Monday, October 14, 2013

An Overview of God's Love

Here are my notes from an amazing message from church yesterday. Thank you, Pastor Stephen, for faithfully bringing us the Gospel every week! Check it out on SermonAudio here.

An overview of God's love::

1. Benevolent - "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 ESV)

2. Pre-emptive - We love because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19 ESV)

3. Ultimate - "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 ESV)

4. Propitiating - 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. (1 John 4:10 ESV)

5. Volunteer / voluntary - just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. (John 10:15 ESV)

6. Humbling - but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:7, 8 ESV)

7. Contradictory - For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:6-8 ESV) he saved us and didn't give us what we asked for! He made me willing in the day of his power to love him and see him. A contradictory love of sacrifice. 

8. Converting - And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:1-7 ESV)

9. Adopting - See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. (1 John 3:1 ESV)

10. Inseparable - For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38, 39 ESV)

11. Immeasurable - For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:14-19 ESV) thimble and ocean example. 

12. Personal - I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20 ESV) make it our own! He loved ME and gave himself for ME. An intensely personal love.

13. Divine - "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 ESV) 

He loves the world! There is no love like this love. Other stories are merely faint glimpses. No one can love you like He does. It is impossible to get this love from anyone else. His love is all satisfying. It's not available from human beings. 

Search the universe, search every corner of the universe, every human heart relationship love, search through and through and you will find no marvel or mystery so unfathomable like this. He loves this sinful world - gave his only son to die for it. No better story! No other religion or love or philosophy like this. God's love for the world. 

The importance of this love...

... in relation to the great commandment. 

And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, "Which commandment is the most important of all?" Jesus answered, "The most important is, "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength." The second is this: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." There is no other commandment greater than these." And the scribe said to him, "You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices." And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions. (Mark 12:28-34 ESV)

Command: love The Lord your God with all of your heart. 
Whole heart without fail
Everything that you are - love Him. 
Totality of your being. 
That is impossible!
Not far from the kingdom - still not in the kingdom. 
What does he need? Christ! Who alone loves The Lord his God with the totality of his heart. Never was there one single rebellious or sinful desire. Never did he fail to love God with all of him. 

Soul - reservoir that feeds into something else. Our love for others - none are self supplying commands. Only can be done (loving others) as the reservoir of our soul is filled up with the love of Christ. Our love is nothing but complacency. 


Is the cross beautiful to you? 

Love of benevolence or complacency?

Husbands, love your wives as Christ loves the church. 

As Christ as loved you, love one another. Love your enemies, bless those who persecute you. 

Christians, ask yourselves: when life gets hard, all aspects, and you are tempted to ask yourself the question "does God really love me? How can He love me in this situation? How could he love me? How can I be confident when it is so hard?" No greater love has God than this. Everything falls under his sovereign (?). Look at the cross! He who did not spare his own son... ⬇

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? (Romans 8:32 ESV)

Look to the gospel!!

Practical directives::

1. Remember - God's love!
2. Fill - bible reading, devotional life, invitation to gaze on the love of Christ. Fill your reservoir!
3. Pray 

Pray - God, fill my tank!! 
He has loved me and given himself for me! Change us! 

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