Questions & Answers from 3/15/15

Anyone can now text questions in during & following the service based on the sermon.  Those questions not answered after the conclusion of the service will be answered here in a Q&A blog post.  This is what this is.

Q: John 15:12 states to “love one another”  Is this only love for fellow believers or even those who hate you?

A: In Matthew 5:43-47 and Luke 6:27-35 Jesus answers that for us by telling us to “love our enemies” and goes on to expound on that.  He uses the Greek word “agape” (unconditional love) in both places just as he used in John 15:12.  So we are to love even our enemies, which is impossible in our own strength, but praise God, Jesus has given us the Holy Spirit to empower us to be able to do so.

Q: Who were those who hated Jesus (John 15:18)?

A: Jesus said, if the world hates you know that it hated me before it hated you.  The world is mankind as a whole.  Romans 5:10 tells us how we were enemies with God when we were reconciled.  Luke 11:23 states that those not with Jesus are against Him.  Whether we realized it or not, before we were Christians we were enemies of God doing those things against Him because we served Satan, walking according to this world and according to Satan (Ephesians 2:2).  We know we fight not against flesh and blood but against spiritual forces (Ephesians 6:12).  Satan hates Jesus and hates His children and thus those who are serving Him will do likewise (some more vocally and physically than others).

Q: Who killed Christ and who are the counterparts today?

A: In the literal sense, the Romans crucified Jesus and the Jewish leaders as well as the people asked the Roman government to crucify Him.  However, we know He willfully laid down His life and could have easily sent a legion of angels to destroy those seeking to kill Him if He wanted (Matthew 26:52-53, John 10:15-17, and other places).  We also know that it was our sins that He was crucified for so that we may have forgiveness and grace.  Our sin is what is deserving of punishment and Christ took that punishment for us, so in a figurative sense, we played a part in that crucifixion of Christ.

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