First UMC
Downtown Worship, June 19, 2022
The Unsentimental God
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  • First United Methodist Church of Lexington - Downtown
    200 W High St, Lexington, KY 40507, USA
    Sunday 8:30 AM, Sunday 11:00 AM
As has become our habit, we are spending this summer on foundations of our faith. This summer the series is called “Basics”. In it we will examine the foundational statements of our faith as contained in the small catechism (list of questions on faith) which is a fancy word for “echo” or “resound” that comes from how these questions were used. New converts to the faith would be read a question by a mentor and then they would be expected to echo or repeat the answer. Learning the foundations of faith has been a tried and true way of discipleship.

Click (https://www.dropbox.com/s/tnnz6e5qgy3nvnc/Echo%20Catechism.pdf?dl=0) for a digital copy of the Echo book.

Today’s question: What is the character of God? Answer: God is love.

God is and God loves are synonyms.

1. Love is not a feeling or emotion.
Karl Barth says that love is God’s unsentimental action.

2. Love is not manipulative.
Love does not compel but invites.

3. Love is not tolerant.
Any relationship that doesn’t challenge you to a better way, a higher calling, and a more impactful reality is not a relationship based on love.

The working definition we will use for love is this: a commitment to selfless actions toward others. This is clearly seen in 1 Corinthians 13 as Paul says that love is patient, kind, truthful, enduring, believing, hopeful.

CONTEXT: The 1 John 4 passage is part of a sermon written to two groups: One group has fallen into the trap of believing false teaching and as a result, they are walking away from the community of believers. The other group has had its faith shaken by the first group walking away and are wondering if faith has any impact for today.

Love is the answer given both groups.

A cruciform life is a life of love (vertically to God and horizontally to others) based on Romans 5:8 which says, “God proves his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” and Luke 9:23 which says, “If you wish to be my follower then deny yourself, take up your cross daily, and follow me.”


















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