“BLEST BE THE TIE THAT BINDS”


By Janis Dearman

Introduction

1. “Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love.”  The love of God is the love we know in Christ, the love we have for our brethren, regardless of the time or space that separates us.

2. Our relationship as sisters is the only earthly relationship that will last beyond the bond of time.

3. In the midst of a troubled and troublesome, sometimes threatening world, we have no need to fear (1 John 4:18; John 16:33; 1 John 5:4)

4. We are bound together with the faithful of earlier times (Hebrews 11)

5. If we are Christians, we are children in the family of God
a. We have access to Him through His word and in prayer
b. His providence cares for us
c. His promises give us hope and peace.
d. We may be secure in the Father’s care, confident that, through Christ, we may have the strength to endure all things (Philippians 4:13)

6. If we cling to the material, the things of this life, we cling only to duct.

7. The tie of love that unites Christians is beautiful; it mirrors the love of God.

I. The love that binds in Divine: “The fellowship of kindred minds is like to that above.”

A. God gave His Son, and the son gave His life – the greatest love, the greatest gifts.

B. Because of the Lord’s presence in it, the world has never been the same.

C. Philippians 2:5-8: “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus …”
1. He was selfless (Philippians 2:3-4)
2. He was serving (Galatians 5:13; John 13:14)
3. He was sacrificial (Luke 14:26-33)
4. He endured shame and suffering (Matthew 10:28; 1 Peter 4:14-16)

D. We are to love like God: “As I have loved you” (John 13:34; 15:12)
1. Seek the best for one another, regardless of personal sacrifice (John 13:35)
2. Seek peace with one another (Mark 9:50; Ephesians 4:3)

II. The love that binds is Definitive (authoritative and complete)

A. The love of God is agape in the original New Testament Greek (Koine), the one word which sets Christianity apart from all other religions.

B. The Holy Spirit defines agape in 1 Corinthians 13

C. Love, like God, is eternal

D. Love is a requirement of salvation (2 Thessalonians 1:8; 1 John 4:8)

E. Love is a heavenly, eternal quality we must have and cultivate in the here and now.

III. The love that binds is Demonstrated by God

A. God loves all humanity (Matthew 5:45; 2 Peter 3:9; 1 Timothy 1:15)

B. He has given us power over the wicked one (1 John 3:8)

C. God has revealed Himself to us in Christ, God in the flesh.
1. He brought us words, by which to live and to be judged (John 12:48)
2. He gave us the Perfect Example, by whom to pattern our lives (1 Peter 2:21)
3. We are lacking absolutely nothing for spiritual growth and divine approval

D. God commands that His, agape, be reciprocated and replicated (1 John 4:9; Matthew 22:35-40; Matthew 7:12)

IV. The love that binds requires one to be Decisive (settle; concluded in the mind)

A. Love (agape) proceeds from the mind, not the emotions.

B. We have the free moral agency to decide to love.

C. Love is commanded by God; we must decide to obey or disobey.

D. What decisions will I make?
1. I will do the best for every soul, even the soul of my enemy (Matthew 5:44-47)

2. I will dedicate my life to doing God’s will, whatever the consequences (Paul, 2 Cor. 11:22ff, Acts 21:13)

3. I will define my priorities correctly: God, souls, and my Christian influence are always most important.

4. I will discipline (not necessarily punishment or scolding, but teaching, training, reinforcing, advising, exemplifying):
a. My mind (Philippians 4:8)
b. My body (1 Corinthians 9:27)
c. Anyone over whom I have an influence, when a soul is in jeopardy (James 5:19-20)
d. My children (Titus 2:4).  Love disciplines.

5. I will defend God-given bonds:
a. The authority of God’s word in every area of life
b. The authority given by God to elders in the church (1 Peter 5:2), to fathers in the home (Ephesians 6:4), and to political rulers (Romans 13:1)
c. Scriptural marriage recognized by God
d. The parent-child relationship
e. God-approved responsibilities: as an employee, a citizen, etc.; because as a Christian, I must strive for excellence in character and performance.
f. My duty as a shining Christian light, glorifying God, in the community and society of which I am part.

Concluding

1. Love forms a bond that is a three-fold cord (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)

2. Love may not solve the world’s problems, but love can help solve our personal problems and problems in the church.

3. Christians who love may be like the giant sequoia trees: Though their roots are barely below the surface of the ground, the trees exist in groves and their roots intertwine.  When strong winds blow, they hold each other up.  It is estimated some of the giant sequoias have withstood nature’s challenges nearly 3,500 years.

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