Here are the notes from the New Testament Challenge Message at Cityview this weekend on Radical Love.
The Big Idea: Radical love flows from a gracious and just God.
“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
radical: 1) arising from or going to a root source
2) departing markedly from the norm or the culture
3) favouring or effecting fundamental or revolutionary changes
4) slang: wonderful
1. Jesus describes radical love as a product of knowing Him.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciple, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.” John 15:12-13
2. The Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5-7 is not another “law” from which we try to gain acceptance from God if we perfect it. Rather the Sermon on the Mount is descriptive of the lifestyle that flows from a person being transformed (blessed) by Jesus Christ. As Jesus concludes the message the nature of this life becomes more clear:
Ask the Father for good gifts… Matthew 7:7-12
Enter the narrow gate for life… Matthew 7:13-14
Good tree bears good fruit/entry into
the Kingdom of heaven via knowing Jesus Matthew 7:15-23
Wise builder puts Jesus words into practice Matthew 7:43-48
3. The Sermon on the Mount does give us insight on what hinders us from loving people radically.
A. Contempt for people, the bearers of God’s image. Matt 5:21-26
B. Lust, a desire to use people for selfish ends. Matt 5:27-30
C. Building throwaway relationships. Matt 5:31-32
D. Making throwaway promises, words. Matt 5:33-37
E. Vengeful justice-seeking. Matthew 5:38-42
F. Smallness, limiting love to those who love us. Matt 5 43-48
G. Desiring the applause of people over the applause of God. 6:1-18
H. Valuing financial security over the works of God. 6:19-24
I. Worrying over the stuff of earth over the kingdom of God. 6:25-
J. Using other people’s failure as reason to elevate ourselves. 7:1-6
4. Jesus creates a window for us to see examples of Radical love:
A. Seeks out a person who we have heart when we realize it.
B. Interacts with people with out using them for selfish pleasures.
C. Values people and seeks to maintain covenants even when tough.
D. Speaks clearly and sincerely about one’s intentions.
E. Gives people more good than they deserve.
F. Pursues the highest good possible even for enemies.
G. Doesn’t mind doing good without earthly recognition.
H. Treasures what is close to the heart of God and invests in that.
I. Trusts God with the details of life in order to realize God’s
Kingdom and righteousness.
J. Recognizes one’s own desperate need from God’s mercy and
grace and humbly participates in His healing and restorative work
in another person’s life.
5. Jesus is The Source for Radical Love:
10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
13 We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 17 In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. 1 John 4:10-17