RELATIONSHIP GOALS 1 - FOUNDATIONS
THE BIG PICTURE
We live in a messed-up world. How people treat each other is sometimes shocking and discouraging.
From the tragic death of Dolly Everett in January 2018 that highlighted the problem of cyber bullying; to the developing crisis in the waters of the coast of Iran where several ships have been attacked and things could easily escalate into war.
All over the world we are daily shocked by outrageous crimes against humanity, yet we are inspired by acts of selfless love that amaze us for their power to transform.
In this series, we will begin with foundations and share about relationships in the family arena, church arena and sexual relationships. We will finish with perspectives on the Christian response to LGBTI issues and Gender Fluidity.
This series will teach us about the foundations of God ordained love that empowers all levels of relationships and will give us the understanding of how to build great relationships and be an influence in this needy world around us.
WEEK#1 – Last week Rhys hared about the Trinity – how God exists as one in three persons. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. He showed how love is amply demonstrated between the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit. Love pre-dates the creation. God is Love is demonstrated through this love within this trinity. God’s kind of love which is selfless is called agape love a - Greek word for love of a certain kind that God exhibits – love which gives expecting nothing in return. Unconditional Love. It is well described in 1 Corinthians 13 – the “love is Kind…” passage often quoted at weddings.
If evolution were true the whole world must work under the premise of natural selection and survival of the fittest. No act of selfless love would promote these concepts.
This world could not function without love of this higher order.
Man is made in the image of God.
Gen 1:26 God says let us make man in our own image and after our likeness.
Being made in God’s image means basically three important ideas…
1. We are a spirit being, like God.
2. We have the capacity and capability to communicate with God.
3. We are a love creature – able to give and receive love.
Not only are we able to recognise love, and give and receive love, but our human existence is created to operate in love. Without love we have only pain and destruction and chaos in human relationships.
When God created man, The first man Adam walked in perfect love with the God (Father Son and Holy Spirit). Through temptation, Adam ventured down the path of selfish actions – what’s in it for me – the temptation was – You will be come wise like God knowing both God and evil. Moving away from selfless love for the first time Adam and Eve stepped outside of God’s paradigm of selfless or Agape love and took the human race down a path of selfish actions, just another word for sin. It was only a divine act of selflessness of the highest order – the sacrifice of Christ on the cross that can redeem mankind from the power and effects of sin which is selfish inner motives.
HOW DO WE DEFINE LOVE?
THERE ARE DIFFERENT KINDS OF LOVE DESCRIBED IN THE BIBLE
Eros- “erotic” - Passionate love or romantic love. Love you feel that involves your body primarily. It can be godly or perverted.
Storge – Familial love. Of parents for children, includes empathy protection and care.
Phileo- “brotherly love” -definition: love based on common interests or bonds, when you phileo-love someone, its a relationship where you give to receive.
Agape- “unconditional love” - definition- literally translated means ‘charity’. loving someone with no conditions attached(no matter what) when you agape-love, you give for the sake of making the other person happy. because you truly want the best for them. you have no intentions of receiving.
Love is doing the highest good for another. Love is placing others before yourself. To give everything you have…and not expect anything in return.
SPHERES OF INFLUENCE –
1. Our audience is the church – often we meet people who are broken and hurting. We teach the bible as God’s inspired word and we exhort believers to live it out. Where they fail, we offer love grace and forgiveness, prayer and counselling. We acknowledge man is fallen and the righteousness bestowed upon repentant people is sometimes worked out over time and with much pain. We have mercy and understanding for those who may struggle with sinful desires but have chosen to walk in godly behaviour.
2. Our Audience is the world – but talking to individuals - we share the gospel, we love people, we show them Christ’s sacrifice for them. We show them how He treated the woman caught in adultery. We don’t expect people to change (until they accept Christ) we accept and love and serve all people. Including homosexuals LGBTI+ We are prepared to go the extra mile for them.
3. The Audience is the world – relating to the media, politicians and law makers. We share how the values of God’s word leads to a better and healthier community. We show how real love is demonstrated by Jesus through His sacrifice and resurrection. We declare the values we hold to be true as ultimate truth verifiable by the authenticity of the word of God. We hope to encourage righteous government and godly laws. We passionately write to our elected representatives and declare our values as being not just true but the best for a wholesome and healthy community.
What do I do now I’ve heard this message?
1. Recognise God is Love. – it is His modus operandi, His way of doing things at all times.
2. Recognise I am created in God’s image – I am a love creature – I am designed to operate in Love – in selfless love. The way the world functions in a healthy way is when I show selfless love to others.
3. OBEY God’s detailed instructions in the bible will show me how to love His way. It leads to peace health and harmony at all levels of human existence.
4. The world is messed-up in many ways because of sin (selfishness) and love has been perverted or removed from many human experiences and this results in pain, destruction and