Sermon – January 29, 2017
We are often told that love rules over all – that if we were more concerned with love that the world would be a better place. Science screams for truth – so that if we were more dedicated to the truth, the problems of the world would be eliminated. Both are wrong without Christ, and in Christ both are true. If God is love (1 John 4:8), and Jesus is the truth (John 14:6), then truth and love must exist together.
1. We are commanded to walk in the truth.
The truth is not a minor thing for Christians; it is not something that is nice, but we can do without. We have to live in the truth, to know it and to understand it. Without the basis of the truth, our relationship with God has nothing to stand on, no basis in the times of trouble. Doctrine is not there simply to make us feel superior, or needless head knowledge. It gives comfort in times of trouble and doubt, and keeps us grounded in times of abundance.
2. We are commanded to love one another
Love is not just something that wells up in us when we see our children, or our spouse on our wedding day. It is not a feeling that we have no control over, as though it were just an outside force moving us where it wills. But we are told that we must love, both those who love us in Christ and those who would be our enemies. In doing so, we demonstrate both the character of God’s love, and even our own nearness to God.
3. True love encourages walking in the truth
It is true, however, that there are times when the truth seems to mandate that our love is secondary. But we are to have a special love for people inside the church, for those whom we have given our pledge of covenant to. Therefore, when the time for us to choose between two sides comes, we seek to show the greater love in truth to those inside the church. This does not mean that we hate those outside, but that we will have nothing to do with supporting those who seek to undermine the truth, and not lovingly encourage walking in the truth.
We, as Christians, can never separate truth and love. Either one, without the other, is meaningless. Truth simply becomes bare facts, unmoving and unconcerned with pain and troubles. Love simply becomes groundless, and we are unsure of our foundations in it. But Christian love is grounded in truth, providing us both comfort in and fuel for love. Christians, let us love in the truth!