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  • Loving Others As Christ Has Loved Us
    The Bible teaches that apart from faith in Jesus, we are dead in our sins and by nature children of wrath. We are enemies of God because of our sinful rebellion against him. But God is full of mercy, and he changed everything for us who believe through Jesus. God showed his love for us in that while we were enemies, he gave his Son Jesus to die for us, to make us his dearly loved children. By faith in Jesus Christ, we have been adopted into God’s family so that we are now co-heirs with Christ. If your life is now in Christ Jesus, God dearly loves you. Just as God the Father loves the Son, so he loves you who believe.

    Do you believe this?

    By faith in Jesus Christ you are a child of God, part of his family. This is your new identity. If you believe this to be true, it changes how you live and how you love.

    John 13:34-35 – “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

    Notice we are commanded to love.

    And what is the standard by which we are to love? Christ!

    Loving others as Christ has loved us is to be our identifying mark as true believers.

    Think about it this:

    • Who is God? He is our Father if we have turned from our sin and have believed in Jesus.
    • What has he done? He has loved us by sending his Son, Jesus, to die for our sins.
    • Who are we? We are the dearly loved children of God – God’s family.
    • What do we do? We love one another as brothers and sisters in the same way God has loved us.

    God has loved you so that, through you, he might love others. He pours his perfect love into your heart through his Spirit in order that you might love others with the love he gives you. When you believe the gospel of Jesus Christ, you love others because God in Christ first loved you.

    Loving Our Community With The Love Of Christ

    Now think about the community of Newberry.

    • Do we really want to saturate our community with the love of Jesus Christ?
    • Do we, at our core, really love the people in our town?
    • Are we a church that loves its community?

    Sometimes its easier to say it than to live it.

    But if God removed our church from the face of the earth would our neighbors notice? More than that, would they care?

    Our church mission statement is to lead all people into a transformed relationship with Jesus Christ.

    How are we doing that? How is the love of Christ compelling us to have that transformational impact in our community?

    And think about how Jesus served us and loved us! He actively sought us out, he was patient with us. He died for our sins. The question is are we actively, intentionally, creatively loving those that the Lord has placed around us?

    First Baptist Church, we need to be praying and thinking about ways to let the love of Christ shine in our community and saturate it with the life-changing love of the Lord Jesus Christ. This requires getting to know our community – its wants, its needs, its hurts. It is very difficult, in fact, impossible, to be effective at loving our community if we don’t know it. In Mark 12:31, Jesus told us to, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If we are called to love our neighbors , then, without excuse, we must know our neighbors. We want our neighbors to have reason to be constantly asking, “Why are you doing this?” And the answer is because God has loved us. We do it to give those around us a better understanding of the character of God."

    It was great to have Lisa Wallace and Jen Boyer share with us this Sunday about two great opportunities we can love our community with the love of Christ but I don't want to stop there. I want Sunday morning to be a catalyst to inspire more ideas and initiatives to saturate Newberry with the love of Jesus Christ. Thus this Thursday at 6:30pm we are asking for as many as can to join us and help us brainstorm and pray about ways in which we can be making a difference that can't be ignored! I hope you will join us and what is more I am praying that God will be pleased to do much for his name and glory through it and because of it.

    See you this Thursday!

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