The New Covenant brings a New Commandment — Love

Andrew Fountain
Sun, 2022-07-10
  • While simple on the surface, some interesting and important questions come up, like
  • ‘What about this is actually new?’ and
  • ‘If it is part of our new nature, why should it require effort?’
  • together with asking what it might look like in our lives.
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Sermon Slides - The New Covenant brings a New Commandment — Love


That each of us would grow in the most important way we possibly can:
in loving one another.

  • So let’s start with a story:

Mark 12 (Deut 6:4–5 & Lev 19:18)

  1. And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?”
  2. Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
  3. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’
  4. The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
  5. And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him.
  6. And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
  7. And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”
    And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions.
  • Now here is the problem

John 13 – The New Commandment

  1. A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.
  • What is new?
  • “just as I have loved you”

1 John 3 – A new depth of love

  1. By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us,
    and we ought to lay down our lives for our fellow believers.

Outline for today:

Love – The New Commandment

  1. The New Commandment and Our New Nature
  2. If it’s our Nature, Why the Need for Effort?
  3. Putting Love into Practice

1. The New Commandment and Our New Nature

  • Once read about a boy who had three pet rats, and a pet cat
  • Most of our Scriptures today are from 1 John

1 John 2 & 3: New Nature—Born of God

  1. If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.
  2. See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
  3. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.
  4. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
  • So one of the main areas that this new nature shows up is God’s love inside us, loving others
    • v.3 is curious – more later

1 John 3: God’s love inside us, loving others

  1. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.
  2. For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
  3. We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother....
  4. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death.
  • notice the way he reasons here:
    • He doesn’t say, “love one another or you will die and not live”
    • But, the reason we know we have God’s life is that it shows itself in love
    • In fact, it is a major cause for assurance

2. If it’s our Nature, Why the Need for Effort?

  • Story of a friend with Olympic potential

So what is our part?
How do we allow Jesus’ love to flow through us?

John 15 – Circular reasoning?

  1. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. • How do we abide?
  2. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.
    • by keeping commandments?
  3. “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
    • So where does the love come from?
  4. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
  • Circular is not the best word, maybe spiral

We spiral upwards into this love

  • We chose to love others
    • That draws us closer to Jesus, the vine
      • Which causes his love to flow into us
        • Which makes us love others more
  • So that is why there are many times that Jesus urges us to make the choice to love.

3. Putting Love into Practice

We learn love by looking at Jesus:
“We love because he first loved us.”
1 John 4:19

The example of Jesus

  • Compassion: Mark 6:31, he said to his disciples, “Come away to an uninhabited area and rest”
  • But a great crowd managed to follow him, and Jesus, even though exhausted, “had compassion on them”
  • A widow who’s only son had died, (Luke 7:13) We read that he had compassion and raised the son from the dead
  • He had humility, and even washed the disciples feet, and told us we were to do likewise
  • What does this mean? (some groups practice it as a ceremony)

Love is Valuing others!

  • Even on the cross, he spared a moment from saving the world to care for his mother
    • If anyone could say, “don’t bother me, I’m doing something important” it was Jesus on the cross!!!!
  • Finally, he suffered and died for us
  • To him we have that much value. Wow!
    • The amazing thing is that he seems to think that this is something we should copy!
  • 1 John 3:16 “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.”

Practical Suggestions for Valuing Others

  • Give them the gift of really listening to them
  • Value their feelings and undo their aloneness
  • Give them the gift of trying to understand them
  • Time and attention are often more valuable than things (e.g. the Samaritan woman)
  • Ask Jesus to show you how you can best show his love to them

Two choices you will have to make:

  • To value others with the extraordinary example of Jesus
  • To take the risk that it really is more blessed to give than to receive
  • Giving ourselves in love is the way to life
    • Jesus said that if a seed died, it would bring forth fruit
    • If we lay down our life, then God will raise us up again
  • Do you trust him? —that is really what it comes down to
    • What God wants us to do more than anything else is simply to trust him
    • But what does trust look like? It looks like following the path that Jesus showed us in self-denying love
  • Everyone pray for 30 seconds and ask God to show you one person you can show more love to in this coming week
    • Let’s start putting it into practice right this moment

Updated on 2022-07-12 by Andrew Fountain