Sermon Series: Love – pt 1

I want to talk about LOVE by going through the scripture to the old and the new covenant.

The text for the is series is Matthew 22:36-40. To get a better understanding, however, I will refer to vv. 23-35. Here you will see that the words of Jesus were very powerful and profound. As a result, often someone or some group would try to trap Him in his own words, but they couldn’t because he always had an answer.

In these verses the Sadducees tried to trip Jesus up with a question about marriage after the resurrection (even though they did not believe in it). As always, Jesus gave a most powerful and profound answer. When you read those verses you will see that among other things, He said there is no marriage after the resurrection. Verse 33 states that the people who heard him “… were astonished at his doctrine.” Now look at the text.

Matthew 22:34-40

34 But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the

Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together.

35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question , tempting him,

and saying,

36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

37Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with

all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

38 This is the first and great commandment.

39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as


40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the


We are going to talk about LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! Everything hangs on LOVE. What? EVERYTHING! Everything hangs on love. This is Jesus’ response to the question in v. 36: “Which is the great commandment in the law?” What He said in vv. 37-40 is that the first commandment is to love God with all that we are, and the second is to love your neighbor as you love yourself.

Have you ever beaten up on yourself? No, not on purpose. Then the love of God won’t allow you to “beat up on” your neighbor.

Notice the TWO GREAT COMMANDMENTS: LOVE GOD; LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR! “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (v. 40)

I’m going to point you to the law and the prophets. Matthew 7:12 “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets”. That’s love talking. I’m telling you that everything in these 66 books of the Bible hangs on love. I want to emphasize that everything that God ever said or did hangs on love, and it is found in the Holy Bible.

For example, Romans 13:10 records that “Love worketh no ill to his neighbor.” Unfortunately, however, one of the greatest problems and short comings in the body of Christ today is that too many believers are not walking in love. It’s not impossible because the Bible says

2 Peter 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us

all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the

knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

All things include love and the ability to love “through the knowledge of him”. The love of God who is Love Himself, has prepared a life of love for believers. This love will never end. You can never out live it. If you are thinking of Hebrews 9:27 that “…it is appointed unto men once to die… .” That is talking about this flesh dying. Jesus got rid of His fleshly body when He took our punishment by going to the cross and to hell in our place. After God declared us righteous, Jesus arose with His glorified body. (So will we, one day, at the resurrection.) The flesh body dies, but the spirit lives forever. What Jesus did for us is REAL LOVE.

Yes, we’re talking about love. “God is love.” Now looking back in the Old Testament, we can see that God gave the law to Moses. But no one could operate in real love because they did not have the life of God on the inside. They couldn’t be born again at that time, because Jesus had not come in the flesh, died and arose again. But they were looking for Him by faith (Heb. 11:13, 26, 27, 39, 40). People had to live by the law until love came into the earth.

But even before God gave the law to Moses, he had made a covenant with Abraham. He told Abraham that his descendants would be God’s chosen people whom he would love. After many years of childlessness his wife Sarah had a son; they named him Isaac. One day after he had grown up, God tested Abraham’s faith by asking him to offer his son as a sacrifice. Abraham didn’t hesitate in preparing the sacrifice. He acted because of his faith in a covenant keeping God.

Hebrews 11:17-19

17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he

that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son ,

18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:

19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the

dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.

(Also see Genesis 21:12.) Because of the covenant, throughout all of the future generations of Abraham, God’s love remains upon Israel. God said they would go into a strange land and be enslaved for four hundred years, but He would bring them out into the promised land.

Did He bring them out? Yes, did He ever bring them out! He delivered them out of the hand of their enemies. After their exodus from Egypt we learn from the Old Testament, that as long as they kept God’s statues and commandments He preserved them, fought their battles and blessed them throughout their generations. For example we read in the book of Joshua how God used hornets to drive out the enemy; he reduced the army of Gideon from 32,000 to 300 and they won the battle (Judges 7).

Throughout their history God gave them victory by many different means. (Hebrews 11 gives a very brief account.) It was all because of His covenant with Abraham and His love for His chosen people. The Bible gives an abundance of evidence that He is a covenant keeping God. Look at John 1:17 KJV For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

That’s love. God is love and He is truth. Christians have to activate that love and truth in their life. You have to take the word of God and grow up. Then regardless to what anyone does or says negatively, you have to use that love to respond. Remember that God will never stop being LOVE.

Just as the Bible says, today we hear of wars and rumors of wars (Mark 13:7). Throughout history we read of all manner of evil and injustice. Seemingly, we are experiencing it to a greater degree today than ever before. There are all kinds of violence, turmoil, and evil, but none of that has changed God. It hasn’t changed LOVE. He still loves, forgives, heals and blesses. He still gives increase to the faithful. He protects and He talks to us (Psalm 91).

If a family members had treated some of us like some have responded to God’s love, we would have kicked them out a long time ago. But regardless to our sins, God still loves us and gives us a chance to come to him. When we repent, He hears us and forgives us. On the LOVE side of God, he is all inclusive. There is nothing missing; there is no deficient or unfulfilled thing. He is complete in Himself. (Know this, too, just as much as He is LOVE, He is a God of justice.) Love operates all of who He is. It operates His very nature.

Back to the Old Testament covenant, when Jacob went to Egypt, there were 70 or 75 Israelites (Genesis 46:27; Acts 7;14). When they left some 400 years later, it is estimated that there were two million or more. This was part of God’s covenant keeping. He talked to Abraham in the past tense before he ever had a son (Genesis 17:5). God said he had already MADE him father of many nations.

Listen, this is a key point that will help when you are witnessing our people. If, for example, you’re ministering to someone to be filled with the Holy Spirit, never pray asking God to give the Holy Ghost. That will hinder the person from receiving. Instead, pray and lay hands on the person to receive the Holy Ghost (because the Holy Ghost has already been given).

You can be assured that if God makes a promise to you, like he did to Abraham, he won’t back down. “For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him amen.” (So be it!) 2 Corinthians 1:20 KJV. Often the enemy comes to bring thoughts of doubt and unbelief and it’s possible that you may fail to receive the promise, but God keeps His word.

As I mentioned earlier, He gave the law to Moses who passed it on to the children of Israel–His covenant people. The Bible records how He kept His covenant with them both when they were in or out of captivity. The Bible states in 1 Corinthians 1:23-25

23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a

stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;

24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ

the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

25 Because the foolishness of Godis wiser than men; and the

weakness of God is stronger than men.

God’s covenant was firm. Genesis 17:9 And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations.

This prophetic word was fulfilled in that the SEED begotten of the Holy Ghost. He was Jesus Christ the sinless, spotless Son of God. He came from Heaven, laid aside his heavenly deity, and became a man. It took 42 generations and then came the love of God in the form of His only begotten Son. He took our sins, providing a way for us to be delivered from bondage, darkness, failure, and destruction. He desired to give us a life that can be lived according to God’s original plan for man.

One gift He has given us is being able to be filled with the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues. When you pray in tongues you are speaking to God, not to men. Many times you can pray out God’s plans for your life or for someone else as the Spirit directs. It’s part of accessing God’s love.

He said in Jeremiah 29:11 AMP 11 For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.

But if we live life thinking our own thoughts, making and carrying out our on plans, we get into trouble. All the time you are off the path of righteousness, God is saying, “No, no, no, that’s not the pan I have for you.” The good, glorious part of it is that no matter how far away from you get, God’s grace is available to you through Jesus Christ, and that grace makes the difference. Even if you have been bruised, battered, abused, and or misused the grace of God–God’s love is sufficient to deliver those who turn to Him.

That was His prophetic word all of the time. He’s been trying to get it to you. You don’t have to try to make it in life on your own. The prophetic word is Jesus the Christ is come in the flesh. Now through him, God has raised a new race that He wants to have the love of God shed abroad in their heart and he could call them the sons of God. When we receive Jesus as Lord and Savior, we become a new creation on the inside–in the spirit. (2 Corinthians 5:17) Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

After you are born again, “… the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” Rom. 5:5 KJV We are no longer a sinner. We were sinners, but by grace we ‘re saved.

Romans 5:8-9

8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were

yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, being now

justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

In the midst of the perilous times that Paul and others talked about the fact that through Jesus Christ we have victory. He made it possible to have access to God by His death on the cross. (At one time only the Jews had that advantage {Ephesians chapter two}.)

It was and is because of God’s great LOVE,LOVE, LOVE for us. He has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness. Then told us all things are possible to him that believes. Faith to believe comes by hearing the word (Romans 10:17) and then becoming a doer (James 1:22; Proverbs 4:20-22) of the word that you hear. In summary, it al works by love. Galatians 5:6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.

As we have stated, 1 John 4:8 “… God is love.” He has commanded us to walk the love walk.

37Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with

all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

38 This is the first and great commandment.

39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as


40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the


We are commanded to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! Do it and His blessings are yours.

Scriptures are from King James Version unless stated otherwise.

Scripture quotations taken from the Amplified® Bible (AMPC),

Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation

Used by permission.

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