Thursday, May 29, 2014

Love One Another Deeply

I started taking notes during the sermon one Sunday when I was in high school after we had gotten back from a trip late the night before. I did it to stay awake. I found that it really helped me to focus, so I kept taking notes for years...until I had babies and suddenly found myself with a crazy amount of stuff (and stress) that we had to take with us everywhere, and the notebook no longer made it to church. I need to start taking notes again; I have the tendency to zone in and out a lot during the sermon. Never the speaker's fault; I usually just have so much on my mind that it's hard to turn it off and pay attention.

I recently started reading 1 Peter (on the few occasions each week that I actually read my Bible), and for pretty much the first time ever, I went back to review sermon notes on the passages. Our first pastor at the Oaks, Kevin Jamison, went through the book starting in the fall of 2008. I have greatly appreciated the wisdom of our pastors over the last several years, and I've loved going back through this series. His sermon on 1 Peter 1:22-2:3 was one of the first (if not the first) I'd ever heard on gospel-centered community, and reading the notes was a great reminder for me to be more intentional in relationships, so I just thought I'd share - in case anyone else could benefit as well:

*The gospel has social implications as well as eternal implications.

1 Peter 1:22-2:3
Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for
"All flesh is like grass
and all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers, and the flower falls,
but the word of the Lord remains forever."
And this word is the good news that was preached to you.
So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation - if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.

I. Sin keeps us from community.
       -Sin has corrupted every social relationship we've had.
       -Our sins can play off of each other.
       -We are all self-centered, making it difficult to love others above ourselves.

II. The Gospel purifies us for community.
       -One of the greatest horizontal implications of the gospel is for us to love one another.
       -We are now all different as a result of God's mercy and grace - we should recognize a sense of community from mutual understanding of where we were before and who we are now in Christ.
       -We must remove malice, deceit, hypocrisy (masking evil with false righteousness), envy, slander.
       -These are community-destroying sins.

III. Our faith must be nourished for and by community.
       -We should be cross-centered: claiming worth and value in the cross and cherishing it.
       -We should be grace-driven: recognizing God's unmerited favor and seeking to direct others to Christ.
       -We should be intentionally intrusive: out of love, when we see sin destroying relationships.
       -We should be redemptive: we want to see God redeem people and relationships, to see everyone made perfect in Christ.