Draw Near to God and to Others (Part 4 of 5)

Draw Near to God and to Others

Hebrews is helpful for anyone wanting to think about the importance of Church.

In Chapter 10 the author writes to Christians who were losing confidence – some were persecuted, some were leaving the faith to avoid suffering, and others were abandoning Christ because they wanted to fit in with the world around them. His advice? – draw near to God and draw near to others!

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Membership (Part 2 of 5)

Membership

In the world that we live in, ‘Membership’ is a fairly common idea. We have memberships to libraries, sports clubs, magazines or journals, road service organisations, schools, clubs, gyms, churches and much more.

We pay, to secure some benefit – be it the ability to borrow books, or to secure good seats to watch our favourite sport, or to receive the magazine that interests us, or guarantee help if the car breaks down, or help for the school to give our children a better education, or a vote in the club that we belong, or cheaper entry to be able to use exercise equipment. You get the drift!

In many ways, the benefits of ‘membership’ in our secular world mirrors ‘membership’ in a church, but not completely – there is a difference.

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Obedience (Part 5 of 6)

Love, Truth, ObedienceWhat is love that is pleasing first to God? It has something to do with obedience in the context of truth. We have considered ‘Love’ (Part 3 of this series) and ‘Truth’ (Part 4 of this series), so this time let’s focus on ‘Obedience’.

 

Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him.  And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them (1 John 3:21-24)

A love that is pleasing to God is a love that obediently follows his commands.

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Truth (Part 4 of 6)

Love, Truth, Obedience

What does it look like for Christians to love the other? It has something to do with that which is true and something to do with obedience. We considered ‘Love’ last time (Part 3 of this series), so this time let’s focus on ‘Truth’.

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.  If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?  Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence:  If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. (1 John 3:16-20)

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Love (Part 3 of 6)

Without love, truth will not be valued. Without truth, it is difficult to know how to obey. Without obedience, it is impossible to demonstrate true love.

To understand Love, it will help to understand how it is integrally connected to Truth and to Obedience, such that you cannot separate the three. These three ideas intersect with one another at almost every point. Love, Truth, Obedience

Taking our lead from the letter of 1 John, we have looked at Perfect Love (Part 2 of this series). We turn our attention now to the relationships between Love, Truth and Obedience.

Let’s consider ‘Love’.

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