Focus on God’s Love – Not Your Sin

(audio sermon by Gary Sampson)

The sinful woman focused on God’s abundant love. The Pharisee focused on his and her moral condition. She left changed, he did not. Revelation of God’s love fuels obedience.

Speakers notes follow –

Focus on God’s Love – Not Your Sin

Luke 7. 36-50

Text usually for forgiveness / heart for God – I’m using for holiness

‘Faith has saved you’ – we saved – our problem is overcoming sin

The key to overcoming sin is in this text

Pharisee invites Jesushonored guest: bro kiss, feet wash, hair oil – sees lowly Galilean preacher – Woman sees someone special – arrives with perfume – request to enter granted – falls at feet – weeps (muddied), wipes, kisses – used to kissing men but now its worship – Simon sees prostitute, Jesus sees brokenness, desperation, faith – Whoever has been forgiven little loves little

Two people – Simon + Prostitute – who left changed?

No proof that she stopped sinning or he repented – but going by heart condition – likely she changed and he didnt

Jesus to adulteress ‘sin no more’ (just guilt) – to this woman ‘faith has saved you’ (changed heart evident)

So what is the key to overcoming sin? Is it discipline? Does the woman decide to take control of thoughts, feelings? Is it separation? Does she decide to drop her prostitute friends, avoid bars? Is it prayer life? Does she commit to an hour a day and a weekly fast? Does Jesus tell her to do these? No! Why?

She is in great condition – broken BY SEEING THE LOVE OF GOD – thats the key – seeing enormity of God’s love for her personally – God knew every sinful moment – forgave all

Not just about the removal of sin – she’d be relieved not broken

A principal at work here – we cannot change by focus on our sin – only when focused on God’s love – discipline, separation, prayer has a role, but not the key – Come as you are – God loves, accepts, forgives – if have revelation of Gods love you’ll respond right –

(We love because he first loved us – 1 John 4.19)

Love motivates more than money or prestige –

Soldier allowed students to attack me – different if I were his Father – seeing God’s personal love motivates

Nairobi nurse meets street addict – and childhood friend – love motivates

Difference between Moses Law + Christ’s Grace. Law emphasised sin, Grace emphasised love. So what are you focused on?

Thursday I paced the room saying ‘He loves you‘. At first it seemed weird, then the words started to sink in – it was like cool fresh water flowing into a parched soul

For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy‘ (Heb 10.14) – started saying ‘He says you’re perfect‘ – it had similar effect – need a revelation of God’s love + grace

Attempting holiness without seeing God’s love makes us intense –

Holiness is not the same thing as intensity. Intensity is not a fruit of the Holy Spirit. The ability to laugh at yourself is key to holiness. Take Jesus seriously but don’t take yourself too seriously. A sense of humour is the link between holiness and humility’ – Gumbel

who was in danger of taking themselves too seriously, the prostitute or Pharisee? She was not focused on self righteousness

Will you marry me? Yes I will! Consummation – Cross calls. We respond (as woman did). Jesus returns – call to holiness

About love – the ‘want to’ has to be there to overcome. We say we want to, but how much do we? Like the Pharisee lack of desire stops us. We don’t see what the woman sees. If we did we would break and be at his feet.

I’m on a mission to see what the woman saw – hope you’ll join me!

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