able to study it and understand it and then they can pass along that knowledge through their words to me and other people on thankful for these kind of people in my life but the Bible tells us that when we get to heaven we will be in the presence of one who is all know he knows everything and he has the answers to everything and so there won't be the need of other human beings explaining the Word of God to us because we'll be with God who can explain it to us and sell. It should make you excited. Whether there may knowledge it shall cease vanish away it's talking about the partial knowledge that we have Thomas Edison once said the electrical Wizards he said this No one knows even one hundredth part of one percent of anything. And you know as I thought about this this is no more true than it is when it comes to spiritual context. When it comes to spiritual things we don't know very much we have a partial knowledge of God's Word we have a partial understanding but I want to tell you something this morning the partial understanding that we have of God's word is adequate enough to get us to the kingdom of God. Everything we have everything we know everything we understand from the Word of God is enough to get us there but brothers and sisters it's only a partial knowledge it's only a partial. Any There is much more wealth of knowledge to be mined out of God's word and when we get to heaven I believe God is going to help us in that process knows what Paul goes on the same verse nine he says this he says for we know in what we know in part and we prophesied in part see what we know according to God's word and even when it comes to prophecy is only part of the equation. But when we get to heaven the part is going to be done away with because we will be in the presence of the whole knows what he said the next verse verse ten he says but when that which is perfect shall come or is come then that which is in part shall be what. Shall be what shall be done away with so he says when that which is perfect is come who is the only one that is perfect in everything. He's talking about the coming of Jesus when Jesus comes when he who is perfect is come that which is in part shall be done away I praise the Lord for that I don't know about you but that makes me excited that that which is in part is going to be done away with because I will be in the presence of the one who is whole the knowledge that we have right now. Is equivalent to a candle in. You know in you know being used in the in the night time right at nighttime you have a candle it sheds the light and it's you know it's very helpful but if I take that same candle and take it outside right now how helpful is it. Must will blow it out and wait till the sun sets right because not very healthy. But in the nighttime when it's dark out when there is only a partial light that candle is very healthful you see the candle that we have right now the knowledge that we have right now is like a candle but when Jesus Comes the Sun of Righteousness in the clouds of heaven. That candle is not going to do much in the presence of the Sun of Righteousness in the presence of the one who is all knowing who knows everything and can explain everything and so in that sense it will pass away because we won't need it any more and then. That which is perfect is come. That which is in part shall be done away with Main this statement. Very intelligent man he said I do not know what I may appear to the world but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea shore and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than the ordinary wells the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me was this guy brilliant. Listen I'm reading a book right now about that time period and he's in it quite a bit ah I don't have the understanding to really understand the mathematical equation of gravity and how he even came to that conclusion I don't have the know how to build a telescope you know this guy was very intelligent but he said listen when I look at myself it's like I'm just finding little pebbles and little sea shells on the ground Well there's a great ocean of truth and friends that's what it's like right now our study of God's word is like finding smoother shells and prettier pebbles. But as small as pretty as those pebbles are and as pretty as those shells are they keep drawing us to Jesus but there's a great ocean of truth that needs to be understand and that will not come until we are in the presence of one who is perfect I suppose talking about here we know in part and we prophesied in part when that which is perfect is come part will be done away Proverbs Chapter eight of Proverbs Chapter four rather verse eighteen. Says the pass of the just is as. Shining light that shyness more and more until when. Was that perfect day. So what should our path be doing. It should be getting. Brighter and brighter and brighter the closer we get to Jesus the more we abide with him the more we spend time with him the more we trust Him the more we give our will to him the brighter and brighter our past will grow until we get to that perfect day and we are in the presence of that perfect. I praise the Lord for this chapter because it's really helped me understand. How I can be more like Jesus. But I want to close with thoughts that was new to me this past week. Maybe you're smart enough to have caught it before I did. But it's in the tenth verse which we've already read of First Corinthians thirteen. Where Paul says but when that which is perfect is come. That which is in. That which is in part shall be. If we spend the majority of our time. Investing in that which is in the part. When Jesus comes in the clouds of heaven. We will be found wanting. What is the part spiritual gifts that are important we need them in fact Paul tells us we should cut them. But they are secondary to a god. He makes that very clear if we spend the majority of our time on that which is in part the work that we render to the Lord the spiritual gifts that I have or that our church has or whatever may be the work that I do for the Lord the conversions. The Pars if we spend most of our time in that which is in the heart when Jesus comes we will be found wanting because the part is going to be done away but love will last forever. There's a catch that. This may be carefully this morning if we can't love our spouse. If we cannot love our fellow brothers and sisters in the church our family members our coworkers the same way that Jesus did. When Jesus comes in the clouds of heaven whatever knowledge you have in your head however well you kept the Sabbath or however well you had ate your diet is going to mean absolutely. Nothing. Now I want to be clear we need to have knowledge about God's Word I want to be clear we need to keep the Sabbath holy and I want to be clear we need to take care of our diet but that's the part. If we emphasize that to the minimize minimization of the other we will be found wanting when Jesus comes in the clouds of heaven Now let me take this home tonight this morning and make it very clear Christ object lessons page one hundred fifty eight says this we may be active and we may do much work that's the part we have to we need to do this I'm not suggesting that we need to sit around to do nothing but what I'm suggesting is is if this is what we do and this is it. Without asking God to do the work of perfecting our character so that we can have the love of Christ inside of us this is what she says we may be active we may do much work but without love such love as dwelt in the heart of Christ we can never be numbered with the family of heaven if all you do is work if all you do is it Vance the Cause of God and exercise your spiritual gift if that's all you do when Jesus. Comes he will say Depart from me you worker of iniquity. Because the kingdom of heaven is not going to be filled with people who have spiritual gifts because the spiritual gifts are going to be. Going to be passed away when Jesus comes that's the part the kingdom of heaven is going to be filled with people who have that which lasts forever and that is a copy. Now please don't misunderstand me I'm not saying that we should just sit around and do nothing I'm not suggesting that we should not you know study God's word and witness and share our faith you know that's what we need to be doing that's what our purpose is here on this earth. But before we do that. I'm going to suggest to you this morning. That that work would be much more effective. If we've done first Corinthians thirteen first. You see we've kind of gotten our priorities mixed up in the administrators. We think if we if we do evangelism we're doing what we need to do and we'll be in the kingdom of heaven I used to think like that. We think if we do Bible studies that's all that's necessary we think if we understand the twenty eight fundamental beliefs that's good I know the truth. Of Brothers Sisters is going to be a lot of people that know the truth that are in that room with the spoons trying to feed themselves and are dying because they can't. We really need to get serious about this and put the emphasis right where it needs to be lord you need to change my heart you need to make me like Jesus because I cannot do this on my own father I want to be numbered with those in the kingdom of heaven I want to be numbered with the Saints I want my work for you to be effective and effectual I want my work for you to bring forth much fruit and father I can bring forth much fruit if I'm not connect. It to the vine every single day. I'm just taping that fruit on the vine. Just taping it on there. So this morning I feel to use my church family. You would have it out with the Lord as much as you can. Father please make me into this loving lovable person that's the most powerful argument in favor of. Maybe maybe over the past couple of months me preaching these sermons you've said all another sermon on love. Just another sermon on love I can hear this anywhere. I. Want you to meet. Those sisters this is the meat. I hate the hate the surprise on this. But this is the meat. Juice isn't going to come and ask you Hey do you understand the doctrine of the of the twenty three hundred days when it comes in the clouds of heaven. Is Like I say Do you understand what happens when somebody dies we need to know that. What he's going to ask is do you have my character. He's going to search you and try you and see if there be any wicked way in you because God is not going to risk sin rising up the second time it's too big of a risk he's not going to do it he will not let selfish people in the kingdom of heaven and first Corinthians thirteen is all about selflessness it's all about. So my prayer for you as is the same as it's been for myself listen I'm not any better than you don't think that I'm preaching this in a way that that I'm superior in in some way than you we're all on this journey together we're all on the journey of allowing God to change our hearts to be like Jesus. And so I pray this prayer with the Lord please help me. To have the love of Jesus in my heart I want to be numbered with the family of something USA the. Father please help me can't do it on my. Let's pray Father in heaven. Lord we thank you for your great patience with us. We thank you father that you tenderly woo us and draw us to you that you give us opportunities to be flecked one day out of seven. The whole day just to spend reflecting on where I'm at with you. And Dear Jesus I pray that every single one of us. Would allow you to perform that perfect work in our lives to do that heart surgery and I pray that it would start right here on this pulpit. That each one of us Lord it would just disseminate out between from here to to all of us in our church and into our communities with our family and beyond there Lord please help us to get things in the right order and the right priority that our work may bring forth a thousand to full hearts when Jesus Christ. We thank you Father for your patience continue this work be an S.P.S. to Jesus even as this media was brought to you by Audioboo a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about. It if you would like to listen to your sermon.

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