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Sunday, 28 October 2012


Rev. Brian Wilkie

By Rev. Brian Wilkie                                                                                    

Pastor of St. Andrew's Christian Community
Rockland, Ontario

PODCAST LINK to CFRA broadcast - Sunday, October 28th, 2012:

Broadcast Notes:
‘Forever Being Reformed

Today’s topic is taken from: 1 Corinthians 12:12-28 (ESVUK):

One Body with Many Members
12 For just as (A)the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, (B)so it is with Christ. 13 For (C)in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—(D)Jews or Greeks, slaves[a] or free—and (E)all were made to drink of one Spirit.
14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body”, that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body”, that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, (F)God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, (G)as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts,[b] yet one body.
21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”, nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honourable we bestow the greater honour, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honour to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honoured, (H)all rejoice together.
27 Now (I)you are the body of Christ and individually (J)members of it. 28 And (K)God has appointed in the church first (L)apostles, second (M)prophets, third teachers, then (N)miracles, then (O)gifts of healing, (P)helping, (Q)administrating, and (R)various kinds of tongues.

a.      1 Corinthians 12:13 Or servants; Greek bondservants
b.      1 Corinthians 12:20 Or members; also verse 22

Cross references:

TALKING NOTES TO FOLLOW... Please revisit.

Sunday, 21 October 2012


Rev. Brian Wilkie
by Rev. Brian Wilkie                                                                                    

Pastor of St. Andrew's Christian Community                                                           Rockland, Ontario

PODCAST LINK to CFRA broadcast - Sunday, October 21st, 2012:

Broadcast Notes:
‘Perfect Love

Today’s  topic is taken from: 1 John 4:16-5:5 (ESVUK):

16 So (A)we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. (B)God is love, and (C)whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this (D)is love perfected with us, so that (E)we may have confidence for the day of judgement, because (F)as he is so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but (G)perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not (H)been perfected in love. 19 (I)We love because he first loved us. 20 (J)If anyone says, “I love God”, and (K)hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot[a] love God (L)whom he has not seen. 21 And (M)this commandment we have from him: (N)whoever loves God must also love his brother.

Overcoming the World

(O)Everyone who believes that (P)Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and (Q)everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. 2 (R)By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For (S)this is the love of God, that we (T)keep his commandments. And (U)his commandments are not burdensome. For (V)everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—(W)our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes (X)that Jesus is the Son of God?

a.     1 John 4:20 Some manuscripts how can he

Cross references:
I.      1 John 4:19 : ver. 10
P.    1 John 5:1 : ch. 2:22

God’s purpose for us is that we be made perfect in His love.

We can think of no higher complement than if others say that they see Jesus in us.
What is it to see Jesus in us? It’s to see holiness. It is to see purity; to see kindness and generosity; to see joy and peace; and above all, to see the love of God.

There’s no doubt that the world needs love. Even pop culture is telling us about the love that the world needs. Remember the Beetles singing “All you need is love.” That was an anthem of a generation. They recognized that what seemed to be lacking was love; that made all things good. They may not have been entirely clear on how to get that love, or where that love comes from, or what that love would look like, but Pop Culture recognized, and the society around them recognized, that: The world needs love.

God is Love. That’s the word that John gives us, and it’s a surprisingly profound word. It’s a very simple word. Many people have reduced it to a kind of trivial cliché, that since “all you need is love”, what do you need faith for? What do we need Jesus for?

If all we need is love, why can’t we just love one-another? Why can’t we all just get along?
John is not being all that simple. When he says “God is Love” he’s pointing to the source and the example of love that is needed in the world today. We can cry out, “all you need is love”, all you want. But, without love actually coming into our lives, where do we get it?

John is speaking of a greater love than the love that just emerges out of attraction. This is a love that comes from God. He says that we can be confident of love because of the love that God gives. We can know what love is because God first loved us.

Are you perfect in love? I know I’m not. It’s one of the scandals of Christianity, I suppose, that we speak of perfect love, and yet we have not yet achieved it.

This is what we strive for as Christians. This is what we’re accused of by non-Christians; that we talk about love, but where is love in our lives? And sometimes that accusation hits home, because we realize that we’ve stepped away from our main focus. We’ve moved away from what God has shown us and have become impatient, become difficult, become narrow.

But God is love and the more closely we walk with God, the more perfectly we love. John says it quite clearly, there’s a connection between loving God and loving our neighbour. Do you love your brother? Are there people that you would say you hate?

John says that you can’t say that you love God, whom you have never seen, when you say that you hate your brother. You’ve seen your brother. You’ve seen that person who has sometimes disappointed you, sometimes hurt you, and you know that there are things that are not lovable in that person. And so, because your love is focused on their characteristics and their problems, you believe that you have the right not to love them.
But the love that comes from God is a love that comes because of what’s inside the lover. God doesn’t love us because we’re perfect. God doesn’t love us because we’re always pleasing to Him. He loves us because God is Love.

Our love doesn’t come automatically. The apostle Paul was a violent man before he became a Christian. He was an angry man and he was narrow-minded. He had his viewpoint and if people didn’t fit his viewpoint he was ready to haul them off to jail, or even, he was pleased to see them stoned, because they disagreed with what he knew to be the truth.
But, when he met Jesus Christ, Paul became a different person. He was passionate. He was full of strength. He was unstoppable; very similar to the Paul that was before, but now he’s a man of love; a man of grace; not someone who surrendered the truth, but found a greater truth: The truth of God in Jesus Christ, reconciling the world to Himself.

It was Paul, this formerly violent man, who wrote the words of poetry that accompanies so many weddings and have become for, even the world at large, an expression of the perfection of love, when he wrote in 1 Corinthians 13, “Love is patient. Love is kind.” Paul goes on to describe the fullness of God’s love. He says something that is astonishing. He says, “Though I may have all knowledge and understand all mysteries, but I have not love, without love I am nothing.”

Here’s a man that once was without love, and because of the transforming power of Christ has become a man of love. If we want to have perfect love, we understand that all love comes from God. And yet, the source of that love will be two-fold. We will understand that love through the biblical testimony to the way God deals with His people; to the revelation God gives of what He requires of us. John in his Scripture says that this is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out His commands. This is love for God: to obey His commands. And God’s commands are not burdensome. They’re not burdensome for two reasons. Whether they seem stern, or whether they invoke generosity, or whether they invoke tenderness, or whether they invoke firmness, we know that the love of God, as He commands it, is a love that is perfect and holy; that is intent on the best for the person that is loved.

Though perfect love will be Biblical, obedient to God, it will be Christ-like, capable of tenderness and sternness. Christ was able to be tender when tenderness was called for, and He was able to be stern when people had to be turned from stubbornness. Love will be like the fruit of the Spirit, which starts with love and continues to joy, peace, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. God gives us a love that will be self-controlled.

The revelation of love in the Bible is one way that God gives us that love. Of course, the other is in the power of God through His Holy Spirit.

These two go together, a Biblical Love and a Spirited Love. These two cannot be separated and still be the Love of God. The Spirit empowers us, so that John is able to say that “We overcome the world”; so that we are given power to obey the commands of God so that they are not burdensome. We have victory in an ability to love, even in the harshest circumstances. This Perfect Love given by God, biblical, holy, Christ-like, obedient to God.
It’s a failure to understand God if we think that we can love God, while disobeying His commands. Or, to even think that it’s more loving towards our neighbour if we disobey His commands.

God has not given these commands arbitrarily, but out of his wisdom and knowledge and understanding that perfect love will act in certain ways; that perfect love will call forth the best of each person. Perfect love will encourage. Perfect love will challenge.

We have in the Holy Spirit, both a power from God and a trainer who leads us to apply the Scriptures in love.

Let’s admit that sometimes our love fails that test. Sometimes it’s very obedient. We follow the rules to the letter, but we lose track of the Spirit of Christ. And we don’t follow these rules out of love, but out of harshness and frustration. Sometimes we get so impatient with the world around us that the love seems to disappear.

God calls us to an obedient and spirited love: a love filled with His grace, filled with His power, and obedient to His truth and wisdom.

Do you want this perfect love? John has made it very clear that the only one who has this perfect love is the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

There is no loving person in the world today that could not become more perfect in love by a relationship with Jesus Christ.

You, yourself, who have entered into that relationship with Jesus, who have trusted in Him for forgiveness of sins, sought from Him to be filled with His Holy Spirit, you too, can become more perfect in love. Don’t give up. Love can seem like a long road to travel. God has urged us to travel that road and to know that there will be victory; that God will bring to completion what He has begun in us.

Perfect love: It’s worth striving for. It’s worth praying for. It’s worth living out.

Would you pray with me?

Loving God, We give you thanks that you have shown us perfect love in Jesus Christ. Lord, we want to receive Jesus more and more fully every day, to allow him to work in us that which is perfect and good and pleasing in your sight.
Almighty God, we ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen

Rev. Brian Wilkie
To listen to the above broadcast, click on the following link: