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Monday, October 31, 2011

Gospel Life

Here are some notes from Kristian’s sermon last Sunday.  It will be available online soon here:

This was the text:

 1 John 2:7-11 ESV

 “Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard. At the same time, it is a new commandment that I am writing to you, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.”

Basically, Kristian’s point was that true “Gospel Life” is marked by love and change from the heart.  Gospel love is not like worldly love—it is scandalous, sacrificial, pursuing, sincere, and steadfast because it mirrors God’s love is for us.  God demonstrates His love for us through this time of love and calls us to do likewise.  Ephesians 5:1-2 tells us, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”  Every act of obedience has its proper context only in this kind of love—in love for God and love for people (see 1 Cor 13 and Galatians 5:6 and John 15).  Any act of morality or mere behavior modification apart from this love is meaningless because love is the point of obedience.  And we cannot love like this on our own, but God changes our hearts—as we seek His face, He puts this love in our hearts, even for our enemies and those who hurt and betrayed us.  Experiencing God’s love changes us from the inside out.  Saving faith is proven genuine by its fruit, namely sincere love that results in affection coupled with action.  In John 13:35, Jesus says, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

 I also appreciated Kristian’s definitions of walking in the light and walking in darkness:


To unrepentantly walk in a way which neither loves and honors God nor loves and honors His people by denying our own sinfulness, refusing to live in fellowship with God’s people and lacking completely in love for God and His people as evidenced by our treatment of each other and our lack of obedience to God’s commandments which are summed up in love.


To live a life of daily confession and repentance of sin in fellowship with God’s people having a heart of love for God and His people as evidenced by our treatment of each other and our obedience to God’s commandments which are summed up in love."

                                                                                    -----Kristian Ellefsen

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