Love Series, Part 1: God Is Love
March 26, 2006
This sermon was presented before the Load, Kentucky, Church of Christ, on March 26, 2006. God is love. He loves His creation, and He loves His obedient children. He pours forth blessings on good and evil, just and unjust. He patiently waits for us to come to Him.
Love Series, Part 1: God Is Love
By Bernie Parsons
Presented to the Load, KY, church of Christ on 03-26-2006
As we study the life of Christ, and the writings of the apostles, one thing stands out above all others: love is vitally important. There is a good reason for this. It has to do with God. God created the human race in love, and in love He pled with Israel to return to Him. It was the love of God that produced the sacrifice of His son, Jesus, to bring a lost world of sinners back to Him.
God is love
1 John 4:7: “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
8: He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
9: In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
10: Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
11: Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.”
1 John 4:14: “And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.
15: Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
16: And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.”
God is love. How simply put, yet how blindingly beautiful and eloquent a statement! The God who made us, who gave us life, loves us. We are the result of the love of God. It is apparent, then, why God was so hurt when His creation turned against Him.
Genesis 1:27: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 27: So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”
Genesis 1:31: “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”
Yet, man turns his heart from God.
Romans 9:20: “Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?”
Even when God selected a nation, the offspring of Abraham, and set them as a light to the rest of the world, this chosen people turned against God, and His great love for them.
Jeremiah 13:11: “For as the girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I caused to cleave unto me the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah, saith the LORD; that they might be unto me for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory: but they would not hear.”
The world, including that chosen nation, Israel, turned its back upon God, their Creator. To reconcile this lost world to Himself, God offered His son, Jesus, to bring them home.
As we saw in:
1 John 4:9: “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
10: Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins”
God loved this creation so much, that Jesus was sent to take away our sins. We read more of this love, and how it was manifested, in the gospel according to John.
For God so loved the world
John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17: For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18: He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19: And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20: For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
21: But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”
God does not want to lose even one of His creation.
2 Peter 3:9: “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
2 Peter 3:15: “And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;”
The Lord sometimes puts up with a lot of nonsense out of us, patiently waiting for us to return to Him, and His wonderful love. He does not want any of us to perish.
God does not desire to condemn us. Jesus was not sent to condemn us, but to save us.
John 12:44: “Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me.
45: And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.
46: I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.
47: And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
48: He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
49: For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.
50: And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.”
While we were yet sinners
Christ died for us while we were in sin. He did not wait for our purity or perfection before dying for us. He died to bring us back to the Heavenly Father.
Romans 5:6: “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
7: For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
8: But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
9: Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
10: For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
11: And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.”
We are reunited with God, we are reconciled to Him, we are made one with Him through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
18: And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
19: To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
20: Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
21: For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
In Christ, we are made new. We are born again of the water and of the Spirit, adopted back into the family of God from whence we strayed. Jesus took our trespasses so that we might appear pure before God Almighty, our Creator and Heavenly Father.
Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24: Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
26: To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”
1 John 2:1: “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
2: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
3: And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.”
Propitiation is an atoning act. The word propitiate means to gain or regain the goodwill, or favor, of. Reconcile means to win over again.
The love of God, manifested in the life and death of Jesus Christ, pleads with us to listen to His voice, and not stray. We are to keep His commandments, just as children listen to, and obey, their earthly fathers in this world. Jesus died and died that we might regain the favor of God, that is, that we might be won over to God once again.
2 Corinthians 6:16: “And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”
Revelation 21:3: “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.”
We are the people of God, if we will hear His voice, and obey Him. We are the family of God, as we are adopted back into that family through the reconciliation that is in Jesus.
Ephesians 3:14: “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
15: Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
16: That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
17: That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
18: May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
19: And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.”
Romans 8:14: “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
15: For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
16: The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
17: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”
Ephesians 1:3: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
4: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
5: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
6: To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
7: In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;”
Galatians 4:4: “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
5: To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
6: And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
7: Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”
The love of God toward this world, His creation, mankind that inhabits this planet, is so great that it is beyond mortal comprehension. But, when we regard Him as our Heavenly Father, and accept the adoption of children back into His family, we come close to truly understanding how great and wonderful is the love of God!