Neighboring Well – We are asking you to open up your life to other people, so you can look for opportunities to share God’s love.
Neighboring is not just something the Bible says. No, neighboring is part of who God is.
Let’s Discuss Moral Truth
- Commanded (not optional)
- Universal in scope
- Contrasts with evil and wrongness
“In an important sense, ethics as we understand it is an illusion fobbed off on us by our genes to get us to cooperate. It is without external grounding… Ethics is illusory inasmuch as it persuades us that it has an objective reference. This is the crux of the biological position.” – Michael Ruse, Hyperphysics
Key Question for Naturalists: To what mechanism could the naturalist plausibly appeal to explain how fitness tracks with moral truth?
In Christian Theism, the source of moral truth is the God of the Bible.
- The highest moral idea is love
- Love requires the expression of free will
- Free will requires the possibility of sin and evil
- Sin and evil demands some kind of response and rescue
Key Term: Foreigner – גֵּיר (geyr) – a temporary inhabitant, a newcomer lacking inherited rights
1. Loving those who are different than you is connected deep within the character of God – Deut. 10:12-19
2. Loving those who are different than you supersedes any other commitment we might want to make – Duet. 10:17-18
3. We love those who are different (foreigners) because we once were in their position – Duet. 10:19, Rom. 12:12-16
To love your neighbor is to tolerate interruptions.
To love your neighbor is to love people who are radically different than you.
Application: Who is the foreigner that God has put in your path?
Deuteronomy 10:12-19, Romans 12:12-16
TALK IT OUT
- Denying the existence of God and moral truth, atheist Richard Dawkins states that “there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.” Do you believe there is any validity to his claim? Why or why not?
- Read John 1:9-13 and 1 John 4:7-11. Real love requires and allows for the expression of free will by others. What risks did God take in allowing us free will? What risks will you be taking by loving others?
- Read Deuteronomy 10:18-19 and Hebrews 13:2-3. Think of a time when you were a stranger or foreigner in a situation. How did you feel? How did other people treat you? What lessons can you learn from that experience to help you better relate to strangers or foreigners when you encounter them?
- Read Psalm 82:3-4, Romans 12:13 and James 1:27. Throughout the Bible, we see clear evidence of God’s concern for those who tend to be marginalized by society. To what extent do you find yourself involved with these people on a regular basis? Name one thing you could do differently to increase your exposure to and care for them in the next few weeks.
- Romans 12:15 tells us to “rejoice with those who rejoice” and “mourn with those who mourn.” Think of some life experiences which are common to all people. Give some examples of practical ways you could share the love of God with your neighbors at these times.
LIVE IT OUT
- Most of us tend to avoid people who are different from us. Who are the people you are most likely to avoid? How are they different from you?
- Name one “foreigner” God has placed in your path at this time in your life. Take a few moments to pray for that person and to ask God for an opportunity to share His love with them this week.