Tamworth Community Presbyterian Church Experiencing Christ In Community


This verse from the Bible that we’re going to look at today contains in it what many would consider “core Christianity”. They feel that this is what Christianity is all about – “love your neighbour”. Away with all those “don’ts” – “don’t do this and don’t do that”. Let there just be this rule of love for others.
That’s the sort of talk you will hear from many, especially from people from outside the church – people who might call themselves Christians because they believe in this principle, but who show no real interest in and commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Well, this is “core Christianity”. “Love your neighbour as yourself” are words found on the lips of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. But it’s not “core Christianity” in the sense that many think it is.

In the words of our text today, the Lord Jesus lays before you a duty which is true for every Christian in every age. “Love one another.” It isn’t an optional extra to the Christian life, but a command to be obeyed. Every follower of Jesus has an obligation to love every other follower of Jesus. Which means that in the church, we are bound together by ties of love.
In the last two weeks, I have preached on loving God whole-heartedly, and loving your neighbour as yourself. Jesus speaks of these as the first and second commandments – commandments that demand your heartfelt and life-long commitment.
Today, I want to follow up by focusing on this great commandment that the Lord Jesus has laid on all who are true Christians.

Part 3: It’s what drives you.

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God,
so that you may know that you have eternal life. 1 John 5:13.

So how do I know if I have eternal life?
Week 1 we saw test number 1 is “what do you believe?”
Test number 2 is shown in what we do.

Here’s test number three and we find it in 1 John 4:13. We know that we live in Him and he in us because he has given us of his Spirit.

Part 2: It’s what you do.

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God,
so that you may know that you have eternal life. 1 John 5:13.

The ultimate question of life, the universe and everything. How do I know I’m going to heaven?
One day Jesus will come and separate everyone into two groups like sheep and goats. He will say to one group “Come into the Kingdom prepared before the world” and to the other group, “Go into the eternal fire prepared for the devil” (Mt.25:31) How do I know that I’m in the God group? It must be the most important question of all time.

Last week we said if you want to know for sure, look at what you believe.
Do you truly believe that Jesus is the Son of God?

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God,
so that you may know that you have eternal life. 1 John 5:13.

If I was asked when I became a Christian, my mind would fly back to a little boy aged about four. I’d grown up in a Christian home. I knew about Jesus and God and heaven and hell. And I desperately wanted to be sure I was going to heaven. So one day, I was in the bedroom with my big sister Valerie and I asked her “Valerie how do you know if you are going to heaven?”. She said “You just ask Jesus into your heart.” So I bobbed down next to her bed and said “Dear Lord Jesus please come into my heart. Amen.” And I got up and said, “Do you think he’s in?” And she said “Sure he is.”

As we turn to God’s word today we are faced with a very interesting passage that really is a source of great challenge for every Christian. In follows on from one of the most encouraging passages where we are reintroduced to many of the great saints of the Old Testament. Many of them we know so much about but there are others who we ask what did they do or where are they in the Old Testament.

Luke 11 verse 37: “When Jesus had finished speaking, a Pharisee invited him to eat with him; so he went in and reclined at the table.” The Lord Jesus was the guest of honour at a meal given by a man who was a Pharisee. It seems that it was a very public occasion with others gathered to listen to what He had to say.
Yet, verse 38, before the meal Jesus didn’t wash His hands - and deliberately so. According to their traditions this made Him ritually unclean before God. And they were surprised at this.
Yet, Jesus then uses their surprise to expose them. He declares six woes against those religious leaders. At the heart of each of these woes was their religious hypocrisy and pride. It showed that they never truly knew God… And even worse, Jesus says that such is their hypocrisy that they were actually like unmarked graves full of dead bones that people unwittingly walked over and became unclean.

Tamworth Community Presbyterian Church
EMAIL: minister@TCPC.org.au
PH: 0401006418