June 26, 2016 – Love as Jesus Loves

Preached by Rod Benner (00:42)

Jesus wants to love and transform people.  People are not transformed by attending a church or believing a certain fact about God.  Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, born of the Spirit, you cannot enter the Kingdom of God.”  Humans are born by other humans, but spiritual life is born by the Spirit of God.

The power of the Spirit meets an imperfect and broken person exactly where he or she is at.  The Spirit does not wait for a person the be transformed to better living before he meets them.  Rather, he meets a person in their sinfulness and starts a life long process of transformation.

The Christian life is all about relationship.  As long as you live, you will continue the transformation from sin to godly living.  The Spirit transforms certain sinful behaviors soon after a person is born again and other times that sin is released years later.  The spiritual effect of sin is taken care of and settled the moment the Spirt gives rebirth to a person, but the transformation from sinful to truly good living is a life long process.

As Christians, we must see others as Jesus sees us.  Sin abounds and problems exist and we must seek out relationship with others in prayer and with much wisdom.  Do we ignore our own sin?  No!  Do we celebrate and smile at the sin of others? No! Does that then mean you hate yourself and beat yourself up when you sin?  No!  Do you seek a way to reveal another person to their own sin?  No!  Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit will reveal my sin to me and their sin to them.  My job is to love unconditionally, accept without reservation, and be ready to offer forgiveness 24-7.

By doing this, we will begin to see as Jesus saw, feel as Jesus felt, and do as Jesus did.  As this begins, we will find ourselves living and acting like Jesus did.  He did not condone sin, but he did not make a point of specifically condemning everyone’s sin.  Rather, he was filled with compassion and he told the truth in living relationship with others.  When sin was identified and spoken about, he always did it in such a way to help a person better feel the love and better know the wisdom of God.  Even in the dramatic confrontations with the religious leaders, Jesus did not bluntly call out their own hypocrisy just to prove them wrong.  He was provided a relationship with these leaders and he boldly cut through the garbage to show them the love of God.  He offered loving insight to point a sinner to the awesome love and fullness God offers.

Scripture References: John 3:1-15

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