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The Real God - The Love of God

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The Love of God

7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have 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 also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

God Is Love
[7] Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. [8] Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. [9] In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. [10] In this is love, not that we have 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 also ought to love one another. (ESV)
INTRODUCTION
Do you remember the first time you told someone, other than a family member, that you loved them? Do you remember how old you were? And even if you didn’t have the courage to actually tell that person you loved them, maybe you wrote it down where no one would see it. Johnny + Judy = LOVE…
Love is one of the earliest and most familiar emotions we have.
[youth group love....]
Toni Wine and Carole Bayer Sager
Phil Collins
When I'm feeling blue, all I have to do Is take a look at you, then I'm not so blue When I'm in your arms, nothing seems to matter My whole world could shatter, I don't care...
Wouldn't you agree, baby you and me, got a groovy kind of love...?
so far, Phil Collins has had 3 wives. not sure which one he thinks about when he sings that song...
our feelings change with time
C.S. Lewis - “Though our feelings come and go, God’s love for us does not.”
even though our feelings about love change like the weather, it’s good to know that God’s love never changes.
Do you remember the first time you told someone, other than a family member, that you loved them?
Our passage today is probably one of my favorite passages about God’s love ....
SALVATION (vs. 7)
let’s look at it a little more closely:
SALVATION (vs. 7)
God Is Love
[7] Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
[7] Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. [8] Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. (ESV)
The last 3 words of verse 8 make up one of the best ways to sum up the whole Bible.
GOD IS LOVE
and yet, today, maybe some of the hardest words to believe...
i mean, when we look at the world around us.... all the evil.... all the suffering.... all the damaged and broken lives..... how can there be a God who really loves?
And yet John here is insisting, that He not only loves but that LOVE is the very nature of God
John’s not identifying a quality God has, he’s talking about the essence of God’s being.
it’s not simply that God loves, He IS love
for us to imagine that God does not love is to deny his true nature....
to dismiss his character
it distorts the free grace of God into something way less. into a “love” that depends on the attractiveness or worthiness of the object.
“i love you IF you do this....”
no… Divine love… Agape love ..... God’s love is totally different than that.
it CANNOT be earned
it CANNOT be deserved
God loves because that is HIS nature
and here… in our first 2 verses today, John is connecting human beings who show God’s kind of love to salvation.
“whoever loves has been born of God and knows God”
[3] And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. (ESV)
The Pillar New Testament Commentary: The Letters of John 4:7–5:4a Claims to Love God Tested by Love for Fellow Believers

love for one another is evidence that a person ‘has been born of God and knows God’ because such love comes from God.

and if we KNOW God… if we have salvation… that means we have been BORN of God
we are his adopted children… joint heirs with his one and only son, Jesus
J.I. Packer - Adoption is the highest privilege of the gospel. The traitor is forgiven, brought in for supper, and given the family name.
we didn’t earn it
didn’t deserve it
it’s simply the grace of God because GOD IS LOVE
[8] Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
in the rest of our passage, we find that:
The Pillar New Testament Commentary: The Letters of John 4:7–5:4a Claims to Love God Tested by Love for Fellow Believers

The point here is that the absence of love for one another is evidence that a person does not know God, because God is love, and there can be no real knowledge of God which is not expressed in love for fellow believers.

God’s love is seen in two places:
God’s love is seen in two places:
first, God’s love is seen in the cross of Christ
look at verses 9-10
[9] In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. [10] In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (ESV)
Manifest - to display, to be shown clearly
1 John 4:9 ESV
9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.
[9] In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.
Manifest - displayed, shown clearly
[14] And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (ESV)
[16] “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (ESV)
the death of Jesus is seen as the public appearance of God’s love for his people.
not a reciprocated love. this isn’t God meeting us half way because we showed some desire to be made right with him..
no… this is God going all the way.
he chose to manifest… or show… his love to those:
-who do not love him
-do not love him
-who do not want to love him
-to those who, were at the time, rebelling against him
SACRIFICE
[8] but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (ESV)
if it were not for God and His love, we would have no expectation of mercy, forgiveness, hope or a future.
[10] In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
10
[10] In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (ESV)
Propitiation - Atoning sacrifice, it appeased (or satisfied) the wrath of God
Jesus didn’t say to God the Father about me and my many, many sins, “no, no, no…God the Father, it’s cool.... he’s with me.” We weren’t let off the hook because we knew the right guy. This word propitiation includes the idea of a sacrifice. And yes, Jesus was sacrificed but it was God the Father, the one we sinned against, who made the sacrifice… “sending his only Son to be the propitiation for our sins!”
THAT IS LOVE!!
David Jackman says, “it is no help to our understanding to pretend that a loving God would not require an atoning sacrifice, because he would not punish sin. This would be to destroy the truth that God is light and to remove all grounds of morality. The nobler, biblical way is to magnify the love of God by seeing at what tremendous cost the atonement was made, and therefore of what amazing length, devotion and scope this love is capable.”
Jesus died for our sins...he had no sin of his own
[8] but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (ESV)
Jesus paid the penalty of separation from God.... the penalty we deserved
the penalty we deserved
he had no sin of
and the consequence?
It was God’s plan. He put it into place. Allowing His only Son to take the punishment for the sins of the entire world SO THAT He could show His love for us
vs. 9 “so that we might live through him”
the purpose of God sending Jesus and Jesus dying on the cross was so in the place of certain death, we would receive eternal life
secondly
GOD’S LOVE IS SEEN:
In how Christians love one another
1
[11] Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. [12] No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. (ESV)
John says, “because of all God has done to show us his love, we must be gratefully obedient by loving each other
when our sins are forgiven and we are given the gift of eternal life, there will be a change in our heart and one of the ways that change is displayed is in our love for others.
God provides the reason AND the resource!
John is saying in verse 12 that the love displayed between Christians reveals the love of God! I want you to see how huge this is
vs. 12 - “no one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
[17] For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. [18] No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known. (ESV)
exactly the same statement. in the Gospel of John it is Jesus who makes God known to people
in the letter here in 1 John… it is the love of Christians that makes God known to people
what a responsibility!
if the Church is the body of Christ on earth, then she must reflect his character in her relationships
says it this way, “all men will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.”
[story about christmas party with friends and couple not part of the group]
Christ’s physical presence is no longer with us on earth, but if people want to see Jesus, they should be able to find Him in the Church!
How are you loving everyone you come in contact with?
CLOSING
Do you know God’s love?
It’s free to all who will trust in Jesus. you don’t even have to clean yourself up first. HE does the cleaning.
If you do know God’s love.... can others see it in you? You are his ambassador to the world.
so many great love songs have been written, but love that’s not God’s love is fading
and it absolutely will not save us
a better lyric for us today would be:
Refrain: Love lifted me! Love lifted me! When nothing else could help, Love lifted me.
I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore, very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more; but the Master of the sea heard my despairing cry, from the waters lifted me; now safe am I. Love lifted me! Love lifted me! When nothing else could help, Love lifted me.
Let’s pray

16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

1. Salvation—v. 7. God is love. If we really love God, it will be natural for us to love others. We will even love our enemies.

2. Separation—v. 8. Those who do not love, do not know God. If we had more love, there would be less hate, wars, confusion and problems in our world.

3. Sacrifice—v. 9. God not only said He loved man—He proved it by giving His only Son upon the cross.

4. Saviour—v. 10. God’s love shown to us, in that He gave His only Son as a sacrifice for us.

2. Separation—v. 8. Those who do not love, do not know God. If we had more love, there would be less hate, wars, confusion and problems in our world.
3. Sacrifice—v. 9. God not only said He loved man—He proved it by giving His only Son upon the cross.
4. Saviour—v. 10. God’s love shown to us, in that He gave His only Son as a sacrifice for us.
[3] And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. (ESV)
[4] I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. (ESV)
[14] And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (ESV)
[8] but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (ESV)
For God So Loved the World=
[16] “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (ESV)
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