Faithlife Sermons

Finding Security in God's Love

God is Love  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  39:52
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The knowledge that we are saved because of God’s choice is the supreme source of security. If God loved us from eternity past, and He is unchanging, then we can know that His love for us in eternity future will not diminish. To those of us who believe, God’s love is a uniquely precious reality: There is no greater source of comfort, no more sure foundation for our security, no richer source of contentment than God’s love.

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Introduction

God’s love for His own simply has no parallel in human experience.
It is a powerful, enduring love that extends from eternity past to eternity future. It is a love that is not deterred by humanity’s sinful rebellion against God.
Thanks to this love, God pursues and redeems us even when we are morally and spiritually disgraceful and completely unworthy of His love.
In other words, God’s love is so great that He would stop at nothing to redeem those whom He loved; even when it meant giving His own beloved Son.
In fact, the love of God is the ultimate guarantee of the believer’s security.

Common Objections to Election

Sinners fail to see that election is not about humanity’s will, it is about God’s.
Ephesians 1:4-5
The energy that has driven God’s plan of redemption from eternity past flows from the power of His love. Ephesians 1:4-5 says he chose us and predestined us “in love”:
Ephesians 1:4–5 ESV
even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,
In other words, election is the highest expression of God’s love for sinful humanity.
Some people hate this doctrine. They fight against it, try to explain it away, or claim it’s not fair. Some people even go so far as to claim it is a form of tyranny, or that it is fatalistic, or that it violates the human will.
But in reality, the doctrine of election is not about us, is it all about the eternal love of God.
God’s election is not tyranny, it is loving providence for wicked humanity.
Is it tyranny? Certainly not. God’s sovereignty is not the rule of a tyrant, but the loving providence of a gracious God. He finds no pleasure in the destruction of the wicked:
Ezekiel 33:11
Ezekiel 33:11 ESV
Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?
Matthew 5:45
Romans 2:4
Luke 13:34
In addition, Matthew 5:45, says He showers blessings on the wicked and the righteous alike. Romans 2:4 says His goodness is an appeal to the wicked for repentance, and Luke 13:34 shows that He weeps over those who refuse His mercy.
So, why then, does He not elect everyone for salvation? Scripture does not tell us, but it does make it clear that the answer is certainly not because of any lack in God’s love.
God’s election is not an act of fate, it is His sovereign choice as Creator over His creatures.
What about the claim that the doctrine of election is fatalism?
This is the view that all things are controlled by an impersonal or irrational force, we typically call it fate.
Make no mistake, God is sovereign, but He is by no means impersonal or irrational.
He does not govern arbitrarily or whimsically.
This claim typically comes from those who wish to be the architects of their own fortunes, the determiners of their own destinies. Though, why they believe they can do better than the all-knowing, all-powerful God is puzzling.
God compelling His elect to believe does not necessitate that He forces the non-elect to sin.
Furthermore, God does not impose His sovereign will in a way that does violence to the will of humanity.
The working of God’s eternal plan in no way restricts the liberty of our choices or diminishes our responsibility when we make wrong choices. Unbelief is not forced on anyone. Those who go to a Christ-less eternity make their own choice in accordance with their worldly desires. They are not under any compulsion from God to sin.
We must make a clear distinction that God compels those who are in love with sin to love Him instead, but that does not necessitate that He must compel everyone else to not love Him; that is an unbiblical assertion that humanity can be righteous without God. People who choose unbelief do so of their own free will.
We don’t want God to be “fair”. We would much rather Him give us grace.
That brings us to the charge that election is not fair.
In one sense, “fair” means something happens according to the rules. But this does not apply, because God makes the rules, not us.
In the other sense, “fair” means that everyone gets precisely what they deserve. In this sense, there is truth that election is not fair. But think about what that means; do we really want everyone to get what they deserve?
However, fairness is not the issue of election, grace is the issue. Election is the highest expression of God’s loving grace.
He doesn’t have to choose anyone. He is, after all, God.
If he chooses to set His love in a special way on whomever He chooses, He has every right to do so.

An Illustration of the Elect’s Security

Repentance is the righteous response to realizing our wicked ways.
Luke 15:11-20
There are many passages of Scripture that teach us truths regarding God’s election. This week, we are going to discuss two key passages that highlight the security that is to be found in God’s love.
We’re going to begin by looking at the most famous parable of them all - the parable of The Prodigal Son found in Luke 15.
Many focus the story of the son when they read this parable, but he is actually not the centerpiece,
the focus of this parable is on the father’s longing love and ready forgiveness for his wayward son:
Luke 15:11–20 ESV
And he said, “There was a man who had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them. Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything. “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.” ’ And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.
In this parable, the father represents God and the younger son represents the sinner who squanders everything he has in a corrupt, irreligious life. He takes everything good his father has ever given him, disregards the father himself, and squanders away his entire legacy in loose living, immorality, and drunkenness.
Finally, he comes to a point where he realizes he has hit bottom. He’s serving pig slop, an absolutely detestable job for a Jew, and even worse he is reduced to taking his own meals from the slop he feeds to the hogs.
Suddenly, he realizes that this is no way to live.
He decides to come home.
Now, he represents the repentant sinner.
He is sorrowful over his sinful life, grieving that he has squandered his father’s goodness, and very aware that he has spent his youth fruitlessly on wickedness.
He is humbled. So, he goes back to throw himself on his father’s mercy.
God responds to our repentance with celebration.
The father’s response illustrates God’s love toward repentant sinners; it is remarkable.
There is no hesitation, no withholding of emotion, no subtle coolness. There is only sympathetic, eager, pure, unbridled love. The father loves his wayward child lavishly and profusely. Here is pictured unrestrained affection, unconditional love.
If anything, the father’s grace was even more humbling than the prodigal son’s awareness of his own sin.
The young man knew he was completely undeserving and so he confesses “I am no longer worthy to be called your son.
Luke 15:22-24
But here we are primarily concerned with the father’s response:
Luke 15:22–24 ESV
But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.
Luke 15:10
He pays no attention whatsoever to the repentant young mans’ confession of unworthiness. He just orders his servants to start the celebration.
Luke 15:10 ESV
Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
God’s love for repentant sinners is unconditional.
There is much more that could be said of this parable, it is chock full of spiritual truths, but the point that interests us here is how Jesus pictured the love of God toward a repentant sinner.
God’s love for believers is like the love of this father. It is not minimal; it is unreserved, unrestrained, extravagant. There is no holding back; just pure love without any resentment.
Above all, the love of the father was unconditional love. It was undiminished by the rebellion of the son. Even the young man's great sins could not separate him from his father’s love.

The Doctrine on the Elect’s Security

Because our salvation is fully the work of God, we can be sure the work will be completed.
Likewise, the Apostle Paul teaches a similar lesson in one of the greatest sections of Scripture, Romans 8:31-39.
Romans 8:31-34
The book of Romans is Paul’s great teaching on justification by faith and it reaches its pinnacle at the end of Romans 8, where Paul discusses the security of the believer:
Romans 8:31–34 ESV
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.
I want to begin by setting up this passage’s context.
One of the main themes of Romans 8 is that salvation is entirely God’s work. Verses 7-8 declare the hopeless state of every unredeemed person, testifying that the sinner is trapped in their own lostness unless God intervenes to save them.
As such, Paul states, in verses 29-30, that God Himself orchestrates salvation from eternity past to eternity future. Thus, every stage of the process is God’s work. There’s a tremendous amount of security in that truth.
Philippians 1:6
If our salvation is God’s work, not our own, Philippians 1:6 testifies that we can be sure He will see it through to its fullness:
Philippians 1:6 ESV
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
God is both the Author and the Finisher of our salvation, and He personally guarantees that we will persevere in faith to the end.
God Himself guarantees that true believers will never again be separated from His saving love.
That does not mean, incidentally, that believers will never fall into sin. We know from the lives of God’s chosen such as David and Solomon that it is possible for believers to sin in shameful ways.
But what is guaranteed is that no true believer can ever fall away totally and finally from the faith. Genuine believers cannot revert to unbelief. They cannot turn from Christ completely.
Hebrews 12:6
God will discipline His children who sin, but even that discipline is a borne out of God’s love, not His wrath.
Hebrews 12:6 ESV
For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”
John 10:28-29
True believers can never be separated from the love of God. God Himself guarantees it. Jesus says in John 10:28-29:
John 10:28–29 ESV
I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.
God’s saving love ensures that a true believer's faith will not fail.
Therefore, professing believers who do fall away only prove that their faith was never genuine, to begin with. 1 John 2:19 teaches:
1 John 2:19
1 John 2:19 ESV
They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.
That verse is not referring to believers who fall into temptation and sin, but of those who fall away totally from the faith. These are people who utterly abandon the faith.
Mark 4:5-6
I believe Jesus Himself illustrates this as the seed which fell on rocky ground in the Parable of the Sower (Mark 4:1-9).
Mark 4:5–6 ESV
Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away.
There are many seeds that will spring up in emotional bursts of professed faith, but because their faith has no roots, the moment that faith is no longer convenient or beneficial to them, they will become scorched and wither away.
True believers are not capable of such spiritual treachery. God graciously and lovingly ensures their perseverance.
Like Peter, we can be sifted like wheat, but if our faith is genuine, it will not fail (Luke 22:31-32).

Conclusion

For Christians, the knowledge that we are saved because of God’s choice is the supreme source of security.
If God loved us from eternity past, and He is unchanging, then we can know that His love for us in eternity future will not diminish.
God is love.
His mercy is over all His works.
He manifests His love for all.
But the highest expression of His love is given to those who by sheer grace he lovingly draws to Himself. Therefore to those of us who believe, God’s love is a uniquely precious reality.
I know of no greater source of comfort, no more sure foundation for our security, no richer source of contentment than God’s love.

PRAYER

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