The Hope of the World
February 20, 2019
At NewPointe you have heard me say repeatedly over the years that the local church, living and teaching the truth of Jesus Christ, is the hope of the world. You should know that also over the years my conviction has only grown stronger. As I hear the sound bites coming from around our country, both in our elected leaders, our celebrities, and our common citizens, I am more convinced. Left to our own we flounder and head in destructive directions. Hope come from one direction. The local church is the hope of the world, living and teaching the truth of Jesus Christ.
That certainly leads to the question, “What is the teaching of Jesus Christ?”
John 13:34-35 is very clear. There is no room for debate. There are no loopholes. It is straightforward and direct. It comes in the form of a new command. It’s not a new command you can add to a list of all the others, it is brand new, and one that trumps everything else previous.
“A new command I give you: Love one another.” But He also gives us the definition and the way in which we are to love. This is what wrecks people’s worlds: “As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
We all tend to love by default the way we were loved, and we defend or excuse it. But He says we are not to love the way we were loved by our parents, siblings, spouse, coach, teacher, pastor, or any other significant person. He says, “You are to love the way you have been loved by ME.”
Then He says, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35
Have you ever heard someone say about another person, “Yeah,I think he is a Christian,” or you see someone who professes to be a Christian, but how do you know for sure? Jesus is saying that the way we know if you or someone else is a follower of Christ is by the way we love.
We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. 1 John 2:3
Whose command? John is referring to Jesus’ command.
Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. 1 John 2:4
OUCH! He doesn’t say he’s immature or has some growing up to do. Jesus clearly says that a disobedient person is a liar and does not know the truth.
But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did. 1 John 2:5-6
Could it be any clearer? Our calling card is love. Our brand is love. Our distinction from the world is love. Our proof that we are His disciples is love.
This is what makes the church the hope of the world, because the church isn’t a building or a place, it is a people who have experienced Jesus’ love and are now living out and expressing that love to every single person for whom Jesus died.
NewPointe, we are the hope of the world as we are living and teaching Jesus Christ. The centerpiece, the core of it all, is loving as Jesus loved.