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believed. They believed that Jesus died, rose, and will come again. He saved us from sin and death. We live this same faith.


STUDY QUESTIONS: (Limit response to one page per question). Why is the Church a community? Where does faith come from? Why is it important that we freely choose friendship with Jesus?


CHAPTER TWENTY SEVEN THE CHURCH IS A COMMUNITY OF LOVE


GOD IS SELF-GIVING From the beginning God has tried to teach us about himself. God is completely self-giving and generous. There is no selfishness in God. Creation is the reflection of his love. And humanity in the person of the Risen Jesus is the perfect sign of his life.


WE ARE For our part, when we come into the world we are


SELF-CENTERED very different from God. We are self- centered. We see all things and relationships as being good if they serve our needs. We tend to be selfish in using the things of creation and we tend to put a price tag on love when we enter into a relationship.


JESUS TEACHES US Jesus, when he hung on the cross, taught us ABOUT GOD’S LOVE about God’s love. To have been born, lived his life, and dies in a quiet way would have been enough to show us God’s love. But in order to overcome the deep self-centeredness of humanity, Jesus died the humiliating death of a criminal. He chose to suffer and accept humiliation so that we might see the depth of God’s unselfish love.


GOD LOVED US FIRST Even in our selfishness, and the sin that flows from it, it is God who searches for us through all ages. He loved us first and reaches out to us in the person of Jesus. God wants us to accept the friendship he offers. When we respond to the Spirit’s urging to accept the offer of friendship we become like Jesus. We take on the image and likeness of God. We commit ourselves to the life of self-giving love.


THE LOVE OF GOD outgoing.


The love of God in our hearts makes us


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