Saturday, October 2, 2010

Because Of Love

Ephesians 4:1-5:5

            There was a famous song in the 80’s that talked about the message of love. Actually, he asked “What is love?” Love is so important to the Christian walk. You hear pastors and church leaders talk about it all the time, at least I hope you do.  Honestly, love is probably one (if not the one) of the most important central concepts in Christianity. In today’s world, there are so many doctrines. There is the Health and Wealth that talks about how God will bless you. There is the fire and brimstone that talks about judgment and how you are going to hell. There are doctrines about saints, the trinity, demons, gods, legalism, etc. If you can imagine any strange concept, there is probably a doctrine that follows that.
            In Ephesians 4, Paul discusses all these “ideologies”. “We must stop acting like children. We must not let deceitful people trick us by their false teachings, which are like winds that toss us around from place to place.” (Eph 4:14). Paul here states that there are false teachings and that we need to be wise and mature, but how do we do this? There are so MANY teachings that exist in our society. How do we weed out the garbage? Paul even gave an answer to this, and the solution is with love. “Love should always make us tell the truth. Then we will grow in every way and be more like Christ, the head of the body. Christ holds it together and makes all of its parts work perfectly, as it grows and becomes strong BECAUSE OF LOVE.” (vs. 15, 16) Love is the filter that we should put all these doctrines into. If something does not have love, it is definitely a false teaching. If it hates anyone like gays, murderers, Mormons, Muslims, etc, it is definitely not from God. This is an amazing way to really see what is from God.
There is also something that Paul says that is really awesome. In Eph 4:25-5:5 he talks about how we should be. The “Rules for the new life”, or in other words, “How to be a Christian”; this whole section is all about love. It goes into loving others, helping the needy, saying the right things to others, and even loving yourself. The last part is what really gets me. A lot of us beat ourselves up when we screw up; however, Paul does not believe that. Paul talks about doing as God does. That incorporates so much. Would Jesus be a racist? Would he hate gay people? Would he beat himself up? I don’t think so. We need to love all of these people. If we don’t then we are not worshiping God we are worshiping idols. We are going against God. This battle that is raging will be a losing one. The solution is that we need to mimic Jesus. It is an impossible task but Paul says something that brings hope. In vs. 30 he says “Don’t make God’s Spirit sad. The Spirit makes you sure that someday you will be free from your sins.” So don’t give up hope; the work in you will one day be completed. Have joy and continue to love.