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Downstream from the Cross


Here is an excerpt from the sermon "Living as an Embassy of Love in a Foreign Land: An Exposition of 1 Peter 4:8-11":

"Look carefully at verse 8 and ask yourself which direction things are moving. The right direction is that earnest love shows up in the church family and covers the “multitude of sins” that are present there. Sadly, there are times when we allow things to move in the reverse direction: instead of covering the sins of our brothers and sisters with love, we let the sins of our brothers and sisters cover our love, which means that our love isn’t very earnest. And we justify our small hearts by saying that we would be glad to love other Christians if and when they got their act together. Okay, so I see how it works: the earnestness of your love is supposedly flowing upstream from their behavior: if they behave properly, then my love grows. But this is not how Christian love works: Christian love flows downstream from the cross: “And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself for us” (Ephesians 5:2). Love one another, as Christ has loved you!"