231019 – Empowered to Love Unconditionally 被赋能去无条件地爱

John 13:34-35 (NKJV) A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

God loves us with Agape love, which is unconditional, and Jesus expects us to use the same kind of love towards everyone regardless of whether they love us or not. We are to love our neighbours and enemies, Christians and non-Christians alike, with this love through the new creation, and with His nature in us.

Unbelievers expect Christians to be selfless because they know of the teaching, and there is a higher expectation amongst Christians to love unconditionally, especially towards those who are deemed more spiritually mature. As such, there is also a higher tendency to be disappointed when love is not seen or experienced in church or in workplaces where there are Christians. Because we are still imperfect, all of us need to deal with the rebelliousness of the flesh and the tendency to slip into Phileo love.

Leviticus 19:17-19 (NKJV) ‘You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbour, and not bear sin because of him. You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbour as yourself: I am the Lord.

Why did Jesus say it is a new commandment? Under the Old Covenant, the Israelites were commanded to love their neighbour as themselves. However, the root of sin is self-centredness and to the desire to live life apart from God. Therefore, asking people to love their neighbour as themselves is contrary to what their flesh and sin nature want. The first reaction from the sin nature after being hurt, offended, or sinned against is to take vengeance and bear grudges. It is not part of the natural man to want to walk in love and forgiveness because the natural reaction is to harden our hearts to protect us from being hurt again.

Therefore, God prophesied in the Book of Ezekiel that He would do something new so that we can do what He requires of us.

Ezekiel 36:26-27 (NKJV) I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgements and do them.

This prophecy is referring to the born-again experience where we become a new creation in the heart or spirit being. This kind of love can only be lived through the empowerment and enablement of the Holy Spirit in our hearts because we will tend to operate in Phileo love, and not Agape love if given a choice, which is why Jesus gave us this commandment.

Sermon Series: How to love? (Part 1)


被赋能去无条件地爱

约翰福音 13:34-35 我赐给你们一条新命令,乃是叫你们彼此相爱。我怎样爱你们,你们也要怎样相爱。你们若有彼此相爱的心、众人因此就认出你们是我的门徒了。

上帝以圣爱爱我们,这爱是无条件的,耶稣希望我们也给与每个人同样无条件的爱,无论他们是否爱我们。无论是邻舍还是仇敌,无论是基督徒还是非信徒,我们都要借着这新造之人,靠着我们里面祂的本性,无差别地爱他们。

非信徒期望基督徒无私,因为他们了解基督徒教义;基督徒对无条件的爱也有更高的期望,尤其是对那些被认为灵命更加成熟的基督徒。因此,当在教会或有基督徒的工作场所没有看到或感受到爱时,人们也会更容易失望。因为我们仍然不完美,所以我们所有人都需要面对肉体的叛逆和陷入兄弟朋友间的小爱的倾向。

利未记 19:17-19 ‘不可心里恨你的弟兄,总要指摘你的邻舍,免得因他担罪。不可报仇,也不可埋怨你本国的子民,却要爱人如己。我是耶和华

为什么耶稣说这是一条新诫命?根据旧约,以色列人被命令要爱人如己。然而,罪的根源在于以自我为中心,以及渴望远离上帝的生活。因此,要求人爱人如己,是与人的肉体和罪性的意愿相违背的。在受到伤害、冒犯或得罪之后,罪性的第一反应就是要报仇雪恨并耿耿于怀。想要行走在爱和宽恕中不是人天性使然的一部分,因为自然的反应是让我们的心刚硬起来以保护我们免于再次受伤。

因此,上帝在以西结书中预言祂会做一些新的事情,以便我们可以做祂要求我们做的事情。

以西结书 36:26-27 我也要赐给你们一个新心,将新灵放在你们里面。又从你们的肉体中除掉石心,赐给你们肉心。我必将我的灵,放在你们里面,使你们顺从我的律例,谨守遵行我的典章。

这个预言指的是重生的经历,我们的心或灵成为一个新的造物。这种爱只能通过圣灵在我们心中的授权和赋能来实现,因为如果可以选择,我们会倾向于在朋友兄弟的范围内给与爱,而不是大爱,这就是耶稣给我们这条诫命的原因。

讲章系列:如何去爱? (第一部分)

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