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THE GREATEST OF THESE

If God is Love (and He is),
if Love is the fulfillment of the law (and it is) and if we are to "walk by love" (and we are), it is crucial that we understand, and conduct ourselves according to a proper representation of Love. It is my observation that an uninformed, immature effort to represent Love as a pluralistic, relativistic form of tolerance is destroying the foundation of righteousness and encouraging an erosion of truth and morality in our culture and in the "church."

This teaching consists of various, charts, stories and illustrations intended to help us find a well-rounded balanced, Biblical, working definition of love and to encourage us to manifest such love as an effective Christian testimony of the love of God that has radically transformed our lives from the inside, out. "We love, because He first loved us."

REPENTANCE

God spoke through the Old Testament prophet Ezekiel, saying, "Repent and turn away from all your transgressions, so that iniquity may not become a stumbling block to you. Cast away from you all your transgressions which you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! For why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies," declares the Lord God. "Therefore, repent and live." Both, John the Baptist and Jesus preached, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Jesus equipped His disciples and sent them out to preach that men should repent. Peter preached on the day of Pentecost and told the people "Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." Paul told his listeners at Mars Hill, "…having overlooked the times of ignorance, God now commands all people everywhere to repent," and went on to say that he, "…did not shrink from declaring…anything that was profitable, and teaching…publicly and from house to house, solemnly testifying to both Jews and Greeks of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ."

In this teaching we consider the nature of genuine repentance, encouraging people to understand, experience and preach repentance for the forgiveness of sin. "Unless you repent, you perish."

CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD

Genesis 1:26-28 tells us about man’s original design when it says, "God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.' And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. And God blessed them; and God said to them, 'be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.'" Ephesians 4:22-24 tells us about God’s design for man’s redemption when is says, "…in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth."

In this series we consider what the phrase "image of God" means, what "the likeness of God" is; we consider the nature and character of God and how all of this applies to God’s intention for individual
and corporate human life.

Sermon: Hezekiah; A King of Reformation