LSC Essentials

Living Stone Church exists to fulfill both the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:36-40) and the Great Commission

(Matthew 28:18-20).

Love God (Matthew 22:37)

Deuteronomy 6:5, 11:1; Joshua 22:5; Psalm 31:23;  Matthew 22:37;  Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27; 1 John 4:19

The command to love God was issued in both the Old and New Testaments. God provides the way for us to love Him. In the Old Testament, God entered into a binding agreement, called a covenant, with the Israelite people. They were to demonstrate their love and relationship to Him by obedience to the commands that God had given them through the prophet Moses. 

The New Testament affirms the command to love God, but under a new covenant that was brought about through God the Son, Jesus Christ. Instead of the law being written upon stone as the Ten Commandments were or even upon paper, God would now write the law upon the hearts of his people (this includes both Jews and non-Jews that believe in Jesus as the Messiah). These people form the family of God called the Church. The presence of God the Holy Spirit in each believer is how the law is written upon their heart. 

The child of God is to love God with “all their heart,” “all their soul,” and “all their might.” The picture on the left might help to clarify this command. 

The only way a person can love God this way is to have their heart changed by God. This change takes place when the Holy Spirit convicts a person of their sin and reveals to them that the only way to be forgiven is through Jesus Christ and then confess their sin and believe. This begins a life-long journey of learning to love God; not a journey of shame and guilt but freedom to love God boldly.

Love People

Deuteronomy 10:19; Leviticus 19:18; Mark 12:31; John 15:12; Galatians 5:14; James 2:8; 1 John 3:23; 1 Peter 4:8; (and many others)

God has commanded His children to love not just their friends, family, and other believers but also those who have hurt them, enemies (Matthew 5:43-48). God has called his people to love people, even the hard to love. The standard God gives for this love is “as yourself.” 

Jesus perfectly demonstrated that love “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8). Jesus so desired us to have the relationship with God the Father that He joyfully (Hebrews 12:2) endured the shame and suffering of the cross for those who would confess and believe in Him. With Christ’s sacrifice, it is now possible to be sons and daughters of the Most High God. 

How can our love for people even compare? It can’t; that is not what God is calling us to. He says as you would love and take care of yourself do so for others. 

As we desire to have food for ourselves, so we should desire food for others. As we desire to have shelter, so we should desire shelter for others. As we desire to draw close to God, so we should desire others to draw close to God.

This kind of love will cost. That is where we follow Jesus in the way He loved us. It cost Him dearly to love us. We can never repay Him for that, but we can live with grateful hearts and love others in a costly way. As we live loving others we discover that all we have is God’s, and since we have been given it freely we can freely give it away. This is not out of dutiful obligation but out of the joy in our hearts that the only thing we need is Jesus.

make disciples

Jesus commands His followers to go out and call more people to follow Him. They are not to call people to follow themselves but Jesus. They way in which they are to make more followers of Jesus is by two things: immersing people into the identity of the Godhead and teaching people to live out this identity. 

Jesus' call to baptize them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit was more than just to ensure they went through the physical act of being submerged under water. It also carries the idea that followers of Jesus will need to be reminded over and over again of who they are because they have been made in the image of God. Since God is Father, we are family. Since Jesus was the Suffering Servant of God, we are God’s servants. Since the Holy Spirit empowered and sent the disciples, we are missionaries. Immersion into God’s identity means we become a family of servant missionaries. 

The second way we are to make followers of Jesus is to teach all that Jesus commanded. This teaching is not a one and done either. We need to continually remind each other of Jesus’ instruction so that we can live out this new identity that we have in Jesus. As teachers of Jesus’ commands, we are continually reminded that we often fail and fall short. We need the reminder that all of us will never outgrow the need to be discipled. 

We will not make disciples without making mistakes along the way. Jesus comforts and challenges us by reminding us that He is with us until the end of the age. He will always be there strengthening us, and He will also hold us accountable for disobedience as well. Jesus gives us a high standard. He gives us the power of the Holy Spirit to strive for that standard. Jesus also provides the grace when we fall short. Praise be to His Glorious Name!!