God Loves The World
I want to begin this morning with a story I have told a couple times before, but it is so powerful I want to share it again. “A certain medieval monk announced he would be preaching next Sunday evening on ‘The Love of God.’ As the shadows fell and the light ceased to come in through the cathedral windows, the congregation gathered. In the darkness of the altar, the monk lighted a candle and carried it to the crucifix. First of all, he illumined the crown of thorns, next, the two wounded hands, then the marks of the spear wound. In the hush that fell, he blew out the candle and left the chancel. There was nothing else to say.” http://www.sermonillustrations.com/a-z/l/love_of_god.htm. Accessed 3/30/17. There is no greater expression of the love of God than the sacrifice of Christ.
Last month I announced that we would be looking at different aspects of each communion service for most of this year. Last month we talked about the reality of God’s love. This week we will discuss the object of His love. While it was love that motivated the sacrifice of Christ, who did He love? is very clear. God loves the world.
While it was love that motivated the sacrifice of Christ, who did He love?
To be sure that we are handling the word accurately we are going to examine three questions today.
These questions will enable us to understand this verse better and encourage us to love those that God loves.
(read) is very clear. God loves the world. To be sure that we are handling the word accurately we are going to examine three questions today. These questions will enable us to understand this verse better and encourage us to love those that God loves. When we love those that God loves we have no option but to preach the gospel. The first question we will examine is…
When we love those that God loves we have no option but to preach the gospel.
The first question we will examine is…
1. Who Is The World?
1. Who Is The World?
“World” is the Greek word κόσμος kosmos meaning world. World populace - people in general considered as a whole. This word appears 187 times in the NT. 186 times it is translated “world”. 73 times used by other men. Matthew 9x. Mark 3x. Luke 4x. Paul 41x. Hebrews 5x. James 4x. Peter 7x. The Apostle John uses this word 114 times. 61% of the time this word is used, it is used by John. If we are going to understand this word correctly, we must understand how John uses it. One of the best ways to do this is what is called the law of first mention. Meaning that the first time John uses it is a strong indication of how he will continue to use it. Also, we interpret the unclear by the clear. Meaning that the times John’s usage is obvious in meaning should be our standard.
John first uses this Word in (S).
That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.
These two verses give us a very good idea of how the word is used. In v. 9 John states that Jesus gives light to every man coming into the world. The term “every man” helps us understand that John is speaking of all people as individuals. “He was in the world”. Here it is speaking more of the world as a society. “The world was made through Him” the physical earth as well as everyone in it. “The world did not know Him” both society and men considered individually. When John uses this word, he normally uses it to describe all mankind in general and unbelievers in particular. As with any word, Kosmos or world has a variety of meanings depending on the context.
The context of is Jesus having a conversation with a religious leader who is not yet a believer. They are speaking of entrance into the kingdom of God by means of the new birth. When Nicodemus fails to understand the truth Jesus presents, Jesus explains that He will be lifted up like the serpent in the wilderness and those who believe in Him will be saved and have eternal life. In this context “world” clearly means all people.
In his epistles John reveals that God is love. , (S).
He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.
The reality that “God is love” serves as the foundation for understanding this verse. God is incapable of not loving. However, His love is balanced by His justice and holiness. It is this justice and holiness that had to be satisfied in the suffering and death of Christ. It is His love, mercy, and grace that are satisfied in the resurrection of Christ and the salvation of believing sinners.
Who is the world? Everyone. All people. God loves the world! This does not mean that everyone is saved. This verse also makes clear that only those who believe are granted salvation and eternal life. While God loves everyone, He loves the believer differently. Yet we cannot escape the reality that God’s love is what motivates the plan of redemption. Consider (S).
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
If you are here this morning and you are wondering if God loves you, be assured that He does.
The greatness of His love for mankind is what took Jesus to the Cross! Because God loved the world He gave His one and only Son! The Son was born as a man named Jesus. Being without a sin nature He lived a perfect life, though tempted in all the same ways we are. Jesus was the Christ, the Messiah of prophecy who came to save His people from their sins. According to God’s predetermined plan, Jesus was taken, horribly beaten and mistreated, and finally crucified. But He didn’t remain in the grave! He rose from the dead! In Peter says this (S).
“Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
This is why we call Him our Lord Jesus Christ! God did all of this because of His love. Salvation, eternal life, and reconciliation to God are granted to those who believe in what Christ accomplished on the Cross. Have you trusted Him? Sing with me
# 330 “Only Trust Him” (verses 1-2)
The second question we want to examine is…
2. Why Did Jesus Die?
2. Why Did Jesus Die?
Look up at the beginning of the chapter. .
There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Jesus had to die because we cannot see the kingdom of God unless we are born again. We are all born by water, this is a reference to physical birth, we need to be born by the Spirit. Spiritual birth takes place when we trust in Jesus Christ for salvation. The indwelling Spirit wasn’t given until after Christ ascended as we will soon see in Acts. Christ had to die in order for spiritual birth to be possible!
Someone might say, “why is spiritual birth necessary?” This is where we get to the crux of the issue. There is a prevailing thought in our world today that humans are basically good. You will hear it stated that it is our environment, our upbringing, or society in general that is the source of evil. Those statements and the belief behind them stand in contrast to the Word of God. Turn to Ephesians chapter 2. We are going to read through this whole chapter and I want us to notice how we are described. I may pause and make a few comments as we go.
My sin does not bring dishonor to Christ only if it is found out. My sin dishonors Christ by its very existence. This is why we fight sin. This is why we develop a hatred of sin! Sin took Christ to the Cross!
And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands—that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
We are sinners by nature and by choice!
Disobedient, without God, dead in trespasses and sins, without Christ, aliens, strangers, far off, at enmity with God. That is the divinely inspired account of our condition before Christ! This is why Christ had to die! We were hopeless and helpless! There is nothing within ourselves by which we can gain merit with God! We cannot earn His favor because sin mares everything we do! Even our self made righteousness is like filthy rags before God ()! Our hearts are deceitful and desperately wicked ()! We cannot be righteous and we cannot earn righteousness! And into the midst of our mess steps God! And He changes everything! says that He makes us alive, saves us by grace, raises us to sit with Christ in heavenly places, and showcases His grace in us! We are His workmanship, created for good works, brought near by the blood of Christ, reconciled to God, given access to God, fellow citizens, members of God’s house, and a dwelling place for the Spirit!
This is what the love of God in Christ Jesus does for those who believe! I stand amazed at the goodness, grace, and mercy of God! I bow my head and cry out with the apostle Paul the words of (S).
Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!
Sing with me
#211 “O The Deep, Deep Love Of Jesus” (verse 2)
The final question we will examine is this…
3. What Must I Do To Be Saved?
3. What Must I Do To Be Saved?
This is a famous question that was asked by the Philippian jailer in (S).
And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
This service that we call Communion is a celebration and remembrance of all that Christ has done. What Christ has done has already been seen fairly clearly in the verses already considered. But let’s go to one more. As we approach the time where we will engage in remembrance of Christ I would like us to turn to . This chapter in Isaiah’s prophecy is one of the clearest Messianic prophecies in the Old Testament. First we will read vv. 3-7. Christ bore our griefs! He carried our sorrows! He bore the penalty for our sin! Look at vv. 10-12. He is the offering for sin! God’s wrath was satisfied in Christ’s death! The finished work of Christ has accomplished our justification before God!
We are not given a list of requirements for salvation. We are not given jobs to do or positions to fill. Simple, child-like faith is what saves. Not by works of righteousness that we have done (). God’s mercy, love, and grace have made salvation by faith possible.
What must I do to be saved? Believe that Christ died for my sin, was buried, and rose again.
Sing with me
#330 “Only Trust Him” (verse 3)
Only Trust Him
Turn with me to . This is a time for believers to remember the price that was paid. To be reminded of the penalty of sin. Taking part of communion does not save you. This is simply a way for us to be reminded of what Christ has done. If you know the Lord as savior this morning, please join us in bread and juice as we remember Jesus Christ. These are only symbols, they represent the body and blood of our Savior. Examination – verses 26-32
OBSERVANCE OF COMMUNION
OBSERVANCE OF COMMUNION
For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes. Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.
-32The Bread (His Body) vv. 23-24 #357 “Jesus Loves Even Me” (Chorus Only)The Cup (His Blood) v. 25 #579 “Jesus Loves Me” (Chorus Only)
The Bread (His Body) vv. 23-24 #350 “'Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus” (Chorus Only)
The Cup (His Blood) v. 25 #190 “Are You Washed In The Blood” (Chorus Only)
Jesus paid it all. All to Him we owe. Sin had left a crimson stain. He washed it white as snow.
God loves the world. And because He loves the world, He sent His Son to pay the penalty for sin. The only hope we have for eternal life, the only hope we have for fellowship with God, the only hope we have for salvation is Jesus Christ. If you have never trusted Him, I plead with you to do so today. If you have trusted Him, rejoice and be exceedingly glad! Celebrate the work of Christ in you! Then, go into all the world and preach the gospel, make disciples of Christ.
If you have trusted Him, rejoice and be exceedingly glad! Celebrate the work of Christ in you! Then, go into all the world and preach the gospel, make disciples of Christ.
May the love of God for a lost world awaken in us a desire to see people saved.
May the gospel message burn so hotly within us that we cannot keep silent!
We are ambassadors for Christ; proclaim Him this week.
#210 “Jesus Paid It All” (verse 3)