Big Apple Chapel is a New Testament based church in New York City, modeled after the pattern of the early church, with a strong emphasis on following Christ as a community of His disciples.

  • Sunday - 10:30 am
  • 520 8th Ave, 16th floor
    New York, NY
  • phone: +1 (973) 837-1041


BAC Sermons

Greatest Commandments: Part 1 Loving God




To download the audio-file, right-click here and select "Save target as" or "Save Link As".

Download MS Word File

Mark 12:29 Jesus answered "The most important of all the commandments is: 'Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. 30 And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart decisions, with all your soul m/w/e, with all your mind discern-Ephesians, and with all your strength.' 31 And the second, like it, is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." Genesis 27:4; 29:20,32

1. Worldly love: We desire/like/lust after something/one if it gives us what we like/lust after (affirmation/feeling of worth/value, pleasure, possessions)

2. Love is a decision (based upon knowledge) and a commitment to self-sacrificially do what is in another's best interest regardless of response.

3. Loyalty: Hesed (covenantal faithfulness) to God's reputation (glory) and agenda, depending only on Him for our needs and desires.

1 John 4:19 We love Him because He first loved us.  Malachi 1:2 "I have loved you," says Yahweh. 'In what way have You loved us?' Was not Esau Jacob's brother? "Yet Jacob I have loved” Lord of the Leftovers Romans 5:8 God demonstrates His love toward us...while still sinners Christ died for us.

We doubt God's love because He doesn't give us what we want, unaware that we are not giving Him what He wants (thus being unblessable).

1 Chronicles 28:9 Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever.
2 Chronicles 25:2 Amaziah did what was right in the sight of the LORD, but not with a loyal heart. Cx 16:9 eyes of Lord (1 Kings 11:4 Solomon)

4. Obedience: we can't have a relationship with God apart from total obedience to His will, which leaves no room for indulging our desires.

Deuteronomy 7:9 Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a 1000 generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments; 10 and He repays those who hate Him to their face, to destroy them. He will not be slack with him who hates Him; He will repay him to his face. 10:12 And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul...? Exodus 20:6

Jn 14:21 He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.  14:15; 15:14 23 If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and...

5. Volitional Valuing: we must choose (synthetic happiness) to value what God values as our highest good and action/attitude determiner.

1 John 5:3 is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. (see value; empowered by grace)

Jeremiah 7:22 day that I brought them out  23 But this is what I commanded them: 'Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you.' 24 Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but followed the counsels Proverbs 1:31 and the imaginations Psalm 81:12 of their evil hearts 25 sent to you all My servants the prophets  26 Yet they did not obey Me nor incline their ear, but stiffened their neck. 27 you shall speak all these words to them, but they will not obey you. You shall also call to them, but they will not answer you.  28 "So you shall say to them, 'This is a nation that does not obey the voice of the LORD their God nor receive correction. Truth has perished and has been cut off from their mouth. Deuteronomy 29:11 hear curses but bless self...blot

6. Exclusive Emotional Intimacy: we are unfaithful when we seek our needs from, or set our affections on anything created/temporal.

Joshua 23:11 take careful heed to yourselves, that you love the LORD your God.  Psalm 27:4 one thing I have desired of the LORD, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple.  Psalm 16:2

Deuteronomy 30:19 I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; 20 that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life...dwell

7. We reconcile God's love and justice/discipline by knowing God and His ways/plans and then trusting His Word/Revelation.
1 John 4:8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.  Hebrews 12:4 You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. 5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: "My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; 6 For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives." 7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?

1 Corinthians 2:9 Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.
Romans 8:28 we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the invited according to His purpose.

John 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. John 15:12

Questions for Reflection/Discussion/Response:
1. How are worldly love and Biblical love similar? In what ways do they differ? Can we learn to like/love self-sacrifice/denial? How?
2. Why is it crucial to first love God before we love others? What happens when our loyalty to others conflicts with our faithfulness to God?
3. What would you say to someone who claims to have a great relationship with God, but are ignorant of or disobeying His commands?
4. Would you say your love relationship with God is growing? How much time and effort and expense do you put into cultivating the relationship?
5. How can you deepen your dependence, loyalty, obedience, valuing, and intimate conversation with God this week? How can you track it?