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The Lifestyle of a Believer

Once we truly understand how much God loves us, we will in turn live that love in our relationships with others.

"Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children; and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God."

The Christian knows that the action of God in salvation is predicated, not on the inherent merit of that person, but upon the unmerited love, grace, mercy, and favor of God. We are sunk without the love of God.

The love of God is not a sentimentalism, neither is it romanticism. The agape love of God is based on decision. It's a decision to be primarily concerned with the of the beloved regardless of their condition, irrespective of their reaction.

Christians are to live a life of love modeled on the love of God to us.

That is the challenge of the Christian lifestyle: to live a life of love that is modeled on the love of God to us. Human love tends to love the lovely, the loving, and lovable. Divine love loves the unloving, the unlovable, the unlovely. There's the difference.

Christians believe this. Because they believe this, they take seriously this tremendous challenge: "Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children; and live a life of love" This is a sacrificial lifestyle, and it is deeply pleasing to God.

John Calvin said, "If a preacher is not first preaching to himself, better that he falls on the steps of the pulpit and breaks his neck than preaches that sermon."

I wouldn't dare get up here and say, "Okay, folks, be imitators of God as dearly loved children and live a life of love," without hearing those words resonate deep in my own heart and thinking, Briscoe, there needs to be a deeper work of grace in your life. I suspect people like me may be sitting in the pews today.

We embrace what the Bible teaches ...

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Stuart Briscoe is minister-at-large of Elmbrook Church in Brookfield, Wisconsin, and author of several books, including What Works When Life Doesn't (Howard Books).

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Sermon Outline:

Introduction

Our salvation is not based on merit, but on grace and mercy.

I. Christians are to live a life of love modeled on the love of God to us.

II. Paul makes an emphasis on the light of God (verse 8).

III. Paul tells us to live according to the will of God (verse 15).

IV. Paul tells us the Christian lifestyle is one filled by the Spirit of God.

Conclusion

You can tell the folks who are living by the Spirit of God.