LOVE HOLDS THE BODY TOGETHER
I. TEXTUAL THOUGHTS
1. Eph 4:1-3 - We should live worthy lives, patiently keeping unity with love.
2. 1 Cor 13 - Nothing works Godís purpose without love.
3. Rom 12:9 - We should not pretend to love; our love must be real.
II. THEME: Love holds the body together. God put us together in Christ because of His love for us, and our love for Jesus causes us to love each other.
1. We are called in Christ to be humble, gentle, patient; working with love to keep the unity of † the Spirit through the bond of peace (Eph 4:1-3).
a. Love causes humility and gentleness (Titus 3:2, 1 Pet 5:5, 2 Tim 2:24-25).
b. Love causes us to be patient, bearing with one another (Col 3:12-15).
c. Love produces unity when we work to follow Godís Spirit (Eph 4:11-16, Jn 17:22-23).
2. Godís purpose in our lives must be produced through love (1 Cor 13).
a. Gifts are of no value without love (1 Cor 13:1-2).
b. Love causes us to keep Godís commandments (1 Cor 7:19, Rom 13:9-10, 1 Jn 4:16-21, 5:1-3).
c. Good works done without love are useless (1 Cor 13:3, Mat 6:1-18).
d. Love produces positive results in our lives (1 Cor 13:4-8, 13, Gal 5:13-16).
3. Our love must be real to be useful (Rom 12:9).
a. Pretended love is offensive to God (Acts 5:1-10).
b. Talking about love without taking action is useless (1 Jn 3:16-18).
III. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS
∑ We love because God first loved us. Our ability to live lives worthy of the gospel depends on Godís power in our lives (Tit 2:11-14, 3:3-8).
∑ When we think that we are great workers because of our own ability, we are in danger; love produces humility (1 Cor 8:1-2, James 4:6-10, 1 Pet 5:5-7).
∑ God knows our heart. Pretended love is not only useless, it is offensive to God (Mat 18:35, Mark 7:6-7, 2 Cor 9:7, Acts 5:1-10).
∑ Love helps us have unity because it lets us be patient with each other, and helpful toward those who cause problems (James 5:19-20, 1 Pet 4:7-11, Col 3:12-15).
IV. MEMORY VERSE: Eph 4:1-3 - ďAs a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.Ē (NIV)