Messages From HopeCC

“Walking In Love”

Sermon Outline

Three defining qualities of people who truly love God:
I. God-honoring love is sacrificial.

Ephesians 5:1-2 NKJV Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

2 Corinthians 11:22-33 NKJV Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I. 23 Are they ministers of Christ?—I speak as a fool—I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. 24 From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness— 28 besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation? 30 If I must boast, I will boast in the things which concern my infirmity. 31 The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying. 32 In Damascus the governor, under Aretas the king, was guarding the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desiring to arrest me; 33 but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and escaped from his hands.

II. God-honoring love is observable.

Ephesians 5:3-7 NKJV But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them.

2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1 NKJV Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ″I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.″ 17 Therefore ″Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.″ 18  ″I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the Lord Almighty.″ 7:1 Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

III. God-honoring love is transformational.

Ephesians 5:8-17 NKJV For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. 14 Therefore He says: ″Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.″ 15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

Acts 20:24 NKJV But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

Application Questions:
  1. Some of us struggled to see it as ″loving″ when our parents restricted our activities/behaviors. Was this the case for you? Explain your answer.
  2. Is it hard for you to see God's list of restrictions as loving? If no, why not? If yes, which restrictions have been the hardest for you to understand and/or quit/overcome?
  3. In what setting (circle of life) is it hardest for you to live out your Christian life and stay true to your convictions? Why then and there? How might being more consistent/bold change things?
  4. When has the discernment God gives His ″children of light″ been most evident in your personal life?
  5. How can knowing and pursuing God's will keep us from wasting valuable time?
  6. What activity do you need to STOP doing and which one do you need to START doing so that you can become more productive?
  7. In our text, Paul said we are to ″have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness″. What advice would you give a new Christian regarding this admonition?