2 Corinthians 4:8 We are hard pressed on every side but not crushed, perplexed but not in despair, persecuted but not abandoned, struck down but not destroyed.
Galatians 5:7 You wererunning a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth? (NIV)
1. CHRIST HAS SET US FREE TO HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.
A. Galatians 5:1So Christ has truly set us free. (NLT)
B. No man-made religion ever tells you when you have “made it”.With them, you never know if you have been “good enough” to get to heaven.You are left to cross your fingers and hope for the best.
C. Jesus taught us that God wants to be our Heavenly Father and to know us and us to know Him.
D. The word freedom has always been tied to responsibility.Freedom is never free! Freedom has never meant a license to do whatever we want.Freedom has always meant the power to do what we should.
E. Galatians 5:1So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stayfree, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the (Old Testament) law. (NLT)
F. Old Testament law is outside pressure, but grace is internal power.
2. EVERYTHING GOD WANTS US TO DO IS WRAPPED UP IN THE WORD “LOVE.”
A. Galatians 5:6, 13-14 What is important is faith expressing itself in love. 13 For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. 14 For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
B. Matthew 22:37-40‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’38 This is the first and greatest commandment.39And the second is like it:‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.
C. Matthew 7:12So in everything, do to others what you want them to do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
This verse is called the “Golden Rule.”
D. To love your neighbor as yourself really means to do to others as you want them to do to you.
E. Let’s look at some practical principles:
1. All of us want others to give us the benefit of the doubt.
Matthew 7:1-5Do not judge, or you too will be judged.2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.3Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?4How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?5You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
2. All of us want others to forgive us when we have hurt them.
Ephesians 4:32Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
3. All of us want others to come to our rescue when we are in need.
4. All of us want others to treat us with respect.
F. All this means is that no matter what you face, no matter what happens, no matter what challenges you encounter, swallow your pride and treat that person the way you want them to treat you.
G. Luke 6:27-36But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you. 32 If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even unbelievers love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you?Even unbelievers do that. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back.Then your reward will be great, and you will be the sons (and daughters) of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. (NIV)
3. TO LIVE BY LOVE WILL REQUIRE GOD’S POWER TO LOVE THROUGH YOU.
A. Galatians 5:5But we who live by the Spiriteagerly wait to receive by faith the righteousness God has promised to us.
B. It is the Holy Spirit who gives you the internal power for right living and that includes loving others you treat you so wrong.
C. Galatians 3:2Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard?(NIV)
D. Romans 8:9However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.
E. Romans 5:5…God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.(HCSB)
1. I don’t ever have to pray for more love.
2. When the Holy Spirit came to indwell my life, the Love of God was poured into my heart and the same is true in you.
F. Galatians 5:5…We who live bythe Spirit eagerly wait to receive by faith the righteousness God has promised to us.
G. Don’t live by a dead list of rules and regulations.Instead, live by the life and power of the Holy Spirit in relationship with a living God!