“Love Can Build a Bridge” Summit Resources

Key take-aways:

  • What does it mean to “love the sinner, hate the sin?” 
  • “You can’t carry 1000 lbs. of truth over a 10 lb. bridge of relationship.”
  • We must acknowledge that God hates sin. There are legit times when sin must be addressed, but if there is condemnation without any restoration, the attempt is a clanging gong. 

1. We must be careful with labels.  We are quick as Christians to say “we are all sinners”, but when we immediately label someone, it puts us in the position of righteous over the supposed “sinner.” 

2. By labeling someone a “sinner,” are we condemning someone’s sin as worse than our own? When we see someone else behaving in ways we don’t approve of – things that we think are sin – why can’t “love” be what leads our conversation? (Note: not talking about sins that are illegal or that cause harm to another)  

3. We cannot hold nonbelievers accountable to a standard they haven’t agreed to live by.  We must be careful we don’t just present a list of rules or requirements that they must follow, as to reform non-Christians before they experience regeneration is merely presenting religion without Christ.

4. Examine our hearts – what is the desired outcome? Is our motivation restoration or condemnation? One builds a wall, the other builds a bridge.

Helpful Books: 

“People to be Loved” Preston Sprinkle

“My Body is not a Prayer Request” Amy Kenny

“Thou Shalt Not be a Jerk” Eugene Cho

“Beautiful People Don’t Just Happen” Scott Sauls

“The Reason for God” Tim Keller 

“Love Does” Bob Goff

“The Broken Way” Ann Voskamp 

“Irresistible” Andy Stanley 

“Tattoos on the Heart” Gregory Boyle

“Loving Messy People” Scott Mehl

Helpful Articles:






Scripture references: 

James 5:16 

Galatians 6:1

Matthew 18:15-20

I Timothy 5:20 

Luke 17:3

I Peter 4:8

I John 1:9

2 Corinthians 5:18-20

Luke 10:27

John 13:31-38

Questions to consider: 

  • Explain the word FERVENT in your own words.  Jump on blueletterbible.org and do a word study on the word to gather more information. 
  • What does Peter mean when he says “love covers a multitude of sins?”
  • In what way does “love cover over a multitude of sins” in your relationships with others?  Is there a relationship in your life right now that would benefit from practicing this command?
  • What is the one thing you want to take away from this breakout to remember or to make a change in your life? How does this topic challenge you to follow Jesus and love others better?
  • Read I John 3:11-24 out loud and take some time to identify words, phrases, or concepts that repeat throughout these verses. What would you say is the central theme or idea in this passage? Since Jesus is the model of selfless love, John offers some specific ways that followers of Jesus can show that same love. What are they?
  • How does God’s love for us transform the way we see other people? 
  • Not sure if you should confront another believer about sin?  Start with this:  Pray about it. Then before a confrontation, ask yourself these questions:
    • Can I keep the focus Christ-centered? 
    • Are there verses I can use to point out sin, as well as encourage the individual and point towards restoration? 
    • If those cannot happen, put the confrontation on pause.

“If you declare yourself openly to be a disciple of Jesus – your Savior, your Lord, your Treasure – then your love for others will be decisive in showing that you are real. Are you a true believer? Are you really a disciple? Is He really your Treasure? Have you really been changed by Jesus? They will all know “if you have love for one another.” So when Jesus says, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another,” He meant: your love confirms that your profession of faith in me is real.” (John Piper)