Advent: week 4 - Love
Text: John 3:16 (KJV) “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.”
"And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity." 1 Corinthians 13:13 (KJV)
Intro: God’s Love The greatest verse in the Bible on the love of God is our text for today. Its theme is the greatness of God’s love. “So loved” states that God’s love for us was very great. The rest of the verse gives details about this greatness.
God loved the “world.” That is the perimeter of His love and shows the greatness of His love. No perimeter of love is so large. No love has embraced so many as God’s love. If we love a few neighbors, relatives, friends and most of our family, we think we are filled with love. But compared to the perimeter of God’s love, we have not even begun to love. “Gave” is the proof of God’s love. It is the proof of any love. And what one gives shows the extent of the love. God gave His Only Son, Jesus Christ, to be our Savior. It was the costliest and greatest gift ever given to man which emphasizes the greatness of God’s love. If you say you love God but are stingy with the offering plate, you do not love God much. Real love will give generously.
“Gave his only begotten Son.” Is the prudence of God’s love. True love gives the best gifts. Love is discerning and wise. Love gets the right gifts for the one loved. God gave us exactly what we needed the most. No other gift was so needed, so profitable, so fitting as the gift He gave to man. “Shall not perish.” Is the protection of God’s love. Love protects the one that is loved. And the protection God gives is the best protection of all, for it is spiritual protection and it is permanent protection.
“Shall have everlasting life.” Is the provision of God’s love. God’s love provides life. And the greatness of His love is seen in the greatness of the life provided. This life is not a second rate life but is the best life of all. Furthermore, the life He gives is everlasting life. It will never end. All of this emphasizes that God’s love is great indeed.
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The easiest way, isn't always the best way, or the most compassionate way. Loving often means we have to put out a little extra effort.
1. The Fact: “God So Loved!”
God loves every man, not just the religious and the good. He does not love only the people who love Him. He loves everyone, even the unlovely and the unloving, the unbelieving and the obstinate, the selfish and the greedy, the spiteful and the vengeful. The basis of God's love is His nature. God is love; therefore, He loves. He acts, demonstrates, and shows His love. Love acts; it expresses itself. Love does not sit still, doing nothing. It is not dormant, complacent, inactive. If love actually exists, it has to act and express itself; it has to do something good. Love is loving; that is, love is always demonstrating love to others. God's love acts and reveals Him to be love. God wants man to know His love. He wants to reach everyone in the world with His love.
2. The Evidence: “God Gave!”
Give: in the Greek - didōmi
There is the evidence of God's love, God gave His only begotten Son. He gave His only begotten Son to the world. As God, He is perfect, which means His love is perfect. Therefore, God not only loves, but He so loves. He loves to perfection, God shows it. Without question, the greatest act of love is the sacrifice of a man's own life; therefore, God sacrificed the life of His own Son to save man. "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" John 15:13 (KJV)
God gave His Son to the world, and He gave His Son to die. The idea of sacrifice, of great cost, is in both acts. It cost God dearly to give His Son up to the world and up to the cross. He gave up His Son to be separated from Him, allowing Jesus to leave His presence, to leave the majesty and glory, worship and honor of heaven. He gave up His Son to be separated from Him, allowing Jesus to come to earth...
He gave up His Son to be separated from Him, allowing Jesus to die for the sins of men. A most glorious evidence of God's love is that God took the initiative to save man. Man did not seek to save himself; God sought to save him. God gave His Son so that we might be forgiven and saved. "But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved)" Ephesians 2:4-5 (KJV)
3. The Purpose: “To Save!”
a. From perishing:
Perishing means to be lost, to lose eternal life, to be spiritually destitute, to be cut off. To be in a lost state in this world. To be in a lost state in the world to come. It means having to die, facing judgment, being condemned, suffering separation from God and all loved ones and experiencing all that hell is. Jesus didn’t come just to lay around in some hay and grow up just to show off and heal a few, He came that the world might be saved through His life!
b. To eternal life:
Life is one of the great words of the Scriptures. The word "life" or “to live" or "to have life" has a depth of meaning. Life is the energy, the force, the power of being, is the opposite of perishing. It is deliverance from condemnation and death. It is the stopping of deterioration, decay, and corruption. Life is eternal. It is forever. It is the very life of God Himself John 17:3 (KJV) “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”
However, eternal life does not refer just to duration. Living forever would be a curse for some persons. The idea of eternal life is also quality, a certain kind of life, a life that consistently knows love, joy, peace, power, and responsibility. John 10:10 (KJV) “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” This abundant life is satisfaction, security and enjoyment. Life is found only in God. God is the source and author of life, and it is God who has appointed Jesus Christ to bring life to man. Jesus Christ gives the very life of God Himself. Life has now been revealed. That’s why the manager scene!
It has been unveiled and is clearly seen in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ shows man what life is Life only comes to a man by believing in Jesus Christ. A man outside Jesus Christ only exists. He merely has the existence of an animal. Real life is found only in God. This is to be expected and it is logically true, for God is the creator of life. As the creator of life, He alone knows what life really is and what it is supposed to be. This is the reason He sent His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, into the world: to show men what life is.
c. By believing:
The word "commit" is the very same word "believe". This gives an excellent picture of saving faith; of what genuine faith is—of the kind of faith that really saves a person. Saving faith is not head knowledge, not just a mental conviction. It is not just believing the fact that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. It is not just believing history, that Jesus Christ lived upon earth as the Savior just as George Washington lived upon earth as the President of America. It is not just believing the words and claims of Jesus in the same way that a person would believe the words of George Washington. Saving faith is believing in Jesus, who and what He is, that He is the Savior and Lord of life. It is a man giving and turning his life over to Jesus. It is a man casting himself upon Jesus as Savior and Lord.
Saving faith is commitment—the commitment of a man's total being and life to Jesus Christ. It is a man's commitment of all he is and has to Jesus. It gives Jesus everything; therefore, it involves all of a man's affairs. The man trusts Jesus to take care of his past (sins), his present (welfare), and his future (destiny). He entrusts his whole life, being and possessions into Jesus' hands. He lays himself upon Jesus' keeping, confiding in Him about his daily necessities and acknowledging Him in all the ways of life. He follows Jesus in every area and in every detail of life, seeking His instructions and leaving his welfare up to Him. It is simply commitment of a man's whole being, all he is and has, to Jesus.
Let’s let the scripture conclude this message on love: 4) But God, who is abundant in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, 5) made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. By grace you are saved! 6) He also raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavens, in Christ Jesus, 7) so that in the coming ages He might display the immeasurable riches of His grace in [His] kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8) For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift — 9) not from works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:4-9 (HCSB)
Great Love was Given, it is a fact, there is evidence and the purpose is simply that He loves us!
In : Sermon
Tags: advent love
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